How Supplements for Dachshunds Can Help Hip and Joint Problems
Whether your Dachshund is standard or miniature, you will want to make sure your well-loved little dog stays happy and healthy. That means learning about conditions to which this breed is prone, so that you know what you can do to help prevent and treat them. Here, we look specifically at joint problems and how supplements for Dachshunds can help.
Common Joint Problems in Dachshunds
Dachshunds have been bred to be strong, long-bodied short-legged hunters, as they were once used to hunt badgers. Unfortunately, this has led to the breed being genetically predisposed to various joint issues, particularly back problems.
Intervertebral Disc Disease and Other Back Problems
Their small stature, short, curved legs and lack of support for their long spine make Dachshunds disposed to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and other spinal issues. They’re also likely to suffer from IVDD at a younger age than other larger breeds.
IVDD occurs when the spongy ‘cushions’ between the vertebrae slip or rupture, sometimes due to injury, or when they deteriorate and dehydrate. This can allow the vertebral disc to put pressure on the spinal cord, causing compression of the spinal cord. That can in turn can lead to loss of movement and pain.
IVDD can be very serious and it’s easier to treat if caught early, so if your dog shows any symptoms, see your vet immediately. Watch out for your Dachshund dragging one or both rear legs, struggling to stand, changing their gait, appearing distressed or in pain, showing reluctance to move or play, or becoming incontinent.
In severe cases, surgery will be required, but in other cases, various physical therapies and treatments may be enough to help. Natural supplements for Dachshunds that contain glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM can help to maintain healthy cartilage and may slow disc degeneration.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Dysplasia can affect both your Dachshund’s hips and elbows. It’s an inherited condition arising from poor joint development. The joints are malformed and often ‘loose’, allowing bones too much movement in the socket. This can damage the cartilage and cause inflammation, stiffness and pain.
Because it’s an inherited condition, it’s not preventable as such, but there are measures that can help your dog.
- Take them to the vet if you notice they are lame or stiff, so that an x-ray can be taken to determine the cause. If it’s hip or elbow dysplasia, your vet may sometimes recommend surgery to the socket or even a hip replacement.
- Ensure you keep your dog fit. Strong muscles and tendons will help to support the joint and exercise helps bone density and strength.
- Watch their weight, as any excess weight can put extra strain on the joints and cause more pain.
- Purchase joint supplements for Dachshunds that are proven to protect joints and reduce inflammation.
Arthritis is the medical term for inflammation at the joint caused by cartilage deterioration. It’s certainly not unique to Dachshunds, but because they carry long, muscular, solid bodies on very small legs, they are particularly prone to it. You may notice your Dachshund is stiff when they try to get up after a nap, or they may develop a limp, whimper when they try to jump around, or show signs of distress when their joints are touched.
Again, take them straight to the vet for a check-up and a proper diagnosis. If arthritis is diagnosed, don’t be tempted to cut out exercise entirely. This won’t help, and can cause other problems, including weakening of the bones and a loss of muscle tone. But do think about the type of exercise they’re getting and the length and difficulty of walks.
Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can be useful, and there are joint supplements for Dachshunds that will tackle the inflammation.
Dachshunds may be predisposed to Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a degenerative condition that affects the hips. It’s thought it may damage the hip by reducing its blood supply, causing the top of the thigh bone (the femoral head) to become brittle and unhealthy. This makes it prone to fracture.
This disease most commonly occurs in Dachshunds between six and nine months old. Look out for pain and lameness in one or both of your dog’s rear legs and take them to the vet immediately for diagnosis. Surgery is often required.
Joint Supplements for Dachshunds
Joint supplements for Dachshunds have a role in maintaining a healthy joint capsule and/or preventing and reducing the joint inflammation that causes pain and stiffness. Before starting your dog on any supplement, always discuss it with your vet. Just because a supplement is made from natural ingredients, this doesn’t mean it can’t interact with your dog’s existing medications or conditions.
Omega Fish Oils
Some companies claim Omega fish oils can cure practically anything, despite the lack of evidence for some of their claims. However, Omega oil supplements have been proven to reduce production of inflammation-causing chemicals called prostaglandins, which are involved in joint inflammation.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp seed oil contains Omega oils, natural antioxidants and several vitamins and minerals. Hemp seed oil products are great all-round, multifunction supplements for Dachshunds, supporting not just their joint health, but their gut and skin health too. Hemp seed oil is also a good immune system booster.
Again, Turmeric isn’t the magic pill it has sometimes been claimed to be recently, but it does contain curcumin, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties. Studies indicate it should be taken consistently to reduce inflammation, so turmeric products should be daily supplements for Dachshunds.
Green Lipped Mussel
Green Lipped Mussel is another good source of anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids. It contains chondroitin, too, which may help strengthen the fluid-filled protective capsules around your dog’s joints. Green Lipped Mussel is also rich in glycoproteins, selenium, vitamin B12, zinc and folic acid, which all have multiple vital functions in the body.
Combined Hip and Joint Supplements for Dachshunds
If you’re looking for supplements that contain more than one of these protective, inflammation-reducing ingredients, then we recommend our Hip and Joint Supplement. In addition to turmeric and Green Lipped Mussel, it also contains:
- MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and glucosamine, both thought to have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Hyaluronic acid (which may help to lubricate stiff joints).
- Vitamin C.
- Additional chondroitin to strengthen the joint capsule, which has been shown in studies to work well in combination with glucosamine and MSM.
Supplements for a Happier, Healthier Dachshund
For Dachshunds with joint issues, prevention and treatment may include surgery, prescription medications, physical therapies and lifestyle adaptions such as ramps and orthopaedic beds. However, supplements can help to reduce inflammation and protect the joints, helping to prevent and alleviate your Dachshund’s pain and stiffness. This means they can get more out of life for longer, so chat to your vet and choose the right supplement to keep your dog healthy and happy.