My Wiener Dog Can’t Walk: Caring for a Paralyzed Dachshund

Dachshunds are known to many as the “sausage dog” because of their elongated built. Their brilliant faces speak their intentions, and apart from that, they never allow their small body to stop them from doing things they want, just like what other dogs do. But the thing is that a Dachshund’s small body, together with its very small legs, puts them at risk of injuries, fractures, and even paralysis. 

According to animal experts, the combination of a Dachshund’s low-set carriage and long back stature makes them prone to intervertebral disc disease, thereby affecting their spinal cord and ends up being paralyzed. But this may not be permanent because there are treatments and remedies for it nowadays like, surgical, therapies, and of course, the care that you give them in order to recover. 

Nowadays, watching over a paralyzed pet may be very challenging, but just think about giving them the chance to live happily and have a comfortable life. If you are taking good care of a sick and a paralyzed Dachshund, this article will discuss and give you tips on how to help them get through it and even some preventions.

How to Care for a Paralyzed Dachshund

Injured or not, you will certainly have to give advanced care to your pets. These are some of the things you could possibly do to help them recover whenever they get injured and have some difficulty in walking. 

• Book an appointment with your Veterinarian 

We want to self-medicate our pets as much as possible and avoid stressing them some more with visits to the vet’s office. Home is where they recover better, but in cases such as paralysis of the hind legs which is fairly common among injury-prone doxies (their body structure causes much stress on the lumbar area of the spine), there’s no better thing to do than seeking a medical professional’s advice – a “dogtor.” This is the very first action you should do if your Dachshund shows any signs of weariness or paralysis. It’s hard to know what causes the dog to act that way, so it’s better if you would have them checked by an expert for paralysis is a very serious problem. 

Paralysis may possibly lead to incontinence or, worse, may lead to their passing. Special care is required as soon as you observed that they have that disease. Visit a veterinarian as soon as possible, they will advise any possible procedure or medication if needed, and only they can decide which one is the appropriate action to your Dachshund’s situation. 

• Surgery or Therapy

The reason why visiting a veterinarian is the first option to consider when your Dachshund is showing symptoms of paralysis, is for diagnosis. A veterinarian’s diagnosis for a complete paralyzed Dachshund most of the time is the Intervertebral Disk Diseases (IVDD). This is what almost all Dachshund encounter and considered to be like the culprit in your dog. 

If your veterinarian’s diagnosis to your pet is IVDD, they must be telling you about what stage your dog is in. They may advise for X-rays or even MRI to confirm. Once it is confirmed, immediate surgery or therapy for your dog will follow, as well as continuous pain medications. 

• Prepare all necessary supplies

Preparation for your pet’s needs is a must depending on the stage of their paralysis. Since Dachshund is small, you will need a dog cart or a harness for support. This is to brace or support some of the vulnerable parts of their body. 

They may also need dog diapers to make it easier for you to fix their dirt. You can also prepare belly bands to limit the waist, but take note, these don’t prevent the dog’s waste from touching their skin. That is why dog wipes should also be obtained and all necessary bath essentials like dog shampoo and soap to maintain its hygiene. 

• Daily observation of Dachshund’s vital signs 

Though this is very accurate when done in the clinics or hospitals, examining your dog’s signs on a daily basis would be helpful. Any signs or development of sores should be treated as soon as possible because it may arise through dragging or through immobility. 

You must check if there are any irritations or inflammations and put on bandages and an ointment that was prescribed by the veterinarian. Any broken skin or wound may trigger paralysis; that’s why an immediate cure must follow. 

• Replace old beds

If you know that your Dachshund is suffering from paralysis, one of the best things to do in order to make recovery fast is to prepare their beds with plenty of very soft beddings. Their old beds should be replaced with an orthopedic dog bed. Orthopedic beds for dogs may be expensive, but think about how it could make your Dachshund recover. 

The beds are specially designed to improve the key pressure points of your dog’s elbows, knees, and hips. If possible, make beddings that are accessible to your Dachshund at all times so that they can do it on their own. If you make beddings that are soft and thick, pressure sores would be less likely to happen. 

