Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ain't Too Proud To Beg, But Is It OK For Our Backs?

You see it again and again in the Dachshund community - cute little wiener dogs begging or sitting up on their hind legs - looking so cute that you just want to eat 'em up, but is it safe for Dachshund backs?  We hear the reply again and again - NO! - but that's not what a veterinarian said yesterday in the Los Angeles Times.  In fact, this vet recommends the practice as a way to strengthen a Dachshund's back:

Jane's question: What are some ways to keep a dachshund's back healthy and strong? Other than preventing accidents, are there any exercises or supplements I can give my dog?

Heather Oxford, DVM: As you may know, many dachshunds have a hereditary back condition called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). This causes the discs to slowly degenerate, which makes them less resilient shock absorbers. Any activities that cause compression through the spine are considered high-risk for disc herniations and neurological problems including paralysis.
Such activities include running down stairs, jumping down from furniture, or jumping up and down on the hind limbs. At CARE, we encourage spinal flexibility and core strength by dozens of exercises. One such exercise is sitting up, a.k.a. "begging." This is a core strengthener that helps protect the back from injury. Also, I recommend fish oils that have concentrated amounts of omega-3s such as DHA and EPA. Not all fish oils are created equal, so make sure yours is independently tested for mercury and other contaminants, and that it meets its label claims.

We really need to know the truth because every time we sit up and look incredibly adorable, Dad tells us to stop.  What's a wiener dog to do?


Anni said...

I'm glad to hear this. Because, my Iori is jumping and running up and down form the staris a lot. Even tho it's impossible to make hime stop, when he hears we are going out. So now I at least know, that when he's begging, it will to good for his back.

Anonymous said...

I try gating my stairs both top and bottom but of course as Anni says they are sometimes too fast and bound up and down when we least expect it. ie Someone comes to the door. My little Shilo Baby Bean sits up like that too and he is a very loooong dachshund, (hense "Baby Bean")so I worry when he does this as he likes to do it often.

teresa said...

I read the blog every day and I was so surprised to see my photo here! That's my girl Lina, and I sure hope begging is good for her back, because she does it constantly. :)

Thanks for using my photo! Lina and I are honored.

The Frugal Fraulein said...

Mister T used to climb down some stairs when he exited through the doggie door but I installed a ramp and he is much happier.
I am using Ultimate Health for Dogs which contains glucosimine and MSM which seems to helping Mister T. It tastes like liver and he laps it up. I found it at and buy it online. I found out the owner had created it for his Dachshund, Bently.

Rowdy and Bette said...

Thanks for the great tips - and teresa - thanks for letting us use the pic of Lina. She's so cute, and the photo is great with the mod carpet in the background!

kalyxcorn said...

wow. that is great to know. Kep used to do it all the time, sitting up for hours like a little tripod if he wanted to. Baxter has never shown interest in sitting up, but he is also a much longer dog. I wonder, though. thanks for the food for thought!

Unknown said...

My 10 yr old dachshund, had back surgery 4 years ago, he is getting weaker in the rear every month, any suggestions on exercises to do with him to strengthen his hind legs?

Rowdy and Bette said...

Wish we had a good answer for you Laurie. Sorry to hear about your little guy. Maybe check with your vet or try some alternative therapy like acupuncture? Please search the site for 'acupuncture,' a lot of folks have had good results. Walks are great as long as he's not in any pain. Make sure that you're giving a good glucosamine supplement, and fish oil, or see if your vet can offer a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory which may help.

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie, ask your vet about swimming to help. If you have a pool that is great. Good luck

Unknown said...

I am looking for a set of wheels for my lil Harley who's back rear gear is almost gone.. he has already had surgery once to repair his back but id too old to go through it again.. he is 1o pounds and a mini dach.. my e-mail is if anyone knows of someone who might share their wheels.

Harley's Mum

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