Your dachshund may be a dog-and-a-half long, but being only half-a-dog high comes with a very particular suite of health concerns.
Joint pain, arthritis. The dreaded IVDD.
Read on to discover practical ways to reduce the risk of your happy dachy experiencing a painful back injury. Plus, find out how Rose-Hip Vital Canine can help to reduce inflammation and boost wellbeing long term, completely naturally and steroid-free!
The lowdown on dachshund back problems.
Did you know that 1 in 4 dachshunds will experience a back injury in their lifetime?
The most common causes of back injuries are unexpected accidents - like falls or collisions - or disc degeneration, leading to partial or full rupture of their spinal discs. This places pressure on the spinal chord, causing pain and even paralysis.
When this occurs in dachshunds, it will typically be diagnosed as Hansen’s Type 1 Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
What is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)?
Your dog’s intervertebral discs are cushiony, shock-absorbing discs that exist between the spinal vertebrae.
When your dog suffers from Intervertebral Disc Disease, it means these discs have lost their capacity to cushion movement of the vertebrae and have either ruptured, or partially ruptured. This can compress the spine, causing neurological damage which hinders mobility and sometimes causes paralysis.
While disc degeneration is common in aging dogs – and humans, too! – IVDD refers to an acute, early onset; typically in dogs aged between 3 to 7.
IVDD is particularly common in dogs that have a disproportionate body-to-limb ratio – much like the adorable dachshund. Other breeds prone to IVDD are the basset hound, corgi and even some bulldogs.
What are some early signs of IVDD in dachshunds?
You probably know your dachy very well, and can tell when something just doesn’t seem right.
You’ll recognise some of the general indicators of stress in a dachshund, including shivering, loss of appetite, rapid breathing and sometimes even aggression, if they’re feeling afraid and hostile.
Some indicators that they may be suffering from IVDD specifically include:
A hunched back – sometimes dachshunds will put themselves into this position to try to relieve the strain on their muscles and spine
Unwillingness to walk – your dachshund is probably in pain and will want to limit their movements
Crying or yelping when moved – this is a stress reaction to the sudden pain that moving them has caused
Reluctance to climb stairs or jump off furniture – this movement is likely to cause pain, so your dachshund will avoid doing it
Limping or 'wobbly' walking – this is an indication of nerve damage, signaling that their brain is struggling to control the movement of their legs
Incontinence – another indicator of neurological damage, incontinence indicates an inability to control the movement of their bowels
Paralysis of legs and/or tail – this means that the nerve pathways have been severely damaged, to the extent that their brain cannot send signals to these parts of their body
What you should do if you notice these symptoms.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dachshund, it’s best to take them to a vet immediately.
If you can’t do this straight away (for example, if they experience paralysis overnight or on the weekend), you should try to limit their movement as much as possible until you can take them in.
You can do this by keeping them comfortably contained in a crate, if you have one available, or in a large enough box to ensure they can relax on some soft bedding.
Your dachshund will probably be very distressed and experiencing quite a bit of pain, so try to keep them as calm and comfortable as possible.
The 5 stages of Intervertebral Disc Disease.
If your vet diagnoses your sausage dog with IVDD, they will generally categorise the severity in 5 stages:
Stage 1 – Neck or back pain only
Stage 2 – Ability to walk but with some difficulty
Stage 3 – Ability to move legs but can't use them to walk or stand
Stage 4 – Inability to move or stand on their legs, but can still feel pain
Stage 5 – Complete paralysis with no feeling of pain
Your dachshund will move through these stages progressively as their conditions worsens (and regressively as it improves).
What treatment options are available for IVDD?
Almost all IVDD recovery involves at least a month of crate rest.
Crate rest allows the damaged discs to fully heal, and for sufficient scar tissue to form.
During this time, your vet will recommend a strong anti-inflammatory to help reduce the swelling in your dachshund’s back, legs or neck.
Rose-Hip Vital® Canine is a 100% natural, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory that you can buy over the counter at Australian pet stores (or online here!)
We hear from families every day who tell us their dachshund's IVDD recovery was quicker and more effective with Rose-Hip Vital® Canine – you can hear from these families here.
Along with crate rest and anti-inflammatories, your vet may also recommend pain medication, x-rays, an MRI and in some cases, surgery.
Complementary therapies include hydrotherapy, cold laser treatment, acupuncture and chiro, all aimed at mitigating swelling and supporting muscle and joint recovery.
How to reduce your dachshund’s risk of IVDD.
There are several simple lifestyle changes you can make to lessen your dachshund’s risk of IVDD and related back issues. These include:
Daily Walks – exercise is one of the best ways to ensure your dachshund maintains healthy muscles and joints. It will also help you with our next tip…
Maintaining a Healthy Weight – excessive weight around your dachshund’s mid-section will add unnecessary pressure on their spine and back muscles. By keeping their weight down, you’ll be helping them to remain active and mobile for as long as possible.
Limit jumping and climbing – try to minimise the amount of jumping and climbing your dachshund has to do. This includes climbing stairs, launching into bed or jumping off the couch. By putting a ramp or step beside the couch, or carrying them up a flight of stairs, you’re reducing the risk of unexpected twists or tears.
