Epilepsy & Gastric Torsion in Dachshunds

Dachshunds have long backs and deep chest cavities.
i dachshund image by Zbigniew Nowak from Fotolia.com

Epilepsy and gastric torsion are conditions that can be serious or even life-threatening for your dog. Dachshunds are prone to epilepsy but are less likely to develop gastric torsion. Always seek veterinary advice if you have concerns about your dog's health.

About Epilepsy

In dachshunds, as in humans, epilepsy is a condition involving a pattern of repeated seizures with no other known medical cause. A seizure occurs when the dog's brain experiences a kind of electrical storm, resulting in symptoms that may include loss of consciousness, rigidity and convulsions, incontinence or uncontrollable drooling.

Epilepsy Care

If your dachsie has a seizure, take care of his immediate physical safety by removing hazards such as nearby furniture. If your dachshund is having a seizure somewhere he may fall or injure himself -- for example, at the top of a flight of stairs, or by a swimming pool -- move him away from the hazard. Remain calm and soothe your dog. Seek immediate veterinary help for any seizure lasting more than five minutes or for a first-time seizure. If your wiener dog is diagnosed with epilepsy, your vet will likely prescribe anti-epileptic medications that should reduce the frequency and severity of seizures.

About Gastric Torsion

Gastric torsion is a fancier name for the condition known as bloat. It's most common among larger breeds of dog, most commonly those over 60 pounds. Dogs with large chest cavities are more susceptible to bloat -- dachshunds have large chests for their small size, so it's possible -- though unusual -- for a dachshund to get bloat. Male dogs are at slightly greater risk of bloat than females. Bloating occurs when the dog's stomach becomes overly dilated. This can happen because of too much food or too much trapped air within the stomach. The whole stomach can roll over inside the dog, potentially trapping food and gas inside the stomach. Gastric torsion can be a serious or even fatal condition.

Gastric Torsion Prevention

When your dog has a full stomach, discourage him from making sudden or rapid movements. Running, jumping or playing immediately after eating increases the risk of gastric torsion in a dachshund. To lessen the chance of your dog swallowing a lot of air during feeding, make sure he isn't competing with other dogs at mealtimes.

Interaction of Epilepsy and Gastric Torsion

Epilepsy does not cause gastric torsion, nor does gastric torsion contribute to epilepsy. However, certain preventative and care measures can reduce your dog's risk of either condition. Do not allow dachshunds to jump from couches or other furniture -- this can damage their long backs and precipitate epileptic seizures. Discouraging jumping also reduces the likelihood of gastric torsion. Feeding multiple small meals each day makes it less likely your dog will become bloated while maintaining blood sugar levels in a way that prevents seizures.

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.

the nest