The lifespan of a dachshund is between 12 -17 years, with an average of 13.5 years. If taken care of properly, they can live as long as their upper age limit; however, if care is not taken with dachshunds, they can develop problems, including diabetes, back pain, cancer, and other illnesses, all of which could lead to a shorter life expectancy.
Owners of dachshunds are advised to research the breed to understand their specific needs and to practice good hygiene to reduce the pet’s exposure to germs. This article will go over common conditions that could shorten the life of a dachshund and ways to help it lead a healthy life.
Biological Factors that Affect a Dachshund’s Lifespan
The average lifespan of a dog is affected by certain biological factors. A small dog tends to live longer than its larger counterpart, which works in favor of the dachshund. However, they are prone to numerous health challenges due to the way they are bred.
A dachshund is bred to have long ears, a long tail, and a very long body with short legs that contrast its length. They are bred this way not only for their unique appearance but to also act as independent hunters who could burrow into the holes of small prey, like badgers. Their striking appearance also leaves them prone to challenges. The following are some common ailments suffered by dachshunds.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
This is the most severe condition suffered by this breed; IDD is usually diagnosed when the dog’s spine is damaged. This condition causes severe pain and is possibly fatal. Intervertebral Disc Disease can be treated by a veterinarian, but in extreme cases, it may be best to euthanize the dog. To prevent back injury, owners should take care to not to let their dogs jump or fall from high places nor move frequently up and down stairs.
Dachshunds can also suffer from eye problems, such as dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, cataracts, and loss of sight. Some of them are born with microphthalmia, a condition in which the eyes are smaller than normal. If you notice any eye defects in your dog, take them to the vet before the condition worsens.
The cause of this disease is a benign tumor, usually found in the pituitary or adrenal glands. When these tumors start growing, they cause a release of excess cortisol in the dog’s body, which can cause serious problems. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease include an increase in appetite, excessive thirst, body weakness, loss of hair, and skin issues.
Dachshunds are also prone to developing cancer. They often grow tumors, which can either be malignant or benign. Dogs should always be checked for lumps and if any are found, they should be checked by a veterinarian.
How to Maintain a Healthy Life for a Dachshund
Before breeding dachshunds, take the potential parents for check-ups, as some health issues dogs encounter are hereditary. When buying or adopting a dachshund, be sure to ask about the health of the dog’s parents—a clean bill of health is ideal, but parental health information can also be used to prevent or reduce the severity of inherited diseases.
Take the dog to the vet regularly
Another way to prevent health issues is to regularly visit the veterinarian. Your dog should be kept up to date on vaccines and given regular check-ups. Make sure the veterinarian tests for common health problems.
Carefully observe the dog.
Pay close attention to its well-being and activity level. Owners should check their dachshunds for lumps or any irregular behavior. If a dog is behaving differently, something may be wrong.