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Dachshunds & Limping: What All Owners Need to Know

If your Dachshund is limping on either the front or back leg, 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.

Dachshunds in particular are susceptible to spinal injuries caused by jumping, so this is certainly something to pay close attention.

dachshund limp

4 Main Reasons Why 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.

Dachshunds limp due to several reasons, including sprains, broken bones, fractures, joint issues, ligament issues, dislocations, paw injuries, or spinal injuries.

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.

Popular article: Does My Dachshund Need a Companion? Tips For Owners

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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)
An overly hot limb
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

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.

Dachshund Limping Back Leg: (No Pain)

Dachshunds owners common see their pup limp with their back leg, but it doesn’t appear they are in any pain. So what exactly is this?

If your dachshund doesn’t seem to be in any pain then it’s usually caused by a small injury like a minor sprain or shallow cut. Most dogs can walk or even through these things, even though they shouldn’t be.

In other non serious instances, owners mistake a hop/skip with a limp. Many small dogs run with a skip in their back legs for reasons we just don’t know. So be sure this isn’t what you notice.


➡️ How can I prevent my Dachshund from getting injured while jumping?

Preventing a Dachshund from jumping on high surfaces is essential. You can use ramps or stairs specially designed for dogs to access higher places, like the couch or bed. Training them to avoid jumping and providing appropriate exercise can also minimize the risk.

➡️ What are some signs that my Dachshund’s limp is more serious and requires immediate medical attention?

If you observe clear breaks, unnatural angles, severe wounds, excessive bleeding, legs that are dangling or dragging (dislocated), overly hot limbs, or severe weakness, it’s vital to take your Dachshund to a veterinarian immediately. These symptoms indicate that the situation might be severe.

➡️ Are there specific exercises or training routines I can use to strengthen my Dachshund’s joints and avoid common injuries?

Strengthening your Dachshund’s joints can involve exercises like swimming, controlled walking, and specific strengthening exercises recommended by a canine physical therapist. It’s also good to consult with your veterinarian to tailor an exercise plan suited to your dog’s age, weight, and specific needs.

➡️ How can I properly care for minor cuts and scrapes on my Dachshund’s paw at home?

For minor cuts or scrapes, cleaning the wound with mild soap and water, removing debris, and applying a bandage can be adequate. Sometimes, over-the-counter creams might be used, but it’s always best to consult your veterinarian over the phone to ensure you’re taking the right steps.

➡️ Can I still walk my Dachshund if it’s limping but not in pain? What are the guidelines for exercise during recovery?

If your Dachshund is limping but not in obvious pain, it’s generally advised to reduce exercise significantly. Gentle, controlled walks might be appropriate, but avoid any jumping or intense play. It’s always best to consult with your veterinarian to understand the specific cause of the limp and get guidance tailored to your dog’s particular situation.

Final Thoughts

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.

Related Dachshund Articles on The Puppy Mag
Dachsund Swimming Lesson
How Much Exercise Should a Dachshund Puppy Receive

Helpful source used: AKC


Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.