Dachshunds' unique skeletal structure, with a long body and short legs, make them an intriguing dog. However, the breeding needed to bring about the trait has led to a host of potential health problems. The problems include eye conditions. Some of the eye conditions Dachsunds face are hereditary, while others are general eye conditions that many dogs are prone to.
Squinting or Tearing
According to the Dachshund Handbook, squinting or tearing is a possible sign of an irritated cornea or foreign object in the eye. Flood the dog's eye with a saline solution and examine under the eyelids. Use a moist cotton swab to remove any debris. If the squinting or tearing continues for more than a day, take the Dachshund to the veterinarian for a quick checkup. The Dachshund may have allergies or a tear drainage problem.
According to the Dachshund Handbook, Microphthalmia is a condition in which the globe of the Dachshund's eye is abnormally small. The small size of the globe at some point will affect the Dachshund's vision, to the point the dog will have little or no vision. This condition is more common in double dapples, a genetic trait in which the dog has dapples, or merles, on both sides of its coat. Treatment is not available for Microphthalmia.
According to the Dachshund Handbook, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS or dry eye) is a condition that often goes untreated. KCS is potentially blinding. If a Dachshund has KCS, the production of tears is absent or reduced. KCS is an uncomfortable condition that is more common in older dogs. Treatment consists of tear stimulants, artificial tears and an immunosuppressive medication. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose this condition with a simple test.
According to DogChannel.com, cataracts are a cloudiness or film over the lens of the eye. Cataracts are categorised by the age of onset, the location on the eye and the stage of cloudiness. Cataracts are hereditary, and Dachsund parents need testing to ensure they do not carry the gene before breeding.
According to DogChannel.com, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in dogs. Glaucoma increases the fluid pressure in the eye. Because Glaucoma can be hereditary, parents need testing prior to breeding. Treatment involves medicines, surgery or both.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
According to DogChannel.com, Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disorder that affect the retina of the eyes. Visual impairment from PRA is slow but progressive. Often the first signs is night blindness. Treatment is not available for PRA.