brown dachshund with long pink tongue

Dachshunds are some of the most popular dogs in the world. Their fun-loving and playful nature makes them great family pets and companions, despite their independent streak. If you’re thinking about buying one, it’s a good idea to know about any health issues they may have and the life expectancy of Dachshunds. Being prepared to deal with Dachshund health problems will help you ensure that your dog will be able to live a full, long life. 

1. Intervertebral disc disease or IVDD

Dachshunds are built with long, low bodies and short legs. While this iconic silhouette has become the Dachshund’s calling card, it leaves them vulnerable to a number of musculoskeletal conditions. The most common one is called intervertebral disc disease or IVDD. 

IVDD happens when one of the discs between the vertebrae in your Dachshund’s spinal column begins to deteriorate. This deterioration can cause the disc to rupture when the dog’s spine is exposed to a large shock, such as when jumping up and down from furniture. The rupture can cause pain, paralysis, and an inability to urinate. IVDD is a serious emergency, and sadly, one in four Dachshunds will experience it at some point in their life. 

If you notice that your Dachshund is shying away when receiving pets, not eating, or is having difficulty walking, contact your veterinarian for further advice. 

2. Hip dysplasia 

Hip dysplasia or canine hip dysplasia happens when a dog’s hip joint is not formed correctly. This can cause the ball and socket of the joint to rub together painfully, causing joint instability. After some time, it can cause the cartilage in the joint to break down, causing chronic pain and lameness.

A Dachshund with hip dysplasia may have trouble standing, walking, jumping, and other physical activities. While canine hip dysplasia is commonly thought to happen in bigger, heavier dogs, it can manifest in smaller breeds like the Dachshund. If your dog has trouble walking, suddenly loses interest in play, or has joint looseness, you should ask your veterinarian about the possibility of hip dysplasia. 

3. Obesity

Like most other dog breeds, Dachshunds love food, but since they’re a smaller breed they shouldn’t gain too much weight. Obesity is a problem for Dachshunds since it also puts pressure on their back and spine. This can cause IVDD to happen with Dachshunds who jump to and from furniture or stairs. 

The best way to manage your Dachshund’s weight is to stick to a regular feeding schedule and ensure that the dog gets the appropriate amount of exercise. Regular weighing of your Dachshund will help to spot any sudden weight gain, which may indicate other health problems such as hypothyroidism. 

Dachshunds typically live around 12 to 16 years, so chronic health problems in their younger years can put a damper on their quality of life for a long time. Knowing the signs of these common health issues will help your Dachshund live their best life with you for as long as possible. 

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