Dachshund Health

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Dachshund Health Issues

Dachshunds generally suffer few health problems providing they are kept well exercised and fed a healthy, balanced diet. On average, they live to more than 12 years old. There are some things to be aware of though ...


Mini Wire Dachshunds can suffer from a particular form of epilepsy called Lafora Disease and there is a DNA screening test available. 4% of dogs in general, suffer from epilepsy. At the moment, we have no quantified evidence of epilepsy in UK Dachshunds, although it has been reported in Mini Longs and Standard Wires.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA - cord 1)

PRA is a group of genetic diseases similar to retinitis pigmentosa in humans, it is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.


Dachshunds, being a "dwarf" breed, have a condition known as CHONDRODYSTROPHY - “chondro” means cartilage and “dystrophy” means disorder. Chondrodystrophy refers to the abnormal development of bone from a cartilage skeleton during growth from a puppy to an adult. The long bones of the body tend to be affected the most and this results in short limbs. It is “genetically programmed” in dwarf breeds such as Dachshunds. Discs have an outer fibrous capsule (annulus) and inner gel nucleus. Discs degenerate with age in all animals – they lose water, become more fibrous and sometimes mineralised (calcified). The fibrous annulus can also rupture. Degeneration takes place much earlier in chondrodystrophic breeds, i.e. from 12-18 months, compared with 6-8 years in nonchondrodystrophic breeds. Disc disease can and does happen at any age. Also known as: Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).

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Reducing the risk of injury While there is not much that can be done to prevent disc degeneration, there are things you can try to do to reduce the risk of injury:

  • Regular exercise -
  • Build up gradually from puppyhood to 12 months; 5 minutes of “formal” exercise per day per month of age
  • Keep in fit, well-muscled condition, as Dachshunds were meant to be; adults require 45-60 minutes of mixed exercise per day (free-running and on-lead)
  • Being overweight can put more stress on the spine, as well as leading to other potential health problems  Lift your Dachshund using two hands, one supporting the chest and one supporting the back