Health Concerns For Dachshunds
Every breed of dog has its own health concerns and issues to which it is prone. Though generally healthy dogs, Dachshunds are no different. If you give them the proper attention and care, however, most health problems can be avoided. Some of the most common health concerns Dachshunds are prone to include:
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – Dachshunds are especially prone to back problems (which is why making sure they don’t leap from furniture and also supporting their back while holding them is so important). Back injury or issues can lead to disease and paralysis. Clinical attention may be necessary in the case of back problems.
- Epilepsy – Dachshunds can be prone to seizures. It can be genetic or due to a head injury. If your Dachshund shows signs of seizure activity (can manifest differently in different dogs), it’s important to seek out veterinary help.
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) – this is a degenerative eye disorder that can eventually lead to blindness and loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. Though not fatal, it can make general living difficult for Dachshunds.
- Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) – also known as Bloat or Torsion, this is a life-threatening condition for Dachshunds and needs medical attention immediately. It usually affects larger breeds, but can appear in Dachshunds due to their long, deep chests. It’s basically when the dog is unable to dispel extra air from their stomach, which can lead to dangerous stomach distension, lack of blood flow to the heart and shock.
- Cushings Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism) – this condition happens when too much cortisol (stress hormone) gets processed in the body. It can be due to a pituitary or renal gland imbalance or other factors.
- Canine Diabetes Mellitus (DM) – this is a case of diabetes that can occur in Dachshunds, especially if they are overweight.
- Deafness – this isn’t super common in Dachshunds, though has been known to occur in double dapple Dachshunds (Dachshunds with dappled coloring).
If you ever have questions or concerns about your Dachshund, be sure to consult a veterinary professional. If you take the proper care of your Dachshund and make sure to get him frequent medical examinations though, many of these health issues can be prevented.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dachshunds
Q. Which Dachshund sheds the least?
A. Wirehaired Dachshunds shed the least, though the breed in general doesn’t shed that much, especially with proper care and grooming.
Q. Can Dachshunds swim?
A. Dachshunds can be taught to swim, but can never be strong swimmers due to their short legs and general body structure.
Q. Can Dachshunds live outside?
A. Though they may enjoy time outdoors, Dachshunds are meant to be indoor dogs.
Q. Where should I buy a Dachshund?
A. You can buy a Dachshund from a trusted breeder or adopt one that’s in need of a good home. Do your research and avoid irresponsible breeders, puppy mills and pet stores.
Q. Will Dachshunds kill cats?
A. Dachshunds actually have been known to get along alright with cats, and can even befriend them if they are raised around them. If your Dachshund shows aggressive behavior towards cats though, it’s probably best to keep them separate.
Q. What to do when my Dachshund will not stop barking?
A. As mentioned, Dachshunds do have barking tendencies and it’s something that is best addressed in training. You can train them to stop with a command or a clicker. Positive reinforcement in training can help as well.
Q. Where does the Dachshund rank in intelligence?
A. Dachshunds rank as average when it comes to intelligence in training/obedience and when compared to other breeds.
Q. Why will Dachshunds bite?
A. Since Dachshunds were initially bred for hunting, they can develop a tendency to be mouthy and have been known to bite. They have shown to be most aggressive towards strangers or anything they feel threatened by. If your Dachshund shows biting tendencies, it’s something to address as soon as possible in obedience training. Biting can also be prevented if you socialize your Dachshund from a young age with people and other dogs.
Q. When will a Dachshund puppy stop growing?
A. Dachshunds are typically considered full grown between 9-12 months of age.
Q. Are Dachshunds hunting dogs?
A. Technically yes, they were initially bred to be hunting dogs for small, burrowing animals and badgers. They are not commonly used for this purpose anymore, though they may still show signs of it and display hunting instincts.