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Terri Riba
Terri Riba, Healthcare Expert
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 32380
Experience:  Expert in canine health and behavior. 20 years of experience with dogs
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my 14 year dachshund seems to have had a stroke. His symptoms,

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my 14 year dachshund seems to have had a stroke. His symptoms, his hesd us slightly cocked, he has a difficult time picking up his food. at night he is confused and does not sleep well. Took him to to Vet, but he thinks it is a disc problem.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Terri Riba replied 8 years ago.

Hi there,


I am sorry your boy is not well.


Since he is a doxie we worry about IVDD.


Dogs can have strokes too:

He may just have become deydrated or hypoglycemic or hurt himself.

There is also a less serious condition that mimics stroke/seizure called Vestibular syndrome:


This is often confused by vets with stroke and is common in older dogs.It is caused by an ear infection or abscessed tooth. It is treated with antibiotics but someties resolves on its own.


Older dogs often have cognitive or sensory disorders. Leave a nightlight and low radio on for him at night.



Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)

Small breed dogs with short, thick legs such as the Dachshund, Bassett Hound and Beagle are at the highest risk of intervertebral disc disease, which develops earlier in these dogs (ages 3 to 7) versus other dogs (ages 8 to 10). About one in every four Dachshunds will suffer from disc-related problems in its lifetime. Dogs suffering spinal cord trauma are also at a high risk of IVDD and should see a veterinarian immediately, especially if they are paralyzed.

Vertebrae are separated by soft tissue, which acts as shock absorbers, called intervertebral discs. The intervertebral discs form an elastic cushion between the vertebrae, which allows movement, minimizes trauma and shock and helps connect the spinal column. With age, the inner part of the intervertebral disc (nucleus pulposus) degenerates, decreases its water content, becomes hard and finally loses its elastic cushioning function.

In Dachshund, Beagle, Shih Tzu and other toy breeds this process occurs at young age. These breeds tend also to have the acute form of intervertebral disc extrusion (type I), in which the inner part of the intervertebral disc extrudes into the spinal canal and compresses the spinal cord.

German Shepherd, Belgian Shepherd and large sized dogs in general tend to have the chronic form of disc protrusion (type II) in which the inner and the external part (annulus fibrosus) of the intervertebral disc degenerates. Usually clinical signs occur at middle age and are slow and progressive.

Initially, especially in the acute form in which the intervertebral disc compresses the spinal cord, mild to severe pain is present. In later stages of intervertebral disc disease, dogs may have incoordination, paralysis and loss of bladder control.

Early treatments for IVDD may be simple cage rest in which the dog is restricted from jumping. Treatment with corticosteroids to alleviate spinal cord pain can be dangerous because dogs that are pain-free tend to become more active (instead of rest) with the consequence that additional intervertebral disc can herniate and irreversibly compress the already damaged spinal cord.

Surgical therapy is used if the dog is not improving or getting worse with cage rest and if signs of incoordination are present. Surgery should be performed immediately if signs of paralysis are present. If a dog suffering paralysis from a compressed or slipped disc goes without surgery for more than 24 hours, the damage may become permanent."

He may need further xray evalution of his neck and spine and possibe an MRI.

Sprinkle a quarter of a tsp of Turmeric (curcumin) in his food daily. That spice sold in human health stores is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Talk to your vet about this new drug:

There is also chiropractic and accupuncture available for dogs.


Please let me know how your boy is doing. I hope he is better very soon,


Warmest wishes,


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