Dachshund Health Issues


The famous symbol of Germany – the Dachshund (meaning “the badger dog”), is known for his specific body shape. Because of his short legs and long body, he is also called “wiener dog” or “sausage dog”. The average life expectancy of a Dachshund is 12 – 16 years.

Dogs from this almost 600 years old breed are very strong, persistent, and smart. Due to their constitution, sharp teeth and claws, they are perfect for the successful hunting of badges and other animals (mice, rabbits, prairie dogs) hiding in burrows.

Dachshunds are classified by their coat into three groups:

  • Smooth
  • Long-haired
  • Wire-haired

When it comes to size, they can be standard-sized (16-32 lb) or miniature-sized (<12 lb).

Dachshunds can be great and loyal family pets. They are playful, cheerful, and can adapt very well to apartment living, but they need their daily walks and attention. Their tendency for digging holes should also be kept in mind if you have a garden. Since they are alert watchdogs, you should expect lots of barking especially when approaching strangers and other dogs.

Do Dachshunds Have Health Issues?

Like most other breeds, Dachshunds have been reported to be more prone to certain diseases. Some of them occur precisely due to the specific constitution and body shape of Dachshunds.

Below is a list of several diseases that are more likely to occur in Dachshunds, which doesn’t mean that they cannot develop other diseases nor that these listed diseases will occur for sure in your pet. But being aware of the health issues your dog can face and develop during his lifetime, you can detect the signs on time, act accordingly, and prevent further complications.

The diseases and other health issues Dachshunds are genetically predisposed to are the following:

  • Spinal problems: intervertebral disk disease (IVDD)
  • Neurological disorders: epilepsy, narcolepsy, Lafora disease, granulomatous meningoencephalitis (GME)
  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hip necrosis, osteogenesis imperfecta (mostly in wire-haired Dachshunds)
  • Heart issues: degenerative mitral valve disease
  • Eye problems: glaucoma, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Cherry eye, dry eye
  • Liver issues: portosystemic shunt (PSS)
  • Gastric issues: hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE), gastroenteritis
  • Immune disorders: immune-mediated Thrombocytopenia
  • Bladder and kidney stones
  • Von Willebrand´s disease
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Ear infections
  • Cancer/tumors: mast cell tumor or squamous cell carcinoma, anal sac cancer, mammary gland cancer, liposarcoma
  • Mange

It’s impossible to predict whether and when a dog with get sick, but by purchasing a Dachshund puppy from a reliable breeder, it’s possible to reduce the risk of certain diseases. Any responsible breeder will provide the certificates that confirm that puppies are free of genetically inherited diseases and that they have received all the necessary veterinary care.

Dachshunds can live a long life, but you should have in mind that 1 out of 4 Dachshunds can have problems with their spine in their middle ages. To extend your dog’s lifespan, provide him with a healthy and good diet, a proper amount of exercise, and regular trips to the veterinarian.