Because of their long body shape, dachshunds are known to have many back problems. It is not unheard of for a dachshund to end up partially, or fully, paralyzed at some pint in their lifetime. They are prone to IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease), which is a degenerative disease that causes their spinal disks to age faster than normal. As the disks deteriorate, they become fragile and brittle over time. This can cause disks to bulge out and create pressure on the dachshunds spinal cord. This results in pressure on the spinal cord, nerve damage, and can even lead to paralysis. IVDD afflicts roughly 25% of Dachshunds. Depending on the location of the affected disk, signs can occur anywhere in the dogs body from their neck to their hind legs. IVDD is linked to the long shape of a dachshunds back, as well as their short legs.
Types of Canine Paralysis
The three primary types of canine paralysis are Tetraplegia, Paraplegia, and Paresis. Tetraplegia is the inability to move all four legs. Paraplegia is the inability to move the hind legs. Paresis is a partial paralysis where your dog can still move, but with much difficulty.
Signs of Dachshund Back Problems
Symptoms of IVDD in dogs can include:
- anxious behavior
- muscle spasms in the neck and/or back
- pain and weakness in hind legs
- unwillingness to jump
- crying when touched
- crying when not being touched
- hunched back or neck
- loose bowels, loss of bladder control
- reduced appetite
- reduced activity level
How to Pick Up a Dachshund with Back Problems
A dachshunds long spine is already sensitive due to their long build. It’s important to take extra care when picking up your dachshund, as well as when putting him/her down. When picking up your dachshund, first place one hand under their chest and the other hand under their rump. You’ll need to evenly distribute their weight while making sure to create a flat platform in your arms for your dachshund to rest comfortably in. Always carry your dachshund with both arms, holding it close to your body. Keep their spine straight as you lift the dog and while you continue to hold him/her in your arms. When it comes time to set your pup down, make sure to set it down gently. Place the dog down with its paws towards the ground. If your dachshund is unable to stand, lay it down in your arms and then gently slide your arms out from underneath it.
Dachshund Back Problems Treatment
There are precautions you can take to manage IVDD in an effort to improve your dachshunds quality of life. Two highly recommended supplements for dachshunds with back problems are Turmeric and Omega 3's. Turmeric helps to reduce inflammation, which is one of the main causes of joint pain. It's also good for their heart and brain health. Omega 3's offer anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as improved joint health and heart health. The Omega-3 fatty acids also help reduce the effects of arthritis in dogs.
For severe dachshund back problems, surgery may be necessary to prevent paralysis. During the surgery, the offending disc material is removed, and the injured disk is treated. Physical therapy will also be necessary during the healing process after the surgery.
CBD Oil for Dachshund with Back Problems
CBD (cannabidiol) oil is an all-natural extract of the cannabis/hemp plant that is used to treat a variety of conditions. It is very beneficial for treating health issues in dachshunds, as well as other breeds. Back problems are a top health concern for dachshunds. CBD is a viable solution for treating IVDD, as it works as a natural painkiller and a powerful anti-inflammatory. It stimulates your dogs built-in endocannabinoid system to control metabolism and appetite. This helps with maintaining a healthy weight for your dachshund. CBD oil a non-toxic and non-psychoactive natural remedy that helps to reduce stress on your dog, reduce inflammation, and block pain signals from nerve issues and arthritis. While it is non-toxic, it is important to keep in mind the proper dosage for your dog’s size. Since dachshunds are a small breed, they generally will not need much CBD oil per dosage. Your vet can help you determine the exact dosage and strength you need for your dog’s specific size and weight.
CBD oil will also help your dachshund with other conditions such as:
- Epilepsy - an inherited condition that causes seizures.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy - a degenerative eye disorder that eventually leads to blindness as the photoreceptors in the back of the eyes begins to fail.
- Gastric Dilation and Volvulus - a life threatening disorder that is commonly seen in dogs with large chests.