While stubby legs and elongated bodies are the trademarks of a miniature dachshund, they can also contribute to genetic problems and health issues. Mini dachshunds are genetically predisposed to certain health problems, some more common than others. Always carefully monitor your dachshund's health to protect against these issues.
Intervertebral Disk Disease
The most common issue associated with miniature dachshunds is intervertebral disk disease, or IVD, which affects more dachshunds than every other breed of dog put together. This disease is painful and debilitating for dogs, and it occurs when vertebral disks herniate under extreme stress -- a common result of their long bodies, short rib cages and short legs. You can guard against this disease by making sure that your dog doesn't jump up or down from furniture, and when you carry or hold him, always support his entire body.
Mini dachshunds are prone to excessive weight gain and obesity, which causes a variety of health problems. Most noticeably, it puts them at a significantly higher risk for IVD, as the increased body weight puts extra strain on their backs. It can also lead to diabetes and heart disease, which are common for this breed. If your dachshund's weight issues don't respond to diet and exercise, he may have a thyroid disorder, which isn't uncommon for this breed. Thyroid disorders can present in the form of obesity, but they may also manifest as infections and lethargy.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are another common concern with mini dachshunds, so you should always monitor your dog's urine and bathroom behavior. For example, if your dog appears to have difficulty urinating or doesn't produce much, or he has frequent accidents despite being housebroken, he may have contracted this bacterial infection. Your vet can diagnose the issue and treat it with antibiotics.
Miniature dachshunds are prone to other genetic problems, as well, though they aren't as common. Epilepsy, for example, affects miniature dachshunds, giving them seizures. They are also predisposed to certain eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma. Problems like these are less common than conditions like IVD.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.