Dachshund Spine Problems – How To Recognize Them and What To Do

Table of Contents

  1. Why do Dachshunds have spine problems?
  2. Common Dachshund spine problems
    1. Dachshund Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
    2. Dachshund Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)
    3. Osteoarthritis in the Dachshund spine
  3. Symptoms of Dachshund spine issues
  4. What can we do to help dachshunds with back problems?
    1. Non-Surgical Approaches To Treating Dachshund Back Problems
  5. How Does Dachshund Back Support Help In Easing Back Pains?
    1. Surgical Options For Treating Dachshund Back Problems
  6. How to prevent dachshund spine problems?
    1. Dachshund Back Problems: Wrapping up

Dachshund spine problems are very common and can be quite serious, and that is why you need to know how to recognize them and what to do to help your Wiener!

Our adorable Dachies, known for their long bodies and short legs, require special attention and care when it comes to their spinal health. From intervertebral disc disease to degenerative disc problems, dachshunds can really suffer if we don’t help them! So, let us find out what are common Dachshund spine problems, their causes, symptoms, and available treatment options:

Why do Dachshunds have spine problems?

To understand why Dachshunds are more prone to spine problems, we must first appreciate their one-of-a-kind spinal structure. These little guys have long, elongated bodies with relatively short legs, which gives them an adorable and hilarious sausage appearance. However, this elongated shape can put extra stress on their spines, making them more prone to issues.

Think of a Dachshund’s spine as a delicate bridge spanning the gap between their front and rear legs. The longer the bridge, the more it bends and flexes under pressure. This constant strain on their spines can lead to problems like disk herniation, degenerative disc disease, and even osteoarthritis. It’s like carrying a heavy backpack all the time, and if we are not careful, something will go wrong!

Dachahund space dachshund spine problems

Common Dachshund spine problems

Ok, so now we know that even though we love that sausage’s long and precious look, it is actually the main cause of their spine problems! But what are the most common issues that we can expect? Let’s see:

Dachshund Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD for short, is the most common spine condition that can happen to our Dachshund pals. The discs between their vertebrae, which act as shock absorbers, can bulge or rupture under stress. This can put pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. It’s a real pain in the back – literally.

Dachshund Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD)

Another pesky condition that Dachshunds are prone to is Degenerative Disc Disease. As the name suggests, this is a degradation of the spinal discs over time, leading to pain, spinal instability, and reduced mobility. It’s the slow and steady decline of a strong tissue that eventually starts to hurt and creates problems!

Osteoarthritis in the Dachshund spine

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, can also take its toll on Dachshund’s spines. The continuous stress on their long bodies can result in the deterioration of the joints between the vertebrae. This can cause pain and stiffness and can have a serious impact on engaging in their favorite activities, like hunting down hidden treats or digging and running through the park! 

Symptoms of Dachshund spine issues

We know that hearing about these serious back conditions that can happen to our Wiener must be scary and confusing. That is why it is important for you to know how to recognize these problems! Here are some signs that can indicate Dachshund spine problems:

  • Difficulty in walking or standing

If your Dachshund is having trouble getting around or seems unsteady on their feet, it could be a sign of a spine problem. Those precious little legs might struggle to support their elongated bodies when the spine is not in top-notch condition.

  • Back or neck pain

Nobody likes a grumpy dog, especially when it’s due to discomfort. If your usually cheerful Dachshund is showing signs of back or neck pain, such as whining, yelping, or avoiding certain movements, it’s time to pay attention. They might be experiencing the ache of an unhappy spine.

  • Muscle weakness or paralysis

Spine problems in Dachshunds can sometimes progress to more severe stages, causing muscle weakness or even paralysis. If you notice your furry friend struggling to move a particular limb or unable to use it altogether, it’s a red flag that their spine needs some serious attention.

  • Loss of Bladder or Bowel Control

This is a severe symptom requiring immediate veterinary attention. Unfortunately, Dachshund’s spine problems are often followed by this symptom. It happens due to a Doxie’s inability to normally walk and deal with abnormal pains.

  • Vocalization

Unexplained yelps or cries, especially when touched around the back or neck, may signal pain.

What can we do to help dachshunds with back problems?

If you suspect that your dachshund is experiencing spine problems, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian. An early diagnosis is pivotal for devising an effective treatment plan. Diagnostic tools such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans may be employed to gauge the extent of the issue.

When it comes to treating spine problems in Dachshunds, the “less is more” approach might be the way to go. Conservative management focuses on providing pain relief and supporting your pup’s spinal health without resorting to surgery. This can include medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes like adjusting their exercise routine or providing orthopedic support.

