Bringing Home a Daschund
In recent years the Daschund breed has rapidly increased in popularity. Daschunds are well loved for a number of reasons, including their unique appearance and affectionate personalities. Daschunds are also a very versatile breed, coming in two different sizes (standard and miniature) and three different coat types (smooth, wire-haired and long-haired). Their small size and low exercise requirements also make them compatible for the vast majority of lifestyles.
Health Problems Associated with Daschunds
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Due to their long bodies and short legs, Daschunds are particularly prone to intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), in fact it is estimated that 45-70% of IVDD cases are diagnosed in Daschunds. IVDD is a condition where the discs in the spine degenerate, this can lead to pain, paralysis, incontinence and even death.
Being a degenerative condition, IVDD will progressively get worse and in severe cases, surgery may be required. This is expensive and comes with an extensive recovery time.
Dachshunds have a tendency to gain weight making them prone to obesity, this can put extra strain on their spine and exacerbate IVDD. Obesity can also lead to other health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes. Closely monitor your daschunds weight and make dietary changes if necessary to prevent excessive weight gain. Alongside this, you may want to consider feeding a natural supplement to help support and manage their weight.
Blocked Anal Glands
Smaller dog breeds who are prone to weight gain are also more likely to suffer from blocked anal glands. Every time a dog passes faeces, their anal glands should naturally empty. When a dog is overweight, the muscles involved in the anal gland emptying process cannot function optimally, meaning the glands do not fully empty. This can result in a build up of fluid causing discomfort and pain. Blocked anal glands may require a trip to the vet to resolve, if left untreated, they can quickly become infected.
There are natural supplements available which can help manage blocked anal glands.
Dachshunds can be prone to a number of eye conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which can lead to gradual loss of sight over a period of several months to several years. PRA is a genetic disease that can be passed on from parents. Genetic testing for the condition should be carried out prior to mating. Dogs who are carriers of the condition should be removed from breeding programmes to minimise the spread of the condition.
Mitral Valve Disease
Daschunds are also at a greater risk of developing mitral valve disease (MVD), one of the most common heart problems in dogs caused by faults in the heart valve. MVD is a progressive disease with a slow onset, unfortunately in many cases it will eventually lead to heart failure. MVD cannot be cured, however can be managed using medications to ease symptoms and prolong life expectancy.
Living a Happy, Healthy Life
Despite their potential health concerns, daschunds can live long and healthy lives with appropriate preventative care and veterinary treatment when necessary.
Before welcoming a Daschund into your life it is important to carry out research and prepare yourself for any issues that may arise. Only ever shop from reputable breeders and don’t be afraid to ask questions. A good breeder will be more than happy to answer these for you. Vet bills can be high, so it is always a good idea to get your dog insured to help cover any unexpected costs.