DachshundOriginally bred as badger dogs in seventeenth-centuryGermany, Dachshunds are still known to be eager hunters. In addition to their energy and fearlessness, the Dachshund’s playful personality makes it a very popular breed. These dogs have a low, elongated body and may be either miniature or standard in size. Their coats may be smooth, wirehaired or longhaired and the coloration of the coat varies according to breeding. Because they are so small, these dogs can adapt to a variety of living environments, but they do require moderate exercise to work off their plentiful energy.

Dachshunds are a friendly breed that gets along well with children, making them excellent family pets. Though they normally live up to fifteen years, health problems like epilepsy, intervertebral disc disease and hyperthyroidism may reduce their lifespan. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.

Epilepsy is a condition characterized by seizures or convulsions which range from mild, or petit mal, to severe, or grand mal. During a seizure, the limbs become suddenly stiff, the jaws clamp and the muscles in the dog’s legs begin to contract. During severe seizures, many dogs lose consciousness and may not wake up immediately after the seizure ends. This condition is most often treated with the administration of anticonvulsant medications such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide. These medications are relatively inexpensive, costing as little as $0.10 per dose.

Intervertebral Disc Disease
Due to their elongated skeletal structure, a larger number of Dachshunds are affected by intervertebral disc disease (IVD) than almost any other breed. This condition results in herniated discs in the lower back which can cause pain and may eventually lead to paralysis. Mild cases of this condition can be treated medically but surgical repairs are the most effective long-term treatment and are generally necessary for severe cases. Surgeries to repair IVD generally cost between $3,000 and $5,000.

This condition involves the overproduction of the thyroid gland in secreting hormones like thyroxin. An excess of hormones in the system can cause bodily functions to speed up. Dogs with hyperthyroidism may experience a rapid heartbeat, an increased rate of breathing, hyperactivity and general nervousness or irritability. The treatment with the highest margin of success for this condition is radioactive iodine treatment, or radioiodine therapy. This treatment uses radioactive iodine to kill overactive thyroid cells and it generally costs between $800 and $2,000. Surgery may also be done to remove all or part of the gland for between $500 and $1,500.

Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.