Jaime, owner of The Designer Dachshund blog, lives on the South Coast of the UK with her five dogs – Ava the St Bernard, Daisy the English Cocker Spaniel, Isla the German Shorthaired Pointer, Severus the Miniature Long-haired Dachshund and Lily the Miniature Smooth-haired Dachshund. Jaime tells us what it’s like to own Miniature Dachshunds and the challenges that the breed can bring.
1. What attracted you to the Miniature Dachshund breed, and what are the typical characteristics of the breed with regards to personality and temperament?
Before we took Lily on I was drawn in by her massive brown eyes! But what strikes me about the breed is their personalities! They're full of energy and character and really keep you on your toes, but they are also the most affectionate breed I've owned.
2. How did you come to own Lily and Severus, and how old are they?
Lily was almost two when we adopted her due to her previous owners deciding that they no longer wanted her – she's now five and a half. I absolutely fell in love with the breed and after months of waiting we found Sev who is now two years old.
3. What do Lily and Severus eat, and is diet any more important to Dachshund breeds than other breeds?
Lily and Sev are fed on a raw diet as it keeps them fit and healthy. Diet is incredibly important in Dachshunds, as being overweight can put unnecessary strain on their backs.
4. You've had some issues with Lily's health since you adopted her, when did you first notice that something wasn’t quite right and what were the signs and symptoms she showed?
The initial signs I spotted in Lily was that she was off colour and quiet. She was also reluctant to climb up our garden step and she also showed a slight weakness on her back left leg.
5. Lily underwent surgery for Intervertebral Disc Disease – what does it entail and what is involved in the aftercare?
It depends on the degree of damage but for Lily her disks had ruptured so an operation was required to clean the area inside the spinal canal which then took the pressure off of the spinal cord (allowing her to walk freely!). Aftercare involved eight very strict weeks of crate rest and limited exercise (five minutes at a time which increased weekly) and a lot of painkillers along with home physio exercises.
6. Once fully recovered, are there any special precautions you can take to prevent a recurrence?
Lily was never allowed to climb up or down the stairs anyway, but after her operation we made sure she didn't jump on and off the furniture and she was walked in a harness. But in some cases, including Lily's, it can be genetic so there really isn't much you can do other than just being careful.
7. What advice would you give to potential Dachshund owners?
Get insurance! Both of mine have high levels of insurance cover (£7000+ as the average back operation costs around £5000!) so that you know you can afford to treat it should it happen. We have a stair-g