Dachshund Health Concerns

by Nancy Boland

Just like all dogs breeds, dachshunds are genetically prone to specific health concerns. As    with most small dogs, dachshunds generally have a good life span, but staying aware of the variety of potential health issues your dachshund may be susceptible to can help with preventative measures, including early detection and treatment.

Some potential health problems dachshunds may develop include;


Back problems

Dachshunds have fragile backs and are prone to conditions such as; disk degeneration, spinal trauma, and back pain.  Like with all dog breeds these problems can be treated with physical therapy, medications, back braces and rest; or even surgery in severe cases.


Leg problems


Patellar luxation is prevalent among the dachshund breed, due to their short and often slightly bow legs which become sensitive and prone to developing such issues.



Seizures are one thing dachshunds may be genetically predisposed to.   Seizures can be life-threatening if not controlled correctly with appropriate medication, but with the right medical guidance dachshunds with seizures can lead a perfectly normal life.


Skin issues

Skin issues like patterned baldness can occur in the breed. While these problems aren’t life threatening they can substantially lower their quality of life is not controlled properly. Your vet can help  you organise  a treatment plan that relieves your dachshund from any irritation and inflammation that may occur during the course of their life.


Eye problems

Cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal dystrophy are some of the eye issues that are more  commonly inherited in the breed. Some are treatable, while other are progressive which is why it is so important to make sure if you purchase from a breeder that they have the appropriate tests to check whether any of the aforementioned conditions are prevalent.



Hypothyroidism can be very problematic as can  cause weight gain and inevitably obesity in dachshunds.  It can also be a cause of various other symptoms including; fatigue, inflammation, intolerance to cold temperatures, and skin problems.  This condition can be detected with a blood test but can be  managed well with medication.


Ear problems

The breeds long and floppy ears make him more prone to ear infections than dog breeds with a smaller set of ears.  This is because bacteria and yeast grow best in warm and moist environments so make for the perfect breeding ground.


Anal gland problems

Infection, rupturing, blockage, and inflammation of the anal glands are common in small dogs including dachshunds.  Excessive licking and odour are all symptoms and can be particularly problematic in dachshunds with allergies because of the inflammation caused.

Hip dysplasia

Although hip dysplasia typically affects large breed dogs, dachshunds are an exception for their small breed category.  It is important that all dachshunds are tested with the orthopedic foundation for animals before being bred, to minimise the chances of the puppies being born with the condition. Ask your vet for more information, or check with the breeder if you are interested in puppies.

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