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Why Do So Many Dachshunds Need Wheelchairs?

Cute, long, and low to do the ground – so many reasons we’re drawn to the dachshund breed also lead to mobility problems. The dachshund’s distinctive build, especially its long torso, makes it prone to severe spinal issues, leading to hind leg weakness, back pain, and even paralysis. 

Intervertebral Disc Disease and Its Impact on a Dachshund’s Mobility

dachshund harness for dog wheelchair

IVDD is a spinal condition that impacts up to 24% of Dachshunds. Intervertebral Disc Disease is a painful back condition that causes herniated discs in the spinal column. When a dachshund’s spinal disc bursts, it can compress the spinal cord to cause severe back pain along with significant mobility loss. Many dachshunds diagnosed with IVDD will abruptly hind leg function. Depending on the diagnosis and treatment plan, this paralysis may be temporary or permanent. 

High-impact activities that place a lot of stress on a dachshund’s spine, like running or jumping, can cause a disc to burst. Most dogs with IVDD will show signs of distress and pain following a period of activity, most commonly occurring in active dogs under the age of seven. A wheelchair is often the best option to give your dachshund support as they recover from IVDD. 

Dachshund Wheelchair: Keeping Paralyzed Doxies Active

Long-haired dachshund in wheelchair goes to the beach

Prone to paralysis, dachshunds are one of the most common breeds to use a dog wheelchair. A dachshund wheelchair can be used as short-term rehabilitative support during recovery or as a long-term mobility aid. Although IVDD is the most common, there are many reasons a dachshund could need a wheelchair.

Dachshunds mobility conditions that benefit from a dog wheelchair:

  • Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
  • Spinal conditions
  • Paralysis
  • Hind leg weakness
  • Hip dysplasia and joint pain
  • Recovering from injury or surgery

Let’s answer a few of the most common questions about dachshund wheelchairs:

How Do Dachshund Wheelchairs Work?

A wheelchair gives pets the support they need when they cannot stand or walk without assistance. Most dachshund mobility problems start in the back legs, and a rear wheelchair supports the dog’s hind end making it possible for them to regain mobility. The wheelchair has a rear support system directly under the dog’s pelvis to support the hind legs. The rear wheels of the wheelchair are in line with the dog’s hip, so the rear wheels act as the dog’s back legs. As a result, pets with back leg function can continue using their hind legs and walking while in the cart. However, using stirrups, paralyzed dachshunds can lift their back legs safely off the ground. 

As we discussed earlier, many paralyzed dachshunds also struggle with spinal issues. It’s critical that any dachshund with a bad back also support the center of this body and spine. A neoprene belly support is crucial for dachshunds with IVDD. 

Choosing the Right Size Wheelchair for Your Dachshund

There are two sizes of dachshund wheelchair, a mini wheelchair for miniature dachshunds and a small dachshund wheelchair for standard dachshunds. 

  • Mini Dachshund Wheelchair – fits miniature dachshunds weighing under 10 lbs. 
  • Small Dachshund Wheelchair – fits dachshunds over 11 lbs. 

Choosing the right size Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair for your dachshund is simple. Along with your dog’s weight, you will need to take two measurements:

  1. Rear Leg Height – while your dachshund lays on their side, measure the height of its back leg. Measure from the bottom of the paw up to the crease where the thigh meets the torso. Again, do not stretch the dog’s leg. For an accurate measurement, your dachshund’s leg should be in the same position it would be if standing. 
  2. Length Measurement – measure the length of your dachshund’s body from the armpit to the rump. 

Once you have the rear leg height and length measurements, use the SureFit™  Calculator to determine the perfect size cart for your dachshund.

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