Christmas Ornaments for Dachshunds

Christmas is nearing and I have found the most adorable Dachshund Christmas ornaments and gifts for Dachshund lovers.  I put up a new site for just dog Christmas ornaments and gifts at www.FavoriteDogChristmas.com. All other human Holiday Decorations are at www.MyFavoriteHolidayStore.com. Join the holiday newsletter at MyFavoriteHolidayStore.com and you will get the early alerts for Black Friday savings and other discounts and coupons to help save on your Christmas shopping.

So while we are talking about Dachshunds, I thought I would cover some common diseases found in the Dachshund breed.

Although some of these diseases are found in Dachshunds the overwhelming majority of Doxies are born healthy and live long, mostly disease-free lives. Some minor health issues arise for nearly every dog at some point, even those who receive early vaccinations and excellent life-long care.

Nevertheless, there are some conditions that tend to occur more frequently in Dachshunds than in other breeds.

– Adrenal Gland Disease

One common form of this condition is called Cushing’s Disease, is also found in other breeds with some regularity. The technical name is hyperadrenocorticism, an excess production of hormones made by the adrenal gland, particularly cortisol. Since that hormone helps regulate blood sugar, one effect of cortisol is to raise the blood sugar levels over a period of time which results in signs of diabetes, excessive thirst and urination. Some diabetic dogs will have concurrent adrenal gland disease and that makes regulation of the diabetes tougher.

The hyperadrenocorticism is caused by either a malfunctioning pituitary gland or adrenal tumors. As such, the disease can be treated once proper diagnosis is made. Special diagnostic tests and ultrasound can determine the cause of the disease so proper treatment can be started.

The opposite condition is possible in a disease known as Addison’s Disease. This produces too little cortisol, resulting in hypoglycemia. These disease is sometimes even harder to diagnose because in early onset, it mimics other diseases. Special blood work has to be done to identify the disease and lifelong therapy will help to control the disease. Some of the symptoms are lethargy and poor appetite, both rare in healthy Dachshunds, a situation calling for a vet visit.

– PRA

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is an eye condition that produces gradual degradation of eyesight. In PRA, the membrane at the back of the eye slowly deteriorates, leading to loss of vision and ultimately blindness. There is currently no cure.

PRA, when it occurs, tends to start at around 2 years of age but may not become obvious until as late as age 10. The average age of diagnosis is just shy of 5 years old. Since it may not be detected for so long and can be subtle, it is possible to accidentally breed a Doxie with PRA, which perpetuates the bad gene responsible.

Regular eye exams for your Dachshund are advised.

– Kidney and Urinary Tract Problems

One common form of a urinary tract disease in Dachshunds is bladder stones. These painful pebbles are produced when the from many different factors such as bladder infections or improper diets. If you notice blood in the urine, increased frequency of urination, straining to urinate or not being able to urinate at all, a quick trip to your veterinarian is indicated. An annual urine test to check for early signs is recommended along with a blood profile as your dog gets older.

– Spinal Problems

Because of their long bodies and short legs, coupled with muscular and heavy chests, Dachshunds are much more prone to spinal problems than other breeds. Among the most common manifestations are disc problems, such as IVDD (Intervertebral Disk Disease). The ruptured disc can result in extreme pain and even paralysis. Having had a disc rupture in my own back which then required surgery last year, I am truly empathetic with these little guys.

Summary

Keep in mind that most Dachshunds, if they receive proper diet, exercise and care, lead normal, healthy lives of up to 15 years or more. Regular vet visits, including routine vaccinations and tests, will help ensure that outcome. Pet insurance is highly recommended because of their back problems. Surgery is done by a specialists and is expensive. For pet insurance to cover an incident, it has to be purchased before the occurrence, not after. You should check it out and get it sooner than later.

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