Intervertebral Disk Disease
    Probably the most serious medical problem seen in the Dachshund breed is disk disease.  Type 1 disk degeneration develops when the dog is very young (2-9 months).  The signs of back pain or paralysis are not seen until they reach 3-6 years old.  The disk space can become compressed causing pain or can become ruptured causing paralysis.  Painful disks are treated with medication and rest.  A ruptured disk generally requires surgery. Signs of a painful back include reluctance to jump or climb stairs, having an arched, "tucked up" stance and just acting lethargic.  These are signs that a veterinary exam is warranted.  

    Weight control throughout a Dachshund's life is important to avoid excess pressure along the spine.

Mindy C. Newman DVM

     

        
Anal Sac Problems
    Anal sacs are fluid-filled structures located on either side of the anus.  All dogs and cats are born with them.  Normal secretions can be a liquid to pasty consistency with a strong fish-like odor.  If you own a dog, you've most likely smelled that smell!

    When the sac fills, dogs can empty them during defecation or during times of stress.  If the sac becomes too full or inflamed, signs of scooting or biting at the rear end will occur.  Although all breeds can be affected by this, the dachshunds are over-represented as having frequent problems in this area.

    Treatment for anal sac irritation is first to empty the sacs.  Your veterinarian or vet technician can do this and also check for infection or other causes of itching.  Some owners learn how to empty them at home if it needs to be done monthly.  Also a diet higher in fiber can help.  Ask your veterinarian for diet recommendations.

          Mindy C. Newman DVM
Canine Pattern Baldness
    This disorder causes an easily recognizable trait of alopecia (hair loss) especially on the ears.  Pattern baldness begins in early adulthood.  Dachshunds that have this disorder show hair loss and a darker pigment to both ears.  The ears have a leather-like feel. It doesn't cause any discomfort to the dog so no treatment is necessary.  Your veterinarian may want to test for hyporhyroidism, which is another disease causing symmetrical hair loss.

         Mindy C. Newman DVM
     Vet Tips: Breed Specific Problems

Dachshunds are a popular breed and make great family pets. This section describes some problems you may encounter and also health tips to keep your Dachshund in tip top shape.
This page was last updated: October 13, 2012
 Mindy C. Newman is a small animal Veterinarian currently practicing in Little River, SC 
Tips from our Veterinarian
 Mindy C. Newman DVM
Kind Care Animal Hospital
Little River, SC