Non-Surgical Approaches To Treating Dachshund Back Problems

In less severe cases, non-surgical treatments can be remarkably effective in managing dachshund spine problems:

1. Rest: Providing your dachshund with a quiet, comfortable resting space is imperative for recovery. Limit physical activity and avoid activities that could strain their spine.

2. Medications: Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications or pain relievers to alleviate discomfort.

3. Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can aid in strengthening your dachshund’s muscles and improving their mobility, particularly beneficial for dogs with chronic spine issues.

4. Weight Management: Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for dachshunds to reduce strain on their spine. Consult your vet for a suitable diet plan.

5. Using Health & Care Accessories For Dachshunds:

For all the Dachshunds with back problems, we’ve stumbled upon something that’s both delightful and essential for our elongated friends. Anti-Slip Dachshund Stairs are made of ultra-durable memory foam to help seniors and pooches with pains.

Whether it’s to reach their favorite snuggle spot on the bed or to join you on the couch for an evening movie marathon, these stairs promise a cushioned and comfortable ascent.

They come padded with a premium non-slip fabric, ensuring your furry friend’s safety with every step. But beyond the comfort and convenience, there’s a health angle to consider. Dachshunds, due to their unique physique, can be prone to back and hip issues.

Incorporating health-focused items like these stairs into their daily routine can play a pivotal role in preventing spine-related problems. So, while the Doxie Dream Stairs make those high jumps easier and safer, they’re also a silent guardian for your Doxie’s health.

steps for dachshunds

Depending on your furniture height, you can choose steps made of two, three or four steps.

dachshund steps

How Does Dachshund Back Support Help In Easing Back Pains?

The Dachshund back support acts as a stabilizing brace, ensuring that the spine remains aligned. This reduces the risk of sudden movements or twists that can exacerbate or cause injuries.

By distributing the pressure along the length of the spine, the back support helps in reducing strain on any particular disc. It minimizes the chances of disc-related issues.

For Dachshunds already experiencing back pain, the back support can offer immediate relief by providing gentle compression and support, reducing inflammation and discomfort.

back pain in dachshunds

If a Dachshund has undergone back surgery, back support can be an invaluable aid during the recovery process. It ensures that the healing spine is well-supported and minimizes the risk of re-injury.

dachshund spine problems

Surgical Options For Treating Dachshund Back Problems

Another option for treating dachshund spine problems is more serious and must be recommended and done by the veterinarian! If conservative management isn’t providing enough relief or if the spine problem is too severe, surgical options might be considered.

This could involve repairing herniated discs, stabilizing the spine, or removing any troublesome structures. It’s important to remember that surgical procedures come with their own risks and recovery time, so it’s not a decision that you should take lightly!

dachshund spine problems- dachshund space

How to prevent dachshund spine problems?

Prevention is always better than cure, especially when it comes to our furry friends’ spines. So here are some tips and advice on how to prevent these problems:

  • Keeping our Dachshunds at a healthy weight and ensuring they get regular exercise can go a long way in supporting their spinal health. So, let’s grab that leash and go for a stroll – it’s good for both of us!
  • When it comes to fashion choices for our Dachshunds, we need to think about more than just cuteness. The right harness and collar can make a big difference in supporting the spine and reducing strain. Try to choose a harness that distributes the pressure evenly and avoids putting unnecessary stress on their delicate little necks. And hey, it doesn’t hurt if it looks fashionable too!
  • Whether it’s going up the stairs or hopping onto the couch, the way our Dachshunds move can impact their spinal health. Providing them with a little helping hand by supporting their back and teaching them proper posture during activities can minimize the risk of spine problems. 
  • Feeding your Doxie with a healthy diet is also essential. Since these pooches are prone to obesity, make sure you feed him/her with a healthy and well-balanced diet. Always choose quality over quantity, because feeding your pet with real proteins will keep his/her muscles strong. In that way, your Doxie will also avoid potential spine issues in the future. Note that strong muscles promote healthy posture and good mobility.
  • Choosing controlled exercise and allowing your dog to swim can help in easing pains in the back. Besides, swimming strengthens your Doxie’s muscles, so it’s one more reason why involve him/her in this activity.

Dachshund Back Problems: Wrapping up

By recognizing the signs and symptoms and exploring treatment options, we can help ease the pain and improve the quality of life for our Dachshund friends. With the right care and support, Dachshunds can lead happy, active lives despite their predisposition to spine problems!

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