Daily anti-inflammatory, antioxidant & multivitamin support - protect your dachshund's joints, coat and wellbeing, every day - not just when painful symptoms arise. By giving them a daily joint support and wellbeing supplement, like Rose-Hip Vital Canine, you can get ahead of inflammation and bolster your dachshunds defenses against immune mediated conditions.
How Rose-Hip Vital® Canine can help to prevent and manage symptoms.
Rose-Hip Vital® Canine is a 100% natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and daily multivitamin.
With 31 naturally-occurring, essential vitamins and minerals, your dachshund will benefit from a daily injection of vitamins E, B1 and B6, iron, magnesium, flavonoids, essential fatty acids – and so much more!
Rose-Hip Vital® Canine contains high levels of natural vitamin C.
Many popular wellbeing supplements contain synthetic vitamin C, which is usually discarded by the body before any benefits can be absorbed. Natural vitamin C is highly bioavailable, ensuring that it’s absorbed readily and effectively.
Unlike regular rosehip supplements, our unique extraction process activates the exclusive galactolipid, GOPO® - the secret behind our life-changing anti-inflammatory benefits. GOPO® neutralises rogue leucocytes, minimising free radical damage and dismantling inflammation before it can spread.
You might be wondering what goes into Rose-Hip Vital® Canine to make it so powerful?
The answer is nothing but pure and natural rosehips, ground into a fine powder.
It’s the patented way that we dry and manufacture our rosehips that makes our powder so unique. You can learn about the science behind it here – we have the backing of over 30 clinical trials!
How Rose-Hip Vital compares to other NSAIDS.
Rose-Hip Vital® Canine has been found to be well tolerated, with none of the side effects commonly associated with other NSAIDS.
It has no contraindications, making it perfectly safe to take alongside existing medication.
And because Rose-Hip Vital® Canine is completely natural, there’s no risk of overdosing. Just keep an eye on your dachshund’s excretions and you’ll know whether they’ve had too much – it’ll turn slightly orange!
Verified by real-life dachshund doggos!
We’ve already told you about the 30 clinical trials that support our anti-inflammatory claims, but what about hearing from our doggo community?
Check out this clip of Cheesie to see how he overcome IVDD with Rose-Hip Vital® Canine.
Rose-Hip Vital Canine helped Cheesie - even after steroids failed!
"Cheesie is a 10 years old Dachshund. He woke up one day with serious joint pain, and he couldn't walk much without screaming. He could only stand and walk a few steps and would end up sitting or lying down again. We tried steroids for Cheesie, and they worked for a few days but he than reverted to his inability to walk and kept sitting down. After 45 days of Rose-Hip Vital® Canine Cheesie has a new spring in his step and he is now walking at a fast pace. His joint pains have been 90% reduced since taking Rose-Hip Vital® Canine!" - Rachel, AUS
Lilo's parents wish they started her on Rose-Hip Vital Canine sooner!
"Rose-Hip Vital Canine has really helped Lilo age gracefully. We heard about it from our good friends @bella_and_bailey_the_dachies from Australia, and wanted to try it out. She started using Rose-Hip Vital Canine at the age of 12, but we wished we started her on it as a young pup! As an IVDD survivor of nearly 10 years, it has truly helped with further deterioration and inflammation of her joints and spine. Now, at the age of almost 15, Lilo is still a vibrant, active, and strong girl…even on her wheelchair! We are thankful for Rose-Hip Vital Canine, and hope that it’ll continue to keep Lilo strong and healthy in her remaining golden years." - April, USA
Bella has even more vitality than before her IVDD diagnosis!
"In January our beautiful and active 10 year old miniature dachshund Bella, had an episode with the early onset of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This was a scary time as we were dealing with something which we had no previous experience. Seeing Bella in pain and watching her lose co-ordination of her hind legs and having no stability was heartbreaking.
With a wonderful recommendation from friends, we discussed with our veterinarian about using Rose-Hip Vital Canine.
We commenced Bella on Rose-Hip Vital immediately and very quickly noticed positive changes.
With medication and strict crate rest she was improving but had become severely depressed. Within the first week of administering Rose-Hip Vital Canine to her, we noticed her depression was being alleviated and she was becoming her happy self. Over the next two weeks her co-ordination and stability began improving in her hind legs and she has continued to move forward.
We now have a fully recovered and happy girl, who shows more vitality than before her IVDD scare. She loves playing with her miniature dachshund brother Bailey, playing with her toys and especially loves chasing those pesky pigeons.
With such a great result with her joint health and general well-being, we have begun administering Rose-Hip Vital Canine to Bailey." - Anne, AUS
Bonus Tip! Rose-Hip Vital Canine can help with dachshund skin allergies, too!
Unfortunately for our tiny but mighty dachshund friends, back problems aren’t the only issue they have to contend with.
Red, inflamed and itchy skin can arise from certain skin and food allergies.
Allergic dermatitis is caused by the body’s overstimulated histamine response to certain triggers – making antihistamines and anti-inflammatories the best way to overcome painful allergic reactions.
Rose-Hip Vital Canine is packed full of natural vitamin C and the anti-inflammatory, GOPO®, providing a powerful trifecta of antioxidant, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory support.
And don’t forget that every tub of Rose-Hip Vital contains nothing but pure and natural ground rosehips, so it's perfectly safe for the whole family to share!