They’re adorable and full of personality. Dachshunds, or colloquially known as Weiner dogs, are an amazing breed and a great family dog. One thing all Dachshund owners should be aware of though is the potential of back injuries.
Dachshunds are dwarf breeds, in which they have an elongated torso yet short legs. The elongated spine of the breed and short legs puts extra stress on the spine and places the dogs at risk for a herniated disk, which is where the cushioning between vertebrae is squeezed, busted, and the hard center is pushed out against the spinal cord. This can also be referred to as Inter-vertebral Disk Disease. This pressure is damaging and can cause nerve damage that can lead to a variety of painful problems including paralysis and the inability to pass food.
Treatments include steroids, or in most cases surgery. The sooner it is treated, the better. The longer it takes to treat, the less likely it is to reverse the symptoms. It is important to notice the injury, which may be shown from weakened hind legs, difficulty standing in general, or paralysis. Sometimes, injuries happen due to genetics and it is not the fault of an owner. It is sad to see your dog in pain, but there are some ways to prevent this:
“It is sad to see your dog in pain, but there are some ways to prevent this.”
Keep Your Dachshund’s Weight Normalized. Extra weight will pull on the spine and cause additional stress making the animal more prone to the injury. In addition, staying active encourages strong muscles and keeps the blood flow strong.
Keep Your Dog From Jumping On/Off Furniture. The higher the furniture, the worse it can be This puts the spine at risk to be suddenly twisted, causing trauma and slipping a disc. Luckily, there are ways to prevent the furniture issue: More and more companies are making ramps for your dogs to walk up and down to get on couches/beds more safely and comfortably for their body type. Stairs are also another suggested thing to avoid as much as possible, to minimize the risk. A few other activities to monitor include high speed running/chasing and tug of war.
Use A Harness. A collar will pull on the neck and spine in an uncomfortable way and create pressure down the back that is potentially harmful. The harness will distribute this pressure much better.