The Most Common Diseases in Dachshunds

The identification, monitoring and treatment of diseases in dachshunds are key so that these don't reduce their quality of life.
The Most Common Diseases in Dachshunds
Daniel Aguilar

Written and verified by the vet Daniel Aguilar.

Last update: 21 December, 2022

Within the canine world, there’s a very peculiar breed whose anatomical characteristics and social behavior make it incredibly popular. We’re talking about the Dachshund. They’re considered excellent companion dogs, and an ideal addition to the family. However, they’re prone to suffer several different illnesses or diseases that can put their health at risk. Find out about the most common diseases in Dachshunds today.

In this article, we’ll discuss the main diseases in Dachshunds and how they develop. In addition, we’ll share with you the best options to prevent or treat them. Don’t miss this article; your pet deserves to have a life with the best possible health conditions, so that they’ll remain by your side for many years to come.

What are Dachshunds?

Coming from a crossbreeding of more than three breeds and of German origin, Dachshunds are dogs with enormous energy reserves. They were originally used by man to hunt small mammals. Over 100 years after coming into existence, they have now moved from the countryside to the home, and are now of the friendliest breeds around.

Also known as “sausage dogs”, they can easily be identified by their long torso and short legs. These dogs, even though they may seem to be in perfect health, have a genetic predisposition to develop a series of pathologies that are typical of the breed. The following are the most common diseases in Dachshunds.

Common diseases in Dachshunds.

Intervertebral disc disease

The famous nickname of “dachshunds” has been acquired thanks to their interesting elongated appearance, a factor that turns out to be a trigger for this painful pathology. The intervertebral discs of these dogs, by nature present, exert a higher pressure than normal, which causes numerous herniated discs that produce a lot of pain and discomfort when walking.

For diagnosis, it will be easy to observe your pet reluctant to move and with hypersensitivity throughout the back. As soon as any of these signs appear, it is important to get medical attention. To diagnose it, the veterinarian asks for an x-ray, which will show this disc problem.

This condition can arise without warning; nevertheless, some preventive actions can reduce the risk of them developing.

  • Reduce sudden movements when carrying your dog. Remember that, by doing so, the weight of its body will fall on its spine and you could hurt them.
  • Keep them on a balanced diet that will keep them at their ideal weight. Obese dogs will undoubtedly have a greater predisposition to suffer from this and many other diseases.
  • Be sure to do physical activity regularly. We suggest taking them for walks in open spaces where they can run and exercise healthily.


One of the common diseases in Dachshunds, that usually affects adult canines close to five years of age, is hypothyroidism. This condition is characterized by an abnormal production of thyroid hormone. When low levels of this substance circulate in their bodies, the chances of cardiac problems, dermatological processes, and diabetes increase considerably.

It’s possible to detect hypothyroidism in dogs when they exhibit abnormal behavioral changes, either sudden aggressiveness or indifference to situations that normally generate excitement. Also, a sudden weight gain could be a wake-up call. Keep your pet under observation and share these changes with your veterinarian.

The treatment of this disease is based on the administration of synthetic thyroid hormone. It starts with applications every 12 hours for an indefinite period of time. Once the symptoms have diminished, the vet will reduce the frequency, prescribing the dose every 24 hours. Depending on the severity of the case, some dogs may require treatment for life.


Among the common diseases in Dachshunds, seizures are considered the most common chronic neurological disorder in their breed. These seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity of the brain. As a result, the dogs manifest strange behavior and involuntary movements for short periods of time.

In order to diagnose the disease, it’s important to notify your veterinarian of all the irregularities you observe in your pet. The most obvious symptom shown by these canines are irregular and repetitive seizures in which they experience a loss of voluntary control.

This type of disease in Dachshunds requires medical treatment based on the administration of antiepileptic drugs. The drug of choice is usually phenobarbital, which can reduce seizures by up to 90%.

Acanthosis nigricans

Dogs are prone to develop a number of skin diseases, however, when talking about acanthosis nigricans, out of all dog breeds, cases have only been reported in Dachshunds. The highest rate has been reported in puppies, although its occurrence in older dachshunds isn’t ruled out.

Unlike other diseases in Dachshunds, acanthosis nigricans is characterized by the appearance of thick, grayish wounds located in the dog’s axillae and groin area. Generally, pruritus and desquamation usually accompany this bothersome pathology. Once the disease appears in the patient, it’ll accompany them their whole life.

To date, there’s no specific treatment to cure this condition. To control it, vets will recommend the use of soaps and other medicated hygiene products that reduce the symptoms and the risk of secondary infections.

Ocular pathologies

Certain diseases in dachshunds are hereditary in origin. Sometimes, their appearance is inevitable and the only thing left to do is to offer the best possible conditions so that they don’t cause repercussions on their health. Within this group are three ocular pathologies that can frequently affect your pet:

  • Progressive atrophy of the retina: Known as night blindness, it’s characterized by a gradual decrease in vision. Dogs with this problem may collide with objects when walking and, because of this, they may avoid moving when light is scarce.
  • Cataracts: This pathology is distinguished by the appearance of a whitish membrane over the crystalline lens. Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions in dachshunds. Older dogs are those who most frequently suffer from this disease. For its correction, surgical intervention will be the best option.
  • Glaucoma: Caused by an increase in eye pressure, glaucoma causes progressive damage to the optic nerve that could lead to total blindness. Although it’s difficult to recognize this disease, it’s important to make regular visits to the veterinarian for its detection. Its early identification will favor a positive outcome.

Von Willebrand’s disease

Three dachshunds.

Like the eye pathologies we have mentioned to you, Von Willebrand’s disease also happens to have a hereditary origin. In this disease, the canine’s life could be in danger, as large blood losses and internal and external hemorrhages will manifest themselves. Any injury, no matter how small, could have serious consequences for your pet.

The diagnosis of this type of disease will require genetic tests and blood tests where the levels of Von Willerbrand factor are measured. There’s no cure for this disease, however, it’s a pathology that under proper monitoring can be controlled.

Now that you know a little more about the common diseases in Dachshunds, you can take better preventative measures to protect their health. Don’t overlook any abnormality in their behavior.

Remember that the best way to preserve the welfare of all your pets is to follow the recommendations of professionals and to have regular check-ups throughout their lives.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.