Caring for your Dachshund and how to avoid common reasons for visits to the vet

Since December 2021 the VetCompass team, led by Dr Dan O’Neill, has published 3 open access papers that discuss the health of French Bulldogs, Pugs and Bulldogs. All these papers compare these 3 breeds with "all other dogs" and provide useful tables of data on reasons why dogs are taken to the vet. While the papers don't specifically identify Dachshunds and the reasons for them having to visit the vet, the "all other dogs" data still gives us some useful insights into what we should be doing to care for our dogs.


The top 5 data for the other dogs in the 3 papers are as follows:


Periodontal Disease is number 1 (13%), followed by Otitis Externa (7%), Obesity (7%), Overgrown Nails (6%) and Anal Sac Impaction (5%).


In other words, more than a third of the vet visits were associated with what most of us would describe as husbandry issues (and that picture is not much different from the 3 brachycephalic breeds profiled in the papers). One of my veterinary friends commented: “obesity predisposes to anal gland impaction and fat dogs often don’t exercise and wear down their claws”. Another reminder of the importance of systems thinking!


Our Dachshund Health UK website has a section on caring for your dog. This includes advice on body condition and grooming which addresses 4 of the top 5 common reasons for a visit to the vet. A couple of years ago, we commissioned pictures of Dachshunds to illustrate a bespoke Body Condition Score chart, so we have very clear advice on the evidence of obesity (or undernourishment).


Our Caring for your Dachshund page discusses things that owners should be keeping an eye on every week and that will help you to avoid unwelcome trips to the vet:

  • Body condition (and obesity)

  • Exercise

  • Grooming (eyes, ears, skin/coat and feet/nails)

Other topics on that page include:

  • Vaccinations

  • Neutering

  • Insurance

  • Behaviour & temperament