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Whether you call them dachshunds, doxies or wiener dogs, are beloved for how uniquely adorable they are. Their short legs and long bodies are the primary features that make them so lovable, but they can also contribute to some health problems. Dachshund health concerns include: back problems, IVDD and mobility loss just to name a few. As a pet parent it’s important to educate yourself about the breed, to ensure you give your doxie the best care possible!
Dachshund Back Problems and Mobility Concerns
Back problems and mobility issues are among some of the most common dachshund health issues. Due to their long torso, spinal disease and back injuries occur more frequently in dachshunds than in any other breed. Here are a few of the common conditions effecting doxies:
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Dachshunds and IVDD
IVDD is the most common condition affecting the dachshund breed. Intervertebral Disc Disease occurs when the vertebrae of the spine become brittle. This causes discs to slip or rupture, leading to severe back pain and inability to walk. Dachshunds are 10 – 12 times more likely to have IVDD than any other breed, with the condition effecting approximately 25% of all doxies.
Keep in mind this static only includes dachshunds who are receiving treatment for IVDD, so the number could be even higher in reality.
Dachshund owners should be on the lookout for signs of IVDD, which include:
Unwillingness to play
Scrapes on the top of their paws
Dragging back feet
Signs of pain (shivering or shaking)
Loss of appetite
Sensitivity to touching on back or neck
Although there are surgical treatments available for IVDD, sometimes alternative solutions are necessary as well. As every case is different, always speak with your Veterinary professional to determine the best course of treatment for your pet.
Mobility Support for Dachshunds with IVDD
Walkin’ Wheels Dachshund Wheelchair
With mobility issues being so prevalent, it’s common to see dachshunds use wheelchairs. In fact, both the Mini and Small Dachshund wheelchairs were designed with them in mind! A wheelchair gives your doxie the support they need to move around freely and are great for rehabilitation or recovery.
Pro tip: A dachshund’s rear legs can be three times taller than their front legs. Due to the difference in leg height, when fitting their wheelchair, the side extender and wheelchair frame will most likely angle down in the front. If the frame is perfectly level, it may be too short for the rear legs or too high for the front legs.
If you need help fitting your dachshund’s wheelchair, our Wheelchair Experts are available to help! Simply email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help your dachshund’s wheelchair fit perfectly!
See Dachshunds use their Walkin’ Wheels
Dachshund Wheelchair Accessories
Premium Front Vest– dachshunds are distinctively shaped, with their deep, barrel chests they need a harness that will fit them comfortably. The Front Vest can be used as a regular walking harness or with your dachshund’s Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair for the perfect fit.
Belly Support – dog’s with long backs need a little extra spinal support. The neoprene belly support attaches to the Walkin’ Wheels to provide the mid-body support your dachshund needs.
Front Wheel Attachment – the Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair can adapt with your dog’s changing condition. As front legs weaken, a front wheel attachment can be added to turn your dog’s wheelchair into a full support/4-wheel wheelchair.
Walkin’ Drag Bag – is the perfect solution for when your paralyzed pup isn’t in their Walkin’ Wheels. Allowing your pup to scoot around without scraping their legs or chest. And for even more freedom inside the house, try the Walkin’ Scooter!
Do Dachshunds Have a Lot of Health Problems?
Like all purebred breeds, dachshunds are prone to health problems. Spinal conditions and mobility loss are common in dachshunds, however with proper care your dachshunds can live a long life. The average life expectancy of a dachshund is between 12 to 16 years old.
Preventing Mobility Issues in Dachshunds
Since dachshunds are prone to health problems that effect their back, hips and knees there are some preventative measures that dachshund parents can take. including:
Dachshunds should avoid climbing the stairs. The average stair tread is 7.5 inches high, which is typically taller than your dachshund’s leg height. Going up and down the stairs can be hazardous and difficult for a dachshund.
Don’t let your dachshund jump. The impact of landing on the ground, or making a bad jump, can put too much strain on your dachshund’s long body.
Lift your dachshund carefully, both ends of your dachshund should be supported at all times.
Make sure your dachshund gets plenty of exercise and eats a nutritious diet. A few extra pounds puts a lot of unnecessary weight and stress on your dog’s joints.
If you follow these few simple tricks, there is no reason why your dachshund can’t live a normal, happy, and active life!