Your wiener dog's legs may seem tiny in comparison to his long body and huge chest. Like many small dogs, dachshunds can be susceptible to knee problems. Learn the signs and symptoms to help recognize, prevent or treat any knee issues that might slow down your doxie.
A luxating patella is one of the most common problems to affect dachshunds. This condition is also known as an unstable kneecap, and is caused when the cartilage holding a dog's kneecap in position becomes damaged. If you see your sausage dog limping, walking with one back leg in the air or using its front legs while both back legs extend behind, a luxating patella may be the culprit. Your dog may be unable to straighten the affected knee, and may stand with toes pointing outward. Left untreated, luxating patella can cause long-lasting pain and permanent lameness.
If a ligament in your dog's knee becomes torn, this can cause swelling and a separation of the femur and tibia bones in the leg. Common symptoms of a torn ligament include lameness that comes on suddenly, and swelling around the knee area. You might also see your dachshund holding a leg aloft. This particular knee injury is more common among large dogs, but small dogs like the doxie can also suffer a torn knee ligament during playtime or exercise.
General and Shared Symptoms
Lameness and a bunny-hopping type of gait are common symptoms of different types of injuries. Whether your doxie has a luxating patella, a torn ligament or another knee problem, you might also notice an area of heat around the painful knee. If your dachshund is in pain, he might yelp, whine, isolate itself or lose his normal appetite. If you suspect a knee injury, get your wiener dog to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Care and Treatment
If your doxie shows signs of a knee problem, allow plenty of rest and do not force the dog to exercise. If possible, eliminate stairs, steps and climbing onto furniture from your wiener dog's routine. Follow the advice of your veterinarian about treating your dachshund's knee problem -- in some cases, surgery may be an option to repair the knee injury.
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.
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.