Like many highly developed dogs, Dachshunds as a dog breed suffer numerous health issues.
The more common Dachshund health issues include: Acanthosis Nigricans, Adenocarcinomas, Alopecia, Atlantoaxial Subluxation, Blepharitis, Black Hair Follicular Dysplasia, Cutaneous Histiocytoma, Cataracts, Congenital Deafness, Corneal Dystrophy, Corneal Ulcers, Cryptorchidism, Cushing’s Disease, Dermoid Cysts, Diabetes Mellitus, Distichiasis, Ear Infections, Ehler-Danlos Syndrome, Entropion, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, Hernias, Hypothyroidism, Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anaemia, Intervertebral Disk Disease, Lipomas, Lysosomal Storage Diseases, Malassezia Dermatitis, Mast Cell Tumours, Melanoma (Limbal), Mitral Valve Disease, Narcolepsy-Cataplexy, Pannus, Patella Luxation, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Pemphigus Foliaceus, Persistent Pupillary Membranes, Pododermatitis, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Pyoderma, Retinal Detachment, Sebborhea, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Thrombocytopenia, Urolithiasis, Vasculitis and von Willebrand’s Disease. Some of these are further explained below.
You’d be surprised at the number of Dachshund health issues you could actually diagnose and treat yourself, at a fraction of the cost of taking your Dachshund to the vet. Written by vet John Bleby, The Dog’s Health from A-Z: A Canine Veterinary Dictionary, descibes how many canine illnesses can be self-diagnosed and treated, or avoided altogether, with a little knowledge and understanding. While this book cannot take the place of your vet, it certainly demonstrates that there’s much you can do to prevent many problems occuring in the first place. We are more than happy to recommend this excellent book which is certain to pay for itself in the fullness of time!
Please note however, the fact that the Dachshund as a breed may be susceptible to these illnesses does not necessarily mean that your Dachshund puppy will develop any of them. We list them here purely as a guide only.
A congenital medical condition, Entropion can be found in many dog breeds, including Dachshunds. It results in the eyelids folding inwards and causing discomfort when the eyelashes constantly rub against the cornea. Providing it is noticed early enough before the cornea is damaged, this condition can be treated by a relatively simple operation in which the excess skin of the outer eyelid is removed.
Mast Cell Tumours
Mast Cell Tumours are cancerous tumours or growths found mainly on the skin, although they can occur elsewhere in the body including the spleen and liver as well as beneath the skin itself. If visible (on the skin) such growths are likely to be raised, round and red, and likely to change size with surprising speed. They are also likely to cause irritation to your dog.
Mast Cells form part of the immune system in animals and humans. The reddening of Mast Cell Tumours is caused by the release of histamine, an organic compound present in all of us, which helps protect against disease except when the histamine is released in large quantities.
Mast Cell Tumours are one of the most common skin tumours found in dogs, with some dog breeds being more susceptible than others. Such tumours are rare in dogs less than one year old and older than ten, and considered more common in female dogs than male dogs.
While the cause of Mast Cell Tumours is unknown, they can generally be treated successfully by surgical procedure if spotted early enough. This is generally followed by radiation and chemotherapy. It is however not uncommon for them to reoccur, and secondary cancers are not uncommon.
Patella Luxation (Dislocated Kneecap)
Also known as ‘trick knee’, Patella Luxation is a medical condition that affects many small breeds of dog. It also affects a number of larger dogs, although to a lesser extent than with the smaller breeds. Typically becoming evident at an early age (4-6 months), it is a congenital condition in which the patella or kneecap dislocates easily due to the shallowness of the socket in which the patella sits. Depending on its severity, this condition may require surgery to correct the abnormality. If left untreated in the severest of cases, this can also result in osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of joint cartilage due to the unnatural mechanical movement of affected limbs.
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