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Are cream dachshunds healthy?

Cream dachshunds, also known as Isabella dachshunds, are a beautiful variety of this popular breed. Their cream or fawn colored coats make them stand out from standard black and tan dachshunds. But are they as healthy as their other dachshund counterparts? Let’s take a closer look at some of the key health considerations for cream dachshunds.

Genetics and Color Dilution Alopecia

The cream coat color in dachshunds is caused by a dilution of the standard red and black coat. This dilution is caused by a recessive d gene. When a dachshund inherits two of these recessive genes (dd), it results in a cream or fawn colored coat.

However, the genetic mutation that causes the diluted coat color has been associated with a condition called color dilution alopecia or follicular dysplasia. This condition causes hair loss and skin problems. The hair follicles in dilute colored dogs, like cream dachshunds, are malformed and unstable. This can result in patchy hair loss, especially along the top line of the back.

Color dilution alopecia is most commonly seen in blue or fawn Doberman pinschers. However, it has also been identified in other breeds with diluted coat colors, including dachshunds. The hair loss is often progressive and can begin at a young age. Secondary skin infections are common due to the abnormal follicles. There is no cure, but symptoms can be managed through treatments and supplements.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

All dachshunds are predisposed to intervertebral disc disease due to their long, low bodies and short legs. This makes them more likely to suffer from ruptured or slipped discs as they age. Cream dachshunds have the same body shape as any other dachshunds, which puts them at risk for this back problem.

Intervertebral disc disease occurs when the discs between the vertebrae in the spine herniate or rupture. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and can cause pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. Dachshunds are prone to IVDD because their legs are short in comparison to their long backs. This means more pressure on the discs.

Treatment options range from rest and medication to various surgeries. Reoccurrence is common, and this chronic condition requires vigilance and possibly lifestyle modifications. All dachshund owners should be alert for signs of back pain, weakness, or paralysis, which could indicate IVDD. Their high risk means prevention and early treatment are especially important.


Carrying excess weight puts added strain on a dachshund’s vulnerable back. Cream dachshunds love food and can easily become obese if overfed. Extra weight increases the risk of slipped discs and other back problems.

According to one study, close to 50% of dachshunds are classified as overweight or obese. Additional weight stresses the ligaments and discs in the spine. Just a few extra pounds can substantially raise the chance of a ruptured disc. Preventing obesity is key to good health in a cream dachshund.

Keeping your cream dachshund at a trim, healthy weight takes commitment and vigilance. Regular weigh-ins, measuring food portions, and increasing exercise are some ways to maintain optimal weight. Consult with your vet if your dachshund becomes overweight. A diet and exercise plan can get them slimmed down to a ideal weight again.

Patella Luxation

Dachshunds are also prone to trick knees or patella luxation. This occurs when the kneecap slides out of place. It’s often seen in small breed dogs with bowed or misaligned legs. Mild cases may not cause symptoms but severe patella luxation can lead to arthritis, lameness, or difficulty standing.

Cream dachshunds can inherit incorrectly formed hind legs that increase the likelihood of patella luxation. Keeping the knees and leg muscles strong can help prevent issues. However, surgery may be required in serious cases to realign the kneecap.


Seizures and epilepsy are another common health issue seen in dachshunds. One study estimated dachshunds have a 7% chance of developing idiopathic epilepsy. This is a higher rate than many other breeds.

Experts believe there is a hereditary factor to seizures in dachshunds. Cream dachshunds likely have the same genetic predisposition. Symptoms usually develop between 6 months to 5 years as recurrent seizures. Mild cases can sometimes be managed with medication. More severe seizure disorders may require lifelong treatment.

Eye Problems

Dachshunds are prone to several inherited eye conditions including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and corneal dystrophy. Breeding dogs should have regular eye exams by a vet ophthalmologist to screen for these issues before breeding.

Cream dachshunds may develop juvenile cataracts at a young age. This can lead to blindness if not treated. Corneal dystrophy causes opaque spots on the surface of the eye. Over time vision loss can occur. Unfortunately both conditions may progress quickly in dachshunds and threaten their eyesight.

Annual eye exams by your vet are recommended to catch any problems early. Signs like eye discharge, squinting, reluctance to go outdoors, or vision changes warrant prompt attention. Some eye diseases like PRA have no cure but progress slowly. While cataract surgery may be an option if they interfere with sight.

Heart Disease

Certain heart conditions are more prevalent in dachshunds compared to other dog breeds. This includes mitral valve disease, which causes a heart murmur and eventual congestive heart failure. Dachshunds are also prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, an enlarged heart muscle that leads to arrhythmias and heart failure.

Experts advise having a veterinary cardiologist evaluate dachshund breeding stock for congenital heart defects. Routine vet checkups for pet dachshunds should include listening for heart murmurs and conducting an EKG if indicated. Medications and lifestyle changes can help manage heart disease.


Dachshunds have an increased risk for certain types of cancer compared to other breeds. They are especially prone to developing mast cell tumors. These tumors form in the skin, but can spread internally to the liver, spleen and other organs if not caught early.

Oral melanoma is another cancer dachshunds are susceptible to. Dark spots in the mouth should be checked promptly. Additionally, histiocytic sarcoma is an aggressive cancer seen more often in dachshunds. Regular vet exams along with bloodwork, biopsies or imaging can detect cancer for early treatment.

The exact causes for increased cancer rates in dachshunds are not fully known. Likely there are hereditary factors at play. Breeders should screen for mast cell tumors and oral melanoma. All dachshund owners should be vigilant for lumps, bumps or changes that could signal cancer. Early detection and treatment is key.

Skin Problems

Dachshunds are prone to various skin disorders including pattern baldness, seborrhea, fold dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Hair loss and dry, itchy, irritated skin are common complaints. Allergies, yeast and bacterial infections often complicate skin issues in dachshunds.

Regular grooming and skin care helps prevent problems. Treating any secondary infections, identifying allergies, and using medicated shampoos can provide relief. In some cases, antibiotics, anti-fungals or immunosuppressants may be prescribed. Moisturizers, supplements and medications can reduce symptoms.

Cream dachshunds seem especially prone to skