The Dachshund is a breed beloved for its lively and engaging personality as much as for its reputation as the world’s cutest hot dog-on-legs. Dachshund owners are breed-loyal to the core and enjoy participating in “doxie” activities such as breed shows, owners’ clubs and longest doxie contests. The Dachshund’s personality is energetic, enthusiastic, persistent, sometimes stubborn, often charming, and fast becoming a favorite with families for both size and personality.
Dachshund owners are often all too aware of common pet health ailments that may affect their furred companions.
Dachshunds as a species are noted for their strong, broad backs and short widely spaced legs, ideal for anchoring to the ground while digging after burrowing animals. However, spinal and back injuries are the most commonly cited issues reported by owners of this breed, made fragile by inbreeding for color, coat length, and other features not relevant to their natural instincts for digging, ground tracking and hunting.
Intervertebral disk disease is also always a concern as it affects breeds with short legs and wide backs. There are several types of intervertebral disk disease but all manifest similarly, as a herniated disk that ruptures and produces pressure on the spinal cord. Symptoms include lower back pain, incontinence, and paralysis if left untreated.
Another common pet health concern is obesity. Doxie owners know that their companion has a famously voracious appetite – Dachshunds are ready, willing and able to swallow both food and non food items with surprising frequency and sometimes devastating results.
The breed is also prone to seizures or epilepsy which can be managed through medication. Heartworm is quickly becoming a major source of concern to doxie owners and regular checkups can aid in prevention, which is the only reliable means of early detection. Mammary tumors are another common ailment for which neutering or spaying is the only recognized treatment.