Around thirty-five pet owners attended our Know Your Breed Dachshund event last Monday, bringing with them twenty of the most adorable and charismatic Dachshunds, which took no time introducing themselves to their fellow four-legged friends and the rest of the room – it’s a good job we had a speaker system!
We love Dachshunds
As a marketing manager with a passion for Dachshunds, and having looked after Clent Hills’ practice manager’s two, Ted & Sausage, for a couple of years now, being able to put on an event purely for Dachshunds and their owners has been a dream come true! Here I am below taking notes for attendee Sausage…
We started our Know Your Breed events back in May 2017 and have so far covered Labradors, Pugs and French Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, and now Dachshunds too. The idea behind these events was to bring like-minded, same breed pet owners together to have fun and learn more about their breed from our expert panel as well as each other. Last week’s Dachshund event was no exception and it was great to see so many friendly faces and wagging tails.
Dachshund event experts
Our expert panel at this event consisted of Clent Hills Vets Barbara Grabczyk and Stephanie Greenwood (right), Emily Ashdown – RVN & Physiotherapist from Bromsgrove Canine Physiotherapy & Hydrotherapy Centre, and Tim Easter – European Resident in Small Animal Surgery from Willows Veterinary Centre & Referral Service.
Barbara used to have a miniature wire-haired Dachshund called Maya so is very passionate about this breed, and Stephanie told us she is a big fan of dogs with muscle and was keen to share her views on what a healthy and strong Dachshund should look like.
Emily Ashdown was able to draw from her experiences as a nurse, physiotherapist and dog owner, to allay some audience members’ concerns about taking their Dachshunds to the vets for treatments and if they should ever develop back issues.
Other topics on the discussion list included what to look for when buying a Dachshund puppy, to which Stephanie recommended making sure you feel comfortable with the situation i.e. you can see the pup’s parents and the breeder is happy to answer questions, plus the pups look healthy, well looked after and are PRA clear. Lafora disease was also mentioned, a condition that causes epilepsy in mostly wire-haired Dachshunds and if a Dachshund is a carrier of the disease, it should not be bred from.
Talking about IVDD
One of the biggest discussions of the night was around IVDD – Intervertebral Disc Disease – a condition where cartilage between the spinal discs degenerates over time, causing a degree of back problems, the most serious being paralysis. IVDD can affect around 1 in 4 Dachshunds during their lifetime, so we were delighted to also have Tim Easter with us for the evening. According to Tim, whose job includes neurosurgery, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery, a large proportion of Dachshunds who have corrective surgery will be able to walk afterwards.
Tim also gave the audience a demonstration of how he would perform a head to toe neurological exam, starting with looking at the dog’s pupils, right down to their feet and finally the spine. Plenty of “ooohs” and “awwws” echoed in the audience when Tim tested Ted’s reflexes with a tiny rubber-tipped hammer:
Tim suggested that weight and fitness can have a huge impact on whether a Dachshund may develop IVDD. He recommended keeping Dachshunds at a healthy weight and making sure they get enough exercise – adult Dachshunds should be getting 45 – 60 minutes per day, a mixture of ‘on-lead’ walking and ‘off lead’ running around. Tim also mentioned that going up and down stairs can actually help, if it’s introduced at the right age and the dog is otherwise fit and healthy. Emily added that swimming can be a fantastic activity for Dachshunds as it’s a non-weight-bearing, strengthening exercise.
If you would like advice on your Dachshund’s weight and exercise routine, get in touch with our team today.
Prizes for the best party outfit
Originally we were going to hold the event in December and have a Dachshund Christmas party, however, due to the snow and ice, we had to call it off for safety reasons. Rescheduled for a cold Monday night in January, we invited our Dachshunds to still wear their best Christmas jumper or party outfit with prizes for the best ones.
Tim and Emily from our expert panel judged the competition and awarded our first prize to Moose, a mini smooth Dachshund who had us all melting for him in his reindeer outfit:
Harry won a prize too for looking superb in his colourful costume, here he is checking out Sausage’s pretty Halloween party dress:
We have to say a special ‘well done’ to Cleo too (below), who came as a beautiful princess – if only we had prizes for everyone!
When asked for feedback after the event, Dachshund owner Mrs Tustin said she found the event “a pleasure to attend and very informative”, which echoed the sentiments of many other attendees. After a great evening, everyone left with their goody bags in tow and some newfound knowledge on all things Dachshund.
A huge thanks to Rae Prince Photography for our amazing photos!