How to Care for a Paralyzed Dachshund

Let your dachshund enjoy the fresh air for brief, supervised periods.
i dachshund image by Zbigniew Nowak from

Your dachshund loves you, regardless of your health. Now, it's time to return the favor. The unusually long back of a dachshund is susceptible to develop intervertebral disc disease, a potentially paralyzing condition. Fortunately, caring for a paralyzed dog is only a modified version of how you previously cared for your dog.

Step 1

Fit your dachshund for his own dog wheelchair or a dog-cart. This wheeled device offers a supportive harness for his rear legs that lets him to walk freely around flat surfaces without dragging his back legs. The wheelchair allows your dog to take walks, play fetch and continue enjoying the activities he did before being paralyzed. Several dog-cart companies offer grant or financial assistance programs for qualifying pet owners.

Step 2

Put your dachshund in dog diapers. Incontinence doesn't just make a mess, it can exacerbate bedsores, mat hair and burn skin. Female dachshunds will only require diapers, but traditional dog diapers don't extend far enough past the penis to catch the urine of a male dog. For male dachshunds, you must wrap a belly band around your dog's waist and genitals in addition to a diaper. The interior side of a belly band has absorbent material to soak up his urine.

Step 3

Replace your dachshund's old bed with an orthopedic dog bed. Although slightly more expensive, an orthopedic bed is designed to relieve the key pressure points at your dog's elbows, hips and knees. At the very least, make sure your dachshund has easy access to clean, soft bedding at all times. The softer and thicker his bedding, the less likely he is to develop pressure sores.

Step 4

Bathe your dachshund at least once a week. Diapers and belly bands limit the mess, but they don't prevent your dog's waste from touching his skin and matting his hair. In addition to changing his diapers regularly, you should give him a good scrubbing each week with mild shampoo. If his skin appears dry, limit the bathing process to his rear quarters.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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