IMPORTAND TO KNOW ABOUT THE HEALTH OF YOUR PUPPY


Not all Bouviers will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD): Dachshunds are especially prone to having back problems. This may be due to genetics, moving the wrong way, or falling or jumping on or off furniture. Symptoms of a problem include an inability to raise up on the rear legs, paralysis, and sometimes loss of bowel and bladder control. It's important to always support your Dachshund's back and rear when holding him. Treatment may consist of anything from crate confinement with anti-inflammatory medications to surgery to remove the discs that are causing the problem or even confining the dog to a doggie wheelchair. Some owners have found that they can help ward off problems by taking their Dachshunds to chiropractors, acupuncturists, or rehabilitation therapists who have experience working with dogs.

  • Epilepsy: Dachshunds are prone to having epileptic seizes. In dogs that are affected, it's thought that the condition is either genetic or brought about as the result of a fall or a hard blow to the head. If your Dachshund has seizures, take him to your vet to determine what treatment is appropriate. In many cases, epilepsy can be controlled with medication.

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don't make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable breeders have their dogs' eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease. A DNA test for PRA is available for miniature longhaired Dachshunds.

  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) Also called Bloat or Torsion: This is a life-threatening condition that most often affects large dogs, but because of their deep chests, it also can affect Dachshunds. GDV occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists (torsion). The dog is unable to belch or vomit to rid itself of the excess air in its stomach, and the normal return of blood to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure drops and the dog goes into shock. This is a medical emergency. Without immediate medical attention, the dog can die. Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen, is salivating excessively and retching without throwing up. He also may be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak with a rapid heart rate. It's important to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible. There is some indication that a tendency toward GDV is inherited.

  • Cushings Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism): This condition occurs when the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. It can be due to an imbalance in the pituitary gland or in the adrenal gland, or it can occur when a dog has too much cortisol from other conditions. The most common signs are excess urination and excess drinking. If your Dachshund exhibits these signs, take him to the veterinarian. There are treatments to help with this disease from the removal of a gland to medications.

  • Canine Diabetes Mellitus (DM): Diabetes is occasionally seen in Dachshunds, particularly if they're overweight. Diabetes can be treated with diet and daily insulin injections. Signs include excessive urination and thirst and weight loss despite a ravenous appetite

  • Deafness: Hearing loss isn't common in the breed, but it can occur in double dapple Dachshunds. Ask if the puppy and its parents were BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) tested for hearing loss. This is not available in all areas but is available at most large specialty practices and teaching hospitals at veterinary schools. It can be done any time after the puppy is five weeks old.

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