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Keep dachshund from jumping?

Species: Dog
Breed: Miniature Dachshund
Age: 6-12 months
Hello,
About 2 months ago I woke to find that my dachshund could not move her hind legs. She also had diarrhea. My other dog, a Maltese Shih tzu, also had diarrhea at the same time.
We took both dogs to the Vet and they were each given the all-clear, suspecting that it must have been something they ate which gave them the upset stomach. The Vet also seemed to think that Frankie's paralysis and diarrhea were unrelated. We took Frankie home that day and made sure she had plenty of rest. By that evening she had full function of her legs again.
I am terrified of this happening to her again as she is a very active little dog, who can now jump on and off the couch. She also stands on her hind legs and sits.
Is it dangerous for her spine if she stands on her hind legs? Is it dangerous if she sits? I know she should not be allowed to jump on and off any furniture, but I'm confused as to how to prevent this.
We also have 2 steps in our backyard leading from the patio to the garden. Should I put a ramp there instead?
What do you suggest is the optimum diet for a dachshund, as I do not wish for her to put on any more weight.
As you can see I'm a little confused as to how to ensure I protect Frankie's back and minimize any harm. Would really appreciate your expertise on this matter.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

The situation that you have described where Frankie's legs were not working and then started to work a few hours later is quite unusual. Dachshunds are very prone to back problems but it would be very strange for a back problem to go away that quickly. I really don't have an explanation for you as to why Frankie lost control of her hind legs.

It is true that if a dog is recovering from a serious back problem that we should keep them from jumping and doing stairs. However, for a healthy dog, as long as it is not a crazy distance, she is fine to do small jumps and stairs. My line of thought is that if a dog has a back that is that unstable that a small jump is going to affect it then it really is going to cause problems no matter what. In other words, if she's brewing a back problem, if you keep her from jumping she may avoid a back problem today but it's just going to happen at some time in the near future.

It really should not be dangerous for her to stand on her hind legs.

Regarding food, you are right to try to keep her a healthy weight. I see so many overweight dachshunds and this is definitely not good for their backs. There is no particular brand of food that I would recommend but I would say that whatever food you choose, measure out how much she gets instead of estimating. Also, be very sparing on treats. Usually treats and table food are what get a dog to be overweight.

I hope this helps!

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.