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Q: dachshund health ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: dachshund health
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: callie2-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 Feb 2003 08:45 PST
Expires: 12 Mar 2003 08:45 PST
Question ID: 159492
We have a new dachshund puppy, age 3 1/2 months. Excellent pedigree
and bloodlines. He is great in every way but his rear end is very
wobbly, weak and less mobile than his tfront end. Good muscle
development but his rear legs/wrists wobble both inside and outside
when walking. Rear quarters offer very little resistance when pressure
is applied from side - his rear end simply flops over. This is most
apparent after sleeping or napping. Once warmed up and playing, he's
fully capable of climbing stairs, running fast etc. Is there any
information about the dachshund breed SPECIFICALLY and how to diagnose
hip/leg problems?
Subject: Re: dachshund health
Answered By: knowledge_seeker-ga on 10 Feb 2003 10:49 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hi Callie,

You’ve asked a very important question here. 

Before I start, I have to remind you that any answer I give should not
replace having your pup seen by a veterinarian.  Google Answers is not
a place to get medical advice. We are researchers, not doctors, and
our job is to point you towards helpful information.

Having gotten that caveat out of the way let me address your question.

First of all, I’m not sure what your history with dachshunds is, but
if you don’t already know, you should be aware that wobbly or weak
hind legs in dachshunds and other “long” breeds is not a good sign and
can indicate spinal injury or disease. You really should have your
puppy examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to prevent his
condition from getting worse. By worse, I mean progressing to full
paralysis of the hind legs.

The issue with “long” dogs (also known as chondrodystrophic breeds)
such as dachshunds is the shape of the bones and the cartilage that
make up their spine. There is an inherent suspension problem there
that makes these dogs susceptible to what is called Intervertebral
Disc Disease (IVD).

Please see the following information and website cited below: 


Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVD)

“Type I IVD  occurs commonly in chondrodystrophic breeds starting as
early as 4 months of age. The disk loses its moisture content and
starts to mineralize. The stresses of daily living cause it to
degenerate, ultimately rupturing its contents into the spinal canal
and putting pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord.”

“Several canine breeds are prone to getting IVD. They are called
chondrodystrophic due to the shape of their bones from breeding:

Dachshunds, Welsh corgi, Lhasa apso's , Shih Tzu's , Cocker spaniels,
Beagles, Pekingese

“The most common cause is the natural degeneration of the disk that
occurs in the chondrodystrophic breeds when young, and the larger
breed dogs as they age.”

“When IVD occurs at the junction of the thoracic and lumbar
(thoracolumbar) vertebrae, symptoms might be different than in the
cervical version. Some of these symptoms depend on whether there is a
Type I or Type II problem…”


Crying in pain or shaking 
A consistent symptom noticed by owners is their dog crying as if
something hurts. It might happen spontaneously, or it might happen
when you pet or pick your dog up. Those of us that have had a pinched
nerve understand how severe this pain can become.

Reluctance to move 
This might manifest itself as a hesitation to jump onto the bed,
reluctance to go up or down stairs, or just laying around more than

Poor appetite (anorexia) 
The pain that occurs can decrease the appetite.

Ataxia to rear quarters 
A dog might walk around as if the back end is going in a different
direction than the front end. This is caused by pressure on the nerve
roots that go to the rear legs.

Paraparesis or paralysis to rear legs 
The pressure on the nerve root can become so severe that it can
completely impair the nerve and cause paralysis.

Tense abdomen 
This is called referred pain, and can mimic the symptoms of other

Hunched appearance 
An additional problem related to pain

Fecal or urinary incontinence 
These are relatively severe signs of thoracolumbar disease

Intervertebral Disk Disease


These websites pretty much give the same information, but I thought
I’d give them to you so that you could see how IVD applies
specifically to dachshunds.

Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Prepared for  The Dachshund Club of America, Inc.

What is intervertebral disk disease?

GENETIC JOINT DISORDERS - (Occurrence for Dogs as Groups as listed by
the AKC)


So Callie, not to try to scare you here, but I really think you need
to have your puppy checked out thoroughly by a veterinarian
immediately. Obviously, I can’t diagnose him from here, so (with luck)
I may be completely off the mark. It could be something much less
worrisome than IVD. But, given the signs you’ve mentioned, and what I
know about dachshunds and have subsequently read, I think your best
bet is to have him checked out.

Good luck and thank you for your question. 


search terms:

dachshund rear legs weak
Intervertebral Disk Disease dachshund
callie2-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
The researcher did not offer anything new that I did not already know.
However - the web site addresses may be useful.

There are no comments at this time.

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