Back Problems in Doxies

Like any breed, Dachshunds are at risk for an abundance of diseases and conditions.Due to their long bodies and short legs they are most at risk for spinal problems.One of the most common forms is a condition called IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease), which is an umbrella term for an abundance of problems.

Vertebrae are the hard bones that make up the spinal column support.They encompass the spinal cord and are separated by soft tissue called intervertebral discs, which provide a cushion between the bones.  IVDD threatens a Dachshund’s health in several different ways.

Excessive jumping and other forms of back stress can cause a rupture of one or more discs, usually toward the rear.  IVDD and other back problems occur most frequently by age four but can happen earlier, sometimes as young as two.Simple age can cause the disc to decrease its fluid level, making it less pliant.That also increases the probability of rupture or herniation.Often the spinal column becomes more fragile.

If that transpires, a number of serious possibilities exist.

As a portion of the spine loses vital support, the spinal cord can be put in jeopardy.  If compression occurs, paralysis is not far behind.Constriction of spinal fluid can have similar consequence.  Loss of circulation leads to nerve death, since the nerves are cut off from needed nutrition.

Look for any instance of inability to elevate the rear end off the ground or lowering near the tail.Other signs include loss of bladder control or weakness in the rear legs.

In these extreme cases, treatment – usually surgery – within 24 hours is critical.The outcome is frequently permanent disability if left untreated.

Even in less serious instances back pain is present.It can be hard to detect when a dog is in pain but symptoms include difficulty walking up stairs, lethargy and similar signs in an otherwise active dog.

Treatment with corticosteroids (such as Prednisone) is occasionally recommended but entails risks.  Apart from the usual risks of long-term steriod use, it is possible to overdo care.  Lessening pain is desirable, but if it is eliminated the dog can become too active again, leading to more injury.Adequan injections can help assist in disc healing.

Whether treated with steroids or just Rimadyl, it is wise to cage your Doxie or otherwise keep him calm, reducing physical activity.Given their assertive and active nature that is difficult, but it is essential.

Do not let the dog to stand on its hind legs, which compresses the spine.Do not let the dog to jump down stairs.Yard games should be restricted until the dog has fully healed.Always support the entire length of the spine when picking up your Doxie.

With the right kind of care many Doxies recover completely to lead active, normal, healthy lives.But accurate diagnosis as early as possible is essential to improve the odds.

More tips, information and dog supplies can be found at, just for Dog Lover’s