Dachshunds are susceptible to a number of different skin problems that cause flaking and scaling. Some of these conditions are hereditary, while others are caused by environmental or external factors. A veterinarian can examine your dog and conduct tests to determine what is causing its flaky skin.
Seborrhoea is a hereditary skin disease that affects dachshunds as well as cocker spaniels, English springer spaniels and basset hounds, among other breeds. Most dachshunds develop seborrhoea without an underlying cause. The Canine Inherited Disorders Database (see the Resources section) explains that some breeds inherit seborrhoea from parents that have normal coats but carry the gene for the disorder, so it is difficult to determine which dogs will develop the skin condition.
Seborrhoea occurs when the skin builds new skin cells faster than it can slough off the old cells. This causes a build-up of dry, itchy, flaky or excessively oily skin. Seborrhoea sicca is a type of seborrhoea characterised by dry and scaly skin, while dogs with seborrhoea oleosa experience an overproduction of skin oils. Seborrhoea oleosa causes an oily residue to build up on the belly, underarms and in the groin, according to Dr. Stephen M. Sheldon, writer for the PetTribune.com. This oil has an unpleasant odour. Dr. Sheldon indicates that dachshunds with seborrhoea often develop secondary skin and ear infections. He recommends using medicated shampoos and coat conditioners to treat the disease's symptoms.
Walking dandruff is a skin disorder caused by the Cheyletiella mite that lays eggs on the animal, according to PetEducation.com. The mites hatch into larvae and then adults. The Dachshund World website explains that it usually affects dachshund puppies when they are between two and twelve weeks old. The disease is transmitted from one animal to another through direct contact. It causes flaky skin, itching and slight hair loss. Cheyletiella mites are killed with insecticides, such as pyrethrins and fipronil.
According to the Vet Info website, dogs of all breeds are prone to dandruff if they have dry skin, allergies or parasites. The website mentions that nutritional supplements, such as flax seed oil and omega-3 fatty acids, add moisture to the dog's skin. Puppy dandruff is relieved with oatmeal shampoos. Avoid bathing the dog more often than once a week or once every two weeks, if it has very dry skin. Frequent shampoos strip the natural oil from the skin and exacerbate dandruff problems. Finally, brush the dog every day to distribute its natural skin oils evenly across the body.