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Health & Care of the Dachshund
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Since 1964

Promoting the health and wellbeing of purebred Dachshunds

Looking after the Dachshund

Owning a Dachshund is a long term investment. Whether you choose to purchase a puppy from a registered ANKC breeder or whether you choose to rehome an older dog, their care and wellbeing is of utmost importance. Dachshunds can live up to 17 years of age and some have been known to live longer, so please do your research and give serious thought to what will be a long term commitment before inviting a Dachshund into your home and having them become a part of your family.

Care & Grooming

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Avoid dog ear infections by practicing preventive care. Cleaning your dog’s ears is important for good grooming and overall health.

Keeping the dog’s ears clean is important because a damp environment creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria and fungus, often leading to painful sensitivity, redness, swelling and infection.

A weekly ear cleaning with an approved cleansing solution minimizes or prevents dog ear infections.

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Dog toenails grow as do human fingernails and toenails. The nails should be kept in good trim to avoid scratching when the dog paws at a bare human leg and to keep the dog’s structure as sound as possible. Long nails can cause the dog to rock back on his paws, causing strain on his leg assemblies and interfering with his gait.
Sometimes, dog nails grind down if the dog exercises on concrete. Otherwise, the nails should be trimmed regularly. Regular nail trimming is important to your dog’s health and well being, especially the dew claw.

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Try to brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis. Start slowly. Don’t restrain your dog too much, or you’ll scare him. Initially, go through the motion of cleaning your dog’s teeth with your finger to show him that there is nothing to be scared of. After your dog is comfortable, you are ready to advance to a toothbrush. Never use human toothpaste – always use dog toothpaste that you can buy from your vet or pet shop.

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You will need to groom your dachshund but can do a lot of the grooming yourself and don’t need to pay a professional if you learn the basics. Brush, wash and trim your dachshund’s coat to keep it healthy, shiny and tangle-free. Long and wire-haired varieties need more work than the smooth-haireds who are relatively low maintenance.

Care & Health

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Dachshund Weight Guide

For a healthy, happy Dachshund, it is important to keep him or her at the ideal weight throughout his life.

Just like in humans, being overweight, or indeed underweight, can lead to serious health risks.

It is good to get into the habit of checking your Dachshund’s weight on a regular basis. The Pet Size O-Meter is the perfect tool to help you do this.

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Intervertebral Disk Disease

Intervertebral disk disease is a major clinical problem in the dachshund breed.  However, by recognising the causes and consequences of the problem, owners may prevent a great deal of difficulties by restricting the amount of excessive jumping and managing the weight of their dogs.

In the event disk herniation does occur, veterinary attention should be sought immediately.

The Dachshund IVDD Support link below offers more information on this critical issue.


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Cushings Disease

Cushing Disease usually affects older dogs and causes increased drinking, increased urination, increased appetite, panting, high blood pressure, hair loss – usually evenly distributed on both sides of the body.

As well as, pendulous abdomen, thinning of the skin, calcified lumps in the skin, susceptibility to skin infections and diabetes, weakening of the heart and skeletal muscles, nervous system disease and other symptoms.

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Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrands disease is considered to be a mild to moderate bleeding disorder.

Many dogs with this disease do not ever experience a severe bleeding episode. But they can and there are reports of fatalities associated with this condition and surgical procedures.

The following link is an excellent resource.

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Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) (found in Miniature Long and Miniature Smooth Dachshunds) is a term for retinal degenerations occurring in many breeds of dogs. The disease results in a degeneration of the light-sensitive membrane at the back of the eye – the retina – resulting in loss of vision, and often leading to blindness.

PRA has been diagnosed in all varieties of Dachshunds but there has been a predominant incidence in the mini long-haired variety.

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Sarcoglycan Deficient Muscular Dystrophy

SDMD is a form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy associated with a mutation in a muscle sarcoglycan gene and has been identified in young miniature Dachshunds from Australia, South Africa and the US.

It is recommended that all miniature Dachshunds should be tested for SDMD before being used for breeding. A SDMD DNA test is available from Orivet Australia.