How Common are Back Problems in Dachshunds?


You may have noticed this with other dachshunds or your own dogs – this breed is incredibly prone to experiencing back problems. This can range from temporary pain and discomfort to a full-blown debilitating disease. It is important to understand if your dachshund is at risk of back problems so that you can either prevent it or seek immediate help. This will help to prolong your pup’s quality of life and help them to be happier as well. Here are a few things that you should know.

Dachshund with IVDD
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How Back Problems are Caused in Dachshunds

As with humans, there are several ways that dachshunds can experience back problems. One of them is if your pup is in an accident or if they fall or get stepped on. The other types of medical issues take place as your dachshund gets older. The naturally ageing process prevents their bodies from working as well as they used to. However, one of the most common reasons for dachshunds having back problems is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) or herniation. Depending on the diagnosis, the issue can either be quickly treated or require more drastic measures.

What Causes IVDD in Dachshunds?

It is estimated that about one in every five dachshunds are at risk for this disease. This has led many to believe that there may be a genetic component involved. Nonetheless, this issue occurs when one of the discs between the vertebrae is herniated. Each of the bones in the vertebrae are cushioned by a soft disc that allows the spine to move better. The internal portion of the disc is a little harder than the outer layer. Therefore, when it pushes through, it impacts upon the spine, causing pain. This new pressure can cause a variety of problems. For instance, it can be responsible for temporary or permanent nerve damage. In turn, this nerve damage can lead to a whole host of issues, including paralysis.

Treating IVDD

In most cases, the first step of IVDD treatment in dachshunds involves using either steroids or some other anti-inflammatory substance. This is usually reserved for dogs exhibiting milder cases of this medical issue. While a small portion of dogs may respond to the treatment, they typically require surgery. If your pup has not responded to the steroids within a day or two, your vet may suggest that they undergo a surgical procedure. This is a very delicate surgery, and the vet will have to expose the vertebrae in order to remove the protruding disc.

The Results of Surgery

It can be difficult to predict just how much the surgery will help your dachshund. This is because it is often quite unclear how much nerve damage has occurred. It varies from case to case. In some instances the nerves may regenerate, while in others, the damage may be permanent. It may take a while before your vet is able to give you any conclusive news of recovery.

Protecting Your Dachshund

Despite this dreary news, there is plenty that you can do to ensure that your dachshund is as protected as possible. One of the most important things is to make sure that your pup is at their ideal weight. You should take care to avoid overfeeding them. The heavier your dachshund is, the more pressure it will put on their backs. Another thing that you can do is to keep an eye on them and to prevent them from jumping on furniture. Jumping onto or landing down from furniture can cause your dachshund to get hurt. Here are some early symptoms of IVDD in dachshunds.

It is always a good idea to get your pup checked out if you feel like something is wrong. As mentioned, your dachshund has a better chance of recovering if the case is caught as soon as possible.