Veterinary

BVA issues warning over dachshund health problems

Vets are urging prospective dog owners to be aware of the “serious” health and welfare issues that dogs with long and low body types can suffer from.

The warnings follow a wire-haired daschund’s recognition as Best in Show at last weekend’s Crufts show. The BVA now said that prospective owners may be “inspired” to get a dachshund without understanding the serious health problems that relate to the breed.

The group urged prospective owners to be aware of the spinal issues that dogs bred to have a long and low body type suffer from. 

All dachshunds are susceptible to serious spinal and neurological issues, which usually require surgery to fix. The BVA said that such problems “may not be immediately obvious”, but can cause life-long discomfort and costly treatment. 

The risk of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which causes dogs to lose the ability to walk, is 10-12 times higher in dachshunds than in any other dog breed, with at least one-fifth of all dachshunds showing clinical signs of the disease.

The group said that these health issues were a “specific concern” as recent figures show dachshunds have grown in popularity, almost claiming “top spot” as the UK’s most popular breed.

Registrations for the miniature smooth haired dachshund showing have jumped almost 200% in the past decade, according to the BVA, who also warned that their high demand has made them among the list of top breeds that vets suspect of being illegally imported into the country.

BVA president, Daniella Dos Santos, said: “We’re concerned that seeing a dachshund crowned top dog at Crufts could lead to a further rise in their popularity and related increase in the health issues that can unfortunately affect these and other long and low breeds. 

“Vets of course love and care for all dogs, but success in the show ring may lead to a further boom in demand outside of it from owners who may not be aware of these health issues and the extra care and treatment they may require as a result.”

She added: “The message from vets is loud and clear- always pick health over looks or Insta-appeal. 

“Before adding a dog to their family, we encourage anyone thinking of getting one to seek information and advice from their local vet on the right breed for them.” 

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