If you notice your Dachshund is limping, you’ll want to know why, whether it’s serious, and what you can do about it. This article will cover possible reasons why your Dachshund is limping and what to do next.
Your Dachshund may be limping due to a number of reasons including sprains, broken bones, fractures, joint issues, ligament issues, dislocations, paw injuries, or spinal injuries. Dachshunds in particular are susceptible to spinal injuries caused by jumping.
I know this can be super worrying, so I’ll explain everything clearly and simply below.
Most Common Reasons Your Dachshund Is Limping
As you can imagine, there are a lot of reasons why your Dachshund may be limping. And they all range in seriousness. This section aims to cover not all, but the most common causes of limping.
1. Paw Injuries
Limping can happen due to a recent paw injury or irritation. It’s possible that your Dachshund has injured, cut, or scraped his paw when out on his last walk and is attempting to keep his pad off the ground, which results in limping.
Pads are susceptible to sharp objects, temperature, and even chemicals. This is very common, and somewhat unavoidable especially if you walk your Dachshund in public places every day.
2. General Injury or Trauma
Just like we can sprain an ankle, knock our knee, trip over, slip and pull our back, it can happen with dogs too. General injury or trauma is the No.1 cause for limping in dogs. And of course, varies greatly in seriousness.
Dachshunds in particular have tiny legs and long backs, yet they love to jump. This is a big no-no for this breed and many injuries both non-serious and serious can occur from it. It’s strongly advised to prevent your dachshund from jumping up and off of the couch. Even a funny landing could cause your Dachshund to limp.
Possible causes of general injury or trauma:
● Jumping up on the couch
● Jumping down from high surfaces
● General over-exercise
● Continous running at a high pace
● Slipping on ice
● Catching paws or legs in doorways
● Standing on paws or legs accidentally
3. Spinal Injuries
Dachsunds are at the top of the list when it comes to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This is when the cushioning discs in between the spinal bones, either bulge outwards or burst. These discs then make contact with nerves running down the spinal column and can cause incredible pain, inability to move, and even paralysis.
You guessed it, jumping is one of the main culprits. If your Dachshund has been jumping a lot and is now limping, it is possible that a few hard landings is to blame.
4. Joint Disease
Joint health is a big factor in breeds, especially as old age sets in. The term “joint disease” is quite broad and covers a range of issues including hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, elbow dysplasia, ligament disease, intervertebral disk disease (like above) and osteochondritis dissecans. All of which have can happen for different reasons, at different ages.
Although typically happening as dogs get older, it’s not always the case and some issues like IVDD and hip/elbow dysplasia may happen during puppyhood.
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When To See a Veterinarian
Honestly speaking, it’s hard for you to really know what’s causing the limp unless it’s something obvious like a fresh cut on the paw pads. So the best advice is to always play it safe and start by calling your veterinarian to explain the issue. By calling, you will receive immediate guidance and you’ll be able to book an appointment.
But what if you notice your Dachshund limping while the vets are shut… Well, whether its’ gradual onset or sudden onset limping, as long as it doesn’t seem to be causing pain or blatant discomfort to your Dachshund, it means it can usually wait at least a few hours. But when you can, contact a veterinarian.
⭐ Situations like broken bones, dislocations (dragging legs), or severe wounds are time-sensitive and need to be seen ASAP. You should take your Dachshund to an emergency veterinarian center or your local veterinarian center if you see the following:
● Clear breaks or unnatural angles
● Severe wounds and excessive bleeding
● Legs or limbs that are dangling/dragging (dislocated)
● A limb that’s overly hot
● Severe weakness
Hopefully, your situation is not severe and your Dachshund is not in obvious pain.
So to clarify: If you are not absolutely sure about what’s causing your Dachshund to limp, then calling your local veterinarian is the best thing to do. If your Dachshund is not in pain, then it’s ok to wait a few hours if the veterinarian center happens to be closed.
Gradual Onset Limping vs Sudden Limping: The Difference
Whether or not your Dachshund is suffering from a limp that has suddenly happened, or that has been developing slowly over time IS significant.
Gradual onset limping is usually a sign of an underlying chronic health issue or disease, which is usually worse than sudden limping that typically indicates a recent injury or small cut is the cause.
It’s important to think about whether the limp was sudden or gradual as this is one of the first questions your veterinarian will ask you. Knowing this helps with a proper diagnosis.
One thing is for sure, gradual or sudden, limping should be taken seriously and it’s important to have it checked out by a professional.
What To Do In The Meantime
Until you know exactly what’s causing the limp and you’ve contacted your veterinarian, take it easy and discourage a lot of walking, jumping, or playing around. Rest is a fundamental part of recovery and just like with us, if we move too much on a sprained ankle, it’s just going to get worse.
If the limping is caused by a scrape or insignificant cut, you may not need to visit your veterinarian, but a simple call will at least guide you in the direction to fix the issue at home. Treating small minor cuts on the pads usually involves cleaning the wound, making it’s free from debris, then using a bandage to cover the wound. Sometimes creams are advised but again, a call to your veterinarian is the best thing to do.
Until your Dachshund is properly walking again, exercise will need to be significantly reduced.
Limping should never be overlooked or left. Whether it’s happened suddenly or gradually, it should be addressed. Sometimes your Dachshund may be limping due to a simple cut, sprain, or it could be caused by a more significant underlying health issue.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) quite literally affects Dachshund more than any other breed. Jumping up and down should be prevented at all times to avoid this painful health issue from developing.
Always remember that If you are unsure about anything, speaking to a veterinarian is the best thing to do.
Other Dachshund Articles on The Puppy Mag ⭐
● Dachsund Swimming Lesson
● How Much Exercise Should a Dachshund Puppy Receive
● How Often Should Bathe Your Dachshund
Helpful source used: AKC