I don’t own a wiener…. dog.
But I went to Wienerpawlooza anyway with Victor (my schnoodle – I don’t know of a Schnoodle-fest anywhere – if you do please let me know) and Sasha (a lab cross) who kind of looks like a giant Dachshund.
Here’s what I learned at Wienerpawlooza, an annual fundraiser for Canadian Dachshund Rescue Ontario held in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on September 5, 2015:
- Wiener dogs, especially if crossed, come in more variety than I thought: longhaired, multi-coloured and even fluffy.
- Dachshund organizations have way too much fun with wiener jokes on t-shirts etc. – “My wiener hits the ground,” or “The grass is greener under my wiener,” and of course “I love my wiener.”
But seriously, folks…
Dachshunds and other short-legged small breed dogs are prone to Intervertebral Disc Disease.
In fact, we met “Randy” at the festival, a paralyzed dachshund whizzing across the grass in his wheel chart not wanting to pause long. The cart posed little obstacle for my Victor who, with determination, managed to greet this “disabled dog” the traditional doggie way.
Here’ some stuff you need to know about dog disc disease, thanks to Dodgerslist.com, an online forum about this issue who had a booth presence at Wienerpawlooza:
- Disc diseases causes premature aging of the flexible outer wall of the disc causing it to be, well, less flexible.
- Dogs born with this diseased (suspected to be genetic) likely start show aging signs at three to seven years of age.
- X-rays don’t always confirm back problems but symptoms include yelping, shaking, poor appetite, unnatural head holding and reluctance to move or jump.
- Treatments include non-surgical care such as strict rest (for eight weeks) and anti-inflammatory medication, or surgery to remove offensive disc material and relieve stress on the spinal cord.
Here’s how to minimize back problems in short-legged dogs:
Regular exercise and avoid extra weight gain
- Lift the dog using both hands – one supporting the chest and one supporting the rear end
- Avoiding stairs
- No jumping on or off furniture
- Use ramps
- Use a harness to walk rather than a collar (something I prefer with Victor)
Of course, information learned here and on sites such as www.dodgerslist.com is a good start, but not an end – take your dog to the vet regularly, especially for back issues.
But if you’re reading this, you’re likely doing that already.
So, if you’re in the Toronto area next September (or Ottawa in August) take your dog to Wienerpawlooza and enjoy the Dachshund races, participate in the Dog Lovers Days lure course, and bid on silent auction items.
Want to know more about Dachshunds? Check out Dachshunds for Dummies (one of my favourite series) from Amazon.