Dachshunds Back Problems
Dachshunds are not high maintenance dogs. Each dog breed is prone to a certain health risk or condition, one way or another. All you can really do is make sure that your Dachshund maintains a healthy lifestyle under your careful watch. This includes a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Dachshunds belong to a group of dogs known as chondrodystrophic breeds. This means they may experience a disorder known as chondrodystrophy. This is a condition that causes cartilage to become like bone. This occurs before the dog is born and the result is dwarfism, which is the foundation of the dachshund breeds appearance.
Sure the breeding has created a very cute looking dog. However, this has caused numerous health issues for the little Dachshund, including deterioration of the joints and the spine, in other words dachshund back problems.
Sadly, this inherent trait makes Dachshunds particularly susceptible to back problems. The most common problem being Intervertebral Disc Disease, otherwise known as IVDD. This occurs due to chondrodystrophy (cartilage turning hard like bone), it is believed that approximately 25% of all Dachshunds will experience some medical condition connected with this trait and cause dachshund back problems.
Intervertebral Disc Disease Explained.
IVDD causes the discs of the spine, which are normally flexible enough to be like a shock absorber, between the vertebrae, to become brittle. The loss of flexibility in the discs can cause them to pierce the spinal cord, rupture, or become herniated. In severe cases, this can lead to paralysis, but even in minor to moderate cases, the pain from condition is excruciating for the dog. Therefore, if you suspect that your dog may be suffering from IVDD, it is imperative to seek the assistance of a veterinarian immediately.
What are the symptoms of IVDD?
Being vigilant about changes in your dachshunds behavior can help alert you to the possibility of dachshund back problems such as IVDD. IVDD can affect Dachshunds of any age, however it is most commonly diagnosed in dachshunds in the 3 – 7 age group.
The most common symptoms include:
- Yelping of pain when the dog is handled.
- Reluctance or difficulty rising from lying down.
- Unsteady walking or any obvious paralysis of the rear legs
- A hunched appearance when walking.
- Weakness, particularly in the hind legs.
- Unusually wobbly or uncoordinated movement.
- Difficulty in climbing stairs
- Difficulty in urination and defecation
Symptoms vary between dachshunds and in the degree of severity. Bear in mind that in some cases the onset of dachshund back problems symptoms can be gradual while in others the pain and difficulty walking appears suddenly.
It is very important to note that while the above symptoms are all indicative of IVDD, they can relate other medical conditions as well. So, don’t assume, a proper examination should be carried out by a veterinarian who can then make an informed diagnosis and determine the best treatment for your dachshunds backs problems.
In any event, simply due to the dachshunds long spine, it is advisable for every Dachshund owner to do all he, or she, can to prevent further strain on their dachshund’s back. Additionally, it is wise to be vigilant for signs of IVDD, because if diagnosed early a dog has a reasonably good chance of recovering from the condition.
Possible Types of Treatments
Early diagnosis is essential to the best outcome. If a case of IVDD has been caught early or if the condition is quite mild, treatment may simply consist of rest and anti-inflammatory drugs. In more severe or advanced cases, Dachshunds back problems may require surgery to remove spinal bone and/or discs to allow the spine to heal itself. If diagnosed and treated early, a dog suffering from IVDD has a good chance of recovery.
What Can I do to Prevent IVDD?
IVDD is a genetic condition, so one of the most important aspects of selecting a dachshund puppy is choosing a puppy from parents who are disease-free.
Because of its genetic nature, it is impossible to entirely prevent against IVDD. However, there are things that owners can do to reduce the risk to their Dachshund. Good diet and exercise are the keys to prevent your dachshund becoming overweight as this will add undue strain on an already vulnerable spine. Furthermore, it is advisable to be careful when playing with your dog. You should avoid encouraging your dog to jump or play games that involve exaggerated twisting motions.
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