Dachshund Health

Overview of Dachshund Health

As a generally healthy breed, the Dachshund has a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years. Critical to this is a good, regular veterinary care, a quality diet and moderate exercise to maintain good muscle tone.
The Dachshund’s long back can make them susceptible to back issues, so be be sure to keep them from becoming overweight, and always monitor their activities to avoid back injury.

General Care for Your Dachshund

Diet – Dachshunds should always be fed on a schedule and never allowed to free feed. With their ravenous appetites they can easily become overweight and at risk for health issues associated with excess weight. Speak with your Veterinarian for advice on the diet that works best for your Dachshund.

Exercise – Dachshunds should be active and have a daily routine of on-leash walks and free play. Senior Dachshunds will need less exercise than younger adults. Use caution when exercising a puppy and gradually build up their activity level until its a year old when its bones and muscles are more developed.

Dental Care – Teeth should be cleaned at least once a week. Click here for a list of dental products safe for use on your Dachshund.

Wellness Exams – It’s important for your Dachshund to be examined at least once a year, even if they appear to be in perfect health. Click here to learn what to expect in a wellness exam.

Recommended Screening for Breeding Dachshunds

  1. Patella Luxation - Dogs should be evaluated at 12 months or older and should be reevaluated.
  2. Eye Examination - By a Board Certified Ophthalmologist of the America College of Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
  3. Basic Cardiac Examination with involves auscultation with a stethoscope by any licensed veterinarian.

Suggested Additional Screening for Breeding Dachshunds

  1. LaFora - Screening for a rare inherited, late onset, progressive myoclonic epilepsy. Can be completed at any age.
  2. PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) - Screening for degenerating cells within the eye leading to early blindness. Can be completed at any age.
  3. Thyroid - Screening for any imbalance of metabolism controlling Thyroxine.  Can be completed as early as 12 months.
  4. BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) - Hearing Screening. Can be completed as early as 6 weeks of age.

For more information please see the Dachshund Club of America, Inc.