Pet Wellness Guides > Wiener Dog Health Issues and Care Tips - Pet Insurance Review

Wiener Dog Health Issues and Care Tips

Posted: 07/17/2024 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Dog , Health problems , Pet care

Dachshunds, also affectionately referred to as “wiener dogs,” are known for their short legs, floppy ears, and long body. But don’t be mistaken, while short in stature, these pups are incredibly brave and confident with loads of energy and personality. If you’re thinking about bringing a Dachshund into your life, you may be wondering about the most common wiener dog health issues.

Keep reading to learn about the health problems wiener dogs are prone to as well as how you can ensure they live a long and healthy life.

Wiener dog health issues

Common Dachshund Health Problems

Dachshunds were originally bred in 15th-century Germany to hunt badgers. In fact, dachs is German for badger while hund is German for dog. Coming from a hunting background, wiener dogs are willful and headstrong, but also very playful and a bit mischievous. Smart and attentive, Dachshunds make great watchdogs, in part thanks to their deep bark that is normally characteristic of a much larger dog.

As with most dog breeds, wiener dogs are prone to certain health issues that you should be aware of.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

Often it is the physical characteristics of dogs that make us fall in love with them. Sadly, many of the adorable characteristics we are drawn to are the very things that cause the pups some health issues. For instance, who doesn’t love that smushed face on a French Bulldog. It’s so very kissable! But that face leads to many breathing issues in the breed.

For Dachshunds, that long hot dog body is adorable. But sadly, that long spine is very vulnerable to injury – sometimes serious injury. One of the most common health issues for the wiener dog is Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), which can lead to complete and permanent paralysis of all four legs if not treated immediately.

IVDD occurs when the discs of the vertebrae slip or bulge. It is believed that as many as 25% of Dachshunds will develop IVDD in their lifetime.


If you notice your wiener dog doing any of the following, get your pup to the vet immediately:

  • Limping
  • Trouble walking
  • Dragging paws
  • Holding their head or neck down
  • Scuffed toenails

Treatment for IVDD depends on the severity of the disc damage. Common protocol typically requires strict cage rest (meaning no playing, running or jumping and only short walks for potty breaks) and anti inflammatories and muscle relaxants. 

In severe cases, corrective surgery is often necessary to help the pup regain use of their legs and other functions. The cost of surgery typically ranges between $1500 and $4000, while imaging for the procedure can cost $1000 to $3000, according to Embrace pet insurance.

Luxating Patella

Luxating patellas, also known as “floating kneecaps,” are very common in wiener dogs. Kneecaps can slip out of the normal position quite easily with this disease, and it can happen simultaneously in both hind legs.

Depending on the severity of the condition, some dogs require no treatment and can live a good quality of life ‘as is.’ Other pups may require pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs, while others will need corrective surgery for any quality of life.

According to MetLife pet insurance, the cost of corrective surgery for Luxating Patella can reach up to $5000 per leg.


Bloat is generally thought to be a large dog condition, but it can also affect the Dachshund. Bloat is when the dog’s stomach fills with gas and becomes painfully distended. More severe cases turn into gastric torsion. This is when the stomach flips on itself, cutting off blood supply. Both conditions can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. 

Symptoms of bloat include:

  • Swelling of the belly or a pot-bellied appearance
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting/regurgitating
  • Licking lips
  • General malaise

Bloat can become serious very fast. We cannot stress enough, if your pup shows any of the signs, take them to the vet or ER clinic immediately.

How to Help Your Wiener Dog Have a Healthy Life

There are some simple but effective guidelines you can follow to help your pup live their very best life:

Feed the Right Diet

Optimal health begins with proper nutrition. Make sure you feed your pup quality food with no fillers. Aim for a species appropriate diet that contains whole foods and no odd ingredients you can’t pronounce.

We always suggest speaking with your vet for guidance and advice. Find out which commercial pet foods they feel offer the right nutrition for your pup. If you have the time and inclination, you may also want to get guidance on making your dog’s food at home. Your vet can tell you exactly what foods, recipes, vitamins, minerals, supplements, etc. you’ll need to provide your pup the very best nutrition.

Also, with that long, vulnerable spine, Dachshunds shouldn’t have any extra weight on them. So be certain to ask your vet how much food/calories your fur baby needs each day.

Stairs and Ramps

Protect your pup’s spine by using stairs and ramps so she can get in and out of the car or up and down off beds and furniture easily and safely. 

Don’t Skip Those Wellness Checks

It’s important to bring your wiener dog into the vet on a regular basis. Young puppies and older dogs may need to see the vet multiple times a year, while adult dogs should be seen once a year. Illnesses and diseases can get out of hand quickly. Regular wellness checks help your vet spot any health issues early.

Pet Insurance

Caring for a fur baby is a rewarding experience, but it can also be a very costly one. As you saw, there are a few health issues that Dachshunds are prone to and they cost a pretty penny to treat. Are you financially prepared to cover a bill in the thousands of dollars should your pup injure their spine while playing?

Many pet parents are turning to pet insurance for peace of mind. When you have a policy that covers up to 90% of the vet bill, you are confident knowing you can offer the very best treatment should a serious accident or illness occur.

If you’re thinking about signing your fur baby up but are not sure which provider to go with, here are the top providers with rankings based on over 150,000 reviews from pet parents just like you:


Top Pet Insurance Providers of 2024

RatingProviderTotal Review
4.9Healthy Paws7,498
4.8Prudent Pet125
4.5Pets Best7,216
4.3Pet Assure12



Fletcher CDA, Ives EJ, Kajin F, Seath I, Grapes NJ, Lopes BA, et al. Thoracic to lumbar vertebral column length and length ratios in miniature dachshunds with and without thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion. Vet Rec. 2023;e3057.



The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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