The miniature dachshund's long back, combined with short legs, mean this poor pooch is more prone than most breeds to developing back problems. While all dogs can develop back issues, these are typically related to old age or trauma. Unfortunately, miniature dachshunds of all ages can experience spinal issues.
Unexplained Squeals and Cries
As you get to know your miniature dachshund, you get to know his tolerance for levels of discomfort. Puppies are especially good at using sounds to let other dogs and people know when they don’t like something or if they are feeling pain. For example, if you are grooming your miniature dachshund too roughly or you accidentally step on his paw, he’ll squeal or cry to let you know. But it’s those unexplained noises that come from your pooch when he’s walking or trying to stand that are the real cause for concern. Any squeals and cries that have no obvious cause are a potential sign that he is experiencing back pain. It should be noted that some back issues may present without pain. Watch for signs of your dog dragging his toes or rear legs.
Reluctance to be Handled
Responsible owners handle their puppies frequently and from a young age to get them used to human contact. Your dog should be happy about being handled, but if your miniature dachshund appears uncomfortable, for example if he’s wriggling about or trying to get down when handled, it’s possible that his delicate back isn’t able to tolerate being picked up. Check with your veterinarian if your puppy is experiencing these signs. .
Puppies of all breeds are naturally playful and miniature dachshunds are no exception, it’s how dogs learn and develop. So a miniature dachshund who can’t or won’t play may be suffering from back pain, caused typically by a slipped disc or intervertebral disc disease. Sudden loss of mobility should be of particular concern. Impeded mobility isn’t always a sign of back pain however, some miniature dachshunds find it difficult to get around simply because of their short legs.
Sudden Change in Behavior
As your puppy grows, you’ll notice patterns in his behavior begin to develop. If you spot a sudden change in this behavior, for example a once curious and outgoing pup is suddenly withdrawn and shy, it could be linked to the pain and discomfort he is experiencing as a result of back pain. You also may notice that your miniature dachshund is unable to move his tail, which can impede his ability to communicate. See your veterinarian if you notice these signs.
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.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.