Noodle the Aussie Dachshund Was Paralyzed But Walks Again

Share this image Unfortunately, because their spines have been bred to be long, Dachshunds often suffer from back issues and even paralysis.

But that’s not where Noodle’s problems started.

While Noodle watched his littermates all go to happy homes, his small size and frail health made him undesirable. He was such a petite pup that he could fit in the palm of someone’s hand. And that’s exactly what drew his human friend, Ewa, to him.

Noodle was Ewa’s first dog. As a veterinary nurse, …

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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 All other human Holiday Decorations are at Join the holiday newsletter at 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.


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.


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.

Diabetes Mellitus in Pets

Deabetes MellitusTwo forms of diabetes can be found in dogs. The first, Diabetes Mellitus, is the most common and will be the form discussed in this handout. The rarer form is called Diabetes Inspidus, which will not be covered here. Diabetes mellitus is caused by an excessive amount of sugar in your dog’s blood and a deficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas. The exact causes of this are unknown, but diet, obesity, genetics, age and complications from other illnesses can all lead to diabetes. Certain breeds, such as Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, and Poodles are more frequently affected.

So, how do you know whether or not your pet is developing diabetes? There are signs to look out for! If your pet is drinking an excessive amount of water, has an increased appetite, is urinating more often, and seems to be losing weight then your pet may be developing diabetes. Your veterinarian is able to test for this disease, which will be discussed later in this article. Before we discuss the treatment for this condition, let’s discuss some preventive steps that can be taken to avoid it.

Once your dog has diabetes, this disease will be with them for the remainder of their life. Therefore, it is very important that we take steps to avoid this disease. Although diabetes can be acquired through genetics, which is difficult to avoid, the most common cause of the disease is obesity. It is very important that your dog gets regular exercise and is maintained on a well balanced diet. Your veterinarian can recommend a dog food that is right for your pet and make recommendations for an exercise regiment.

Your veterinarian will perform a simple blood test to measure the level of glucose (blood sugar) in your dog’s blood. Multiple blood glucose tests are often necessary to establish a baseline. If your dog’s blood glucose level returns high on the first test, this may have just resulted from a recent meal. If your veterinarian determines that your dog does have diabetes, he or she will want to perform regular blood glucose tests at the veterinary practice to monitor levels. Your veterinarian may also have you monitor your dog’s blood glucose at home by sending you with an easy to use urine test kit.

Some mild cases of diabetes can be treated with a strict diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. However, many cases will require your dog to be on insulin therapy. An oral form of insulin is available for humans, however, this is not effective in pets and an injectable form must be used. Your veterinarian will determine the proper type of insulin for your dog and the specific dose. This dose may be changed several times during the first few weeks of insulin therapy in order to properly regulate your pet’s blood glucose levels.

A member of the veterinary staff will instruct you on how to administer an insulin injection, which is given subcutaneously (beneath the skin). It is very important to follow your veterinarian’s exact dosage as an overdose of insulin can cause dangerously low blood sugars. If you ever feel that your pet has received too much insulin, you should contact your veterinarian or local emergency pet hospital if it is after hours. Corn syrup or honey can be given to quickly increase your dog’s blood sugar levels if an overdose is suspected. Patients that have overdoses on insulin tend to become very lethargic, unsteady, develop shaking and convulsions can occur in severe cases.

If your dog is insulin-dependent, it is important that he receives a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates. He should be fed at the same time everyday and insulin should be given at mealtimes as directed by your veterinarian. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important for the diabetic pet, so regular exercise is a must. Dogs that have been diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus can be effectively treated with insulin therapy and can lead healthy, normal lives.

Disc Disease in Dogs

iv discAs pet owners, we all hope that our dogs never have to experience disc disease. However, this is a fairly common condition in some breeds and in many geriatric pets. Discs are essentially cushions that help to absorb tension and pressure between the vertebrae. Humans have this same mechanism and can also suffer from disc disease. By acting as shock absorbers, discs help to protect the very delicate nerves found within a dogs spinal column.

There are several reasons that may cause your dog to develop disc disease. In many cases, disc disease occurs due to a trauma, such as falling, jumping off of furniture, being struck by a car or even rough-play. Discs can also degenerate as a pet becomes geriatric. Obese dogs are very prone to developing disc disease as well due to the extra pressure on the back caused by the fat. Certain breeds, such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels and other breeds with long backs can be more prone to developing disc disease especially if overweight.

The symptoms of disc disease are normally rather obvious. These signs will vary; however, depending on which disc is affected as this disease can occur anywhere on the spinal cord. For example, if your dog leaps from the bed and a disc in the middle back becomes slipped (known as a slipped disc), they will have greater pain in this area and the rear legs may be more affected. The abdomen may become rigid, the dog may tremble and in some cases they may even lose control of their bowel and bladder. In cases where a disc in the upper vertebrae around the neck is affected, the dog will likely have difficulty holding its neck and head up. In any case, the dog will be weakened and often lethargic. In severe cases, disc disease can also lead to paralysis.

As pet owners, we all hope that our dogs never have to experience disc disease. However, this is a fairly common condition in some breeds and in many geriatric pets. Discs are essentially cushions that help to absorb tension and pressure between the vertebrae. They can rupture applying pressure to the spinal cord and delicate nerves.

As pet owners, we all hope that our dogs never have to experience disc disease. However, this is a fairly common condition in some breeds and in many geriatric pets. Discs are essentially cushions that help to absorb tension and pressure between the vertebrae. They can rupture applying pressure to the spinal cord and delicate nerves.

As pet owners, we all hope that our dogs never have to experience disc disease. However, this is a fairly common condition in some breeds and in many geriatric pets. Discs are essentially cushions that help to absorb tension and pressure between the vertebrae. They can rupture applying pressure to the spinal cord and delicate nerves.

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your dog, you should seek immediate veterinary attention. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough exam and will likely need to take X-Rays to further assess the health of your dogs vertebral column. If caught early, disc disease can be successfully treated with medications. Anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, pain medications or a combination can be used to treat this condition. Be sure to closely follow your veterinarians instructions on how to administer these medications. Dogs with acute ruptures will need surgery to remove the debris in the spinal canal and relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. I had a disc rupture a few years ago which did need surgery to remove the debris and I must say that the surgery has given me great relief and I am now pain free.

Treatment does not just involve giving medications. Your pets activity may need to be restricted and jumping and rough-play are definitely prohibited. This means no more leaping from furniture! If your pet is overweight, it will also be very important to begin a high quality diet that promotes weight loss. Your veterinarian will recommend a diet that is right for your pet. Once your pet has been cleared for increased exercise by your veterinarian, regular walks will greatly benefit your dogs weight and overall health.