Last August about a week before leaving on our 2-week overseas vacation, my husband and I noticed that something was not right with our oldest dachshund Gary (8-years-old at the time). He was listless, hobbling around and requesting many more trips to go out to the bathroom than usual.
Not wanting to leave town with him under the weather, we took him into our vet who agreed that something was not right. He ran a series of tests on Gary and found that he had kidney stones, or Urolithiasis which means:
Excessive crystals (urinary stones or bladder or kidney stones) that form in the urinary tract or kidney, bladder or urethra, blocking the flow of urine. The
crystals or stones irritate the lining of the urinary tract. They cause blood in
the urine and pain and in severe cases make urination impossible for the
Dachshund (source: Dog Adoption and Training Guide).
After a very expensive emergency surgery the doctor extracted a stone the size of a grape. When you think of how big a dachshund’s bladder is, it makes a lot of sense as to why Gary was not feeling well. To save your dog from a lot of pain, and you from a lot of worry and money spent, here are some signs of urinary tract or kidney problems:
- frequent trips to the “bathroom”
- blood in urine
- change in demeanor
- pain walking, moving or urinating
- small amounts of urination or “dribbling”
To prevent future kidney or urinary tract problems, our vet recommended putting Gary on prescription food, low in minerals and protein. He said that if we were out of the food or couldn’t always afford the prescription diet, we should sprinkle salt on his regular food to encourage him to drink water more frequently.
Smaller breed dogs are more susceptible to kidney and urinary problems, so it is important to keep the following in mind when attempting to prevent new or reoccurring problems:
- always have plenty of clean water available
- give your dog plenty of exercise
- do not feed table scraps
- avoid food high in minerals, particularly calcium and magnesium; and depending on your dog’s problem, protein in some cases
- feed your dog foods high in fiber
- if your dog is confined indoors during the day, be sure he has the chance to go out at least three times throughout the day when you are at home
- look into dog foods labeled to prevent bladder and kidney problems
- schedule regular urinalysis tests for dogs with a history of problems
As always, consult your vet for advice regarding the best course of action for your Dachshund.
(Additional source: howtodothings.com)