Spinal Problems in Dachshunds
Dachshunds have a very long spinal column and short, crooked legs. Because of the way dachshunds are put together their joints and discs between vertebrae degenerate early.
In a dog with a healthy spine the discs are like flexible cushions between vertebrae. As the dog gets older the discs lose their flexibility and harden. This condition is called Inter vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and usually occurs between 3-6 years of age.
The risk for this disease is increased by obesity, jumping, rough handling, or intense exercise. Vets recommend keeping your dachshund from becoming overweight. Also, keeping them from jumping on or off furniture, and climbing stairs.
Regular exercise is important but don’t let them do things that stress their back such as sitting up and begging. You can also let them use a ramp to allow access to furniture. Many dachshund owners says though that is difficult to get their dog’s to use the ramp.
Rough play can also increase the possibility for Dachshund back injuries. Both your child and your dog get excited playing together. You will need to talk to your children and explain to them that rough play might cause injury to the dog’s back and ask them to play more gently.
Here are the symptoms of IVDD:
Difficulty standing or with stairs
Yelping or biting when lifted, due to neck and back pain
Hind leg weakness or in coordination
Total hindquarters paralysis
Inability to defecate, or urinate.
Up to 78% of dachshunds recover in time from IVDD without surgery. They should be confined for at least six weeks. Water therapy, acupuncture and chiropractic treatments help. Treating IVDD is expensive, pet insurance is recommended.
Alternative treatments for IVDD are
Acupuncture – Simple injuries or problems may only need one acupuncture treatment, but if a problem is slightly more complex, it may take more than one treatment to improve the issue.
Glucosamine and Chondroitin - are helpful in repairing and strengthening damaged cartilage.
Antioxidants – Vitamins C, A and E are effective antioxidants and are beneficial for dogs with back problems.
A preventive measure you can take is to give your pet a supplement which will help support their skeletal system and joints PetAlive Muscle & Joint Support is specially formulated for pets and contains a unique formula combining an herb with biochemic tissue salts and nutritional substances all well known for their support of the skeletal system, including muscles, joints, cartilage and tendons.
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