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The Loyal Dachshund

The Dachshund is truly a magnificent breed. They are one of the most popular choices as family companions mainly because they are small, loyal and adorable.

People tend to think that because they are small, they are not meant for hard work, but they were originally bred to hunt down badgers and other animals that tunnel underground. The name “dachshund” actually means “badger dog” in German, which is their country of origin.

Their peculiar shape makes it easier to distinguish them from other breeds. It is also what makes them so cute and endearing. Their shape has also given them loving nicknames such as wiener dog, hot dog, and sausage dogs.

Possible Health Issues

Like all breeds, they are prone to certain diseases and health conditions for which you should be prepared if you decide to take one in to the family. It does not necessarily mean your particular wiener dog will get any of these diseases, but there is a possibility.

INTERVERTEBRAL DISC DISEASE (IVDD)

This is basically a back problem, to which dachshunds are prone to having. Some people attribute their tendency to acquire this problem to the disproportionately long torsos of dachshunds, although there is no conclusive evidence to support this. It may also be due to genetics, certain movements, or falls from height.

Initial symptoms include difficulty or inability to use their hind legs. This could eventually lead to paralysis, and in some instances, loss of bladder and bowel control.

Health professionals suggest always supporting the dog’s back and rear area when they are being carried to prevent injury. Treatment for the disease may include crate confinement, anti-inflammatory medicines, surgery, and the use of a dog wheelchair.

In some cases, rehabilitation therapy can also help before the disease completely takes over. Use of dog wheelchairs are also included as part of the therapy or rehab program.

EPILEPSY

Dachshunds are also prone to epileptic seizures. This may also be due to genetics, congenital abnormality, or severe trauma to the head. Treatment usually involves medication. Bring your dachshund to the vet at the first instance of a seizure get proper treatment.

GASTRIC DILATATION-VOLVULUS (GDV)

Also known as bloat or torsion, this disease usually affects large breed dog, but dachshunds are the exception. This may be due to their deep chest shape. It is a life-threatening condition that causes the dog’s stomach to fill up with gas. This causes the stomach to twist and get distorted. As the air or gas builds up, the dog cannot belch or vomit to remove the air because of the distortion. This blocks the normal flow of blood to the heart, causing blood pressure to go down, and eventually lead to shock.

Immediate medical attention is critical for this condition. Symptoms may include excessive salivating and dry retching. It is best to bring the dog to the vet immediately if you observe these signs.

CANINE DIABETES MELLITUS (DM)

This is common to the breed,  especially for overweight dachshunds. Symptoms may include urinating excessively, persistent thirstiness, and weight loss despite an increased appetite. Treatment may include a special diet and regular insulin medication. Keeping your dachshund’s weight in check is a good preventive measure.

Choosing Your New Best Friend

When selecting a dachshund puppy, look for a breeder that can provide you with a health clearance for both parents of the puppy. Genetics may play an important part in the eventual health of the puppy.

If you are getting a dachshund from a shelter, try to get as much health information as possible. Bring the dog straight to a vet for a complete checkup to get a rundown of existing and potential health problems. This will give you a good idea of how to provide your new best friend the best care.

 

This article was published on Thursday 27 September, 2018.
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