Dachshund Health

PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) is the general term for degeneration of the retina found within some breeds of dogs (and humans). Several breed specific forms or retinal degeneration are caused by mutation in different genes.
This is known aa specific gene mutation called 'Cord 1'. The mutation was found in Miniature Smooth Haired Dachshunds and Miniature Wire Haired Dachshunds. The age in which degeneration of eyesight occurs within affected dogs varies widely, as do the levels of vision impairment and age of onset.

Responsible breeders of Miniature Dachshunds will carry out DNA testing to check their dogs Cord 1 PRA status. Breeders listed as "Assured" on the Kennel Club website offer reassurance to new owners-to be listed as an "Assured Breeder" there are both associated fees and costs as well as health check requirements. We are no longer listed as "Assured Breeders" since we believe the costs payable to the Kennel Club scheme are unecessary. We made a decision to pass on the savings we can make to our new owners while continuing to adopt the necessary principles associated with the scheme. We continue to follow all valuable guidelines, advice and breed standard information because we want to do the right thing- we have the health and well-being of our dogs and puppies at the heart of everything we do. We are experienced breeders and have., over the years, steadily built our reputation by listening to our "customers" and acting upon their feedback. We pride ourselves on the personal, high quality experience we provide.

The test itself seeks to show whether a dog is Clear, Carrier or Afftected with the Cord 1 PRA mutation. If both parents of the puppy are Clear then testing is not required as the whole litter will be Hereditary Clear.
Clear and Carrier dogs bred together will never be affected by the symptoms of Cord 1.

*Two Carrier dogs mated together could produce Affected puppies*
*Two Affected dogs bred together will always produce  Affected  puppies*

Never buy a dog from a breeder who has not carried out the test.
Ask to see the results certificate if you believe the breeder to be evasive or if they underplay it's significance. As a prospective owner of a Miniature Dachshund be aware that it is important to ask breeders you speak to about Cord 1 PRA and results of the puppies' parents. Only purchase a puppy if the breeder can answer your questions knowledgeably and comfortably. Make absolutely sure that at least one of the parents has tested Clear or is Hereditary Clear of the Cord 1 PRA mutation. Assume nothing- a Kennel Club listed breeder may not have followed this guidance at all. Being listed on the Kennel Club as a breeder does not equal certainty or quality.
Although we are no longer 'Assured' breeders, "Croftwester" dogs are, of course all tested and the results are used to govern the mating process.

There are no affected daxies in this family!
IVDD - Intervertabral Disc Disease

IVDD is a  significant health issue in Dachshunds and is a disease resulting in degeneration of the discs in the spine. It is reported that 20 - 25% of Dachshunds will suffer to some degree with back problems during their lifetime. Severity ranges from mild discomfort and pain through to total paralysis. Symptoms typically occur between the ages of 4-7 years old, but can occur at any age.
While there is nothing that can prevent IVDD, there are several things that a Dachshund owner can do to minimise the risk:

* Keep your Dachshund within the recommended weight range and exercise him/her daily - overweight and under-exercised Dachshunds are more prone to IVDD.
* Lift your Dachshund with two hands, one supporting its chest and one supporting its back end
* If planning to have your puppy spayed/neutered, seriously consider opting to have this operation performed once the dog is over the age of 1 year old.
* Walking up and down slight inclines regularly is recommended as this helps to build the core muscles which support the spine.
Your Dachshund will 'police' itself-they are self aware and sensible in relation to their own bodies. Got to give them credit for being 'sausage dog smart'. They will be unwilling to do anything that they aren't comfortable with!