• Prevent Urine Burns by Wiping Incontinence in a Timely Manner

An immediate wiping of urine should be done because it could cause burns and irritations on the skin. If these irritations and burns have developed, touching your Dachshund should be very careful and slow because it is very painful and uncomfortable.

Veterinarian’s advice is essential because they may give the appropriate procedure for urination, and this may vary on how the paralysis has affected your Dachshund. This procedure may not need diapers or assistance in emptying their bladder. If you plan on applying pressure to the bladder, you must again ask for advice from a veterinarian because risks may arise like another injury. 

• Bathe them at least once a week

It is essential to bathe your Dachshund at least once a week and give them a comfortable scrubbing with enough shampoo. Only a mild shampoo is needed in order for you to wash them and rinse them with care and slowly. 

Lukewarm water is advisable to be used instead of cold water. It is impossible for them to keep themselves clean because they are paralyzed. If you observe that their skin appears to be dry, bathing should be limited and remember to take extra precautions whenever you touch their body.

• Physical Therapy 

This procedure requires a little patience because it is impossible to convince your Dachshund to warm up or practice any physical therapy in their situation. However, this is approved and instructed by a veterinarian, so it is safe. 

If you happen to convince your dog little by little at a time, do it daily with them. They need you here more than anything. You just simply flex and massage their legs carefully. Do it in a slow but sure manner until you already get their trust in touching their paralyzed legs and other parts of their body. 

• Use of support harness

Since a paralyzed dog hasn’t walked on their own for quite a while, making use of a support harness is a big help. This is to make your Dachshund’s recovery faster as rehabilitation is going on. Dachshunds are small, and it gets hard whenever you attach the harness to their body, and there’s a possibility that they keep on restraining to wear.

If this happens, ask help from someone to avoid hurting or touching some painful parts of your Dachshund’s body whenever you let them wear a harness. 

• Appropriate medicines

Of course, there will never be total healing if not because of the medicines. It may be oral, or through injection, but it doesn’t matter if it guarantees a full recovery to your paralyzed Dachshund. 

Dachshund’s medicines should be prescribed by a veterinarian. Avoid buying medicines which you only think is good for them because it needs a professional’s advice. Vitamins are also highly suggested and essential for them to regain their strength and activeness in life.

• Strict Crate Rest

The Strict Crate Rest means a minimal movement. This also means leaving your Dachshunds in a crate most of the time, including evening time. When you do this to your dog, it means that you carry them with you and have them unleashed so that they can’t move or walk around that much and feeding them in their crate. 

However, it all depends on the condition of your dog as they may undergo a supervised rehab depending on the decision of your veterinarian. It normally takes 6 weeks of keeping your dog in a crate to fully recover. It may be hard for owners to keep it that way, but the process is worth the wait. 

Wrapping Up

Dogs are like human beings because they have feelings, and they need emotional and physical support, especially whenever they get sick. Paralysis is a serious condition that may happen to Dachshunds because of their built. They are the most prone of all breeds of dogs to paralysis, so when that happens, the tips discussed in this article could be very helpful. 

Good thing if they have recovered from being paralyzed, and once it’s over, keep their post-paralysis life the same to their life right before getting sick. Take them with you for walks anywhere safe, even if they are still wearing their harness or dog carts. Carry him with you and let them enjoy life because that’s what they need to fully recover. 

Of course, you should still monitor their condition even if you think they have recovered. And lastly, if there’s a need to visit a veterinarian, do not hesitate because they know better. 

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

1 thought on “My Wiener Dog Can’t Walk: Caring for a Paralyzed Dachshund”

  1. that was great info our weiner dog gus has paralysis trying to find a rear leg mobility harness .his legs are paralyzed he is on predisone gary,dana he has a catheder we have to use he is 11 years old any place sells mobility harness he is a long haired daschund.very cute dog best dog ever loves us soooo much


Leave a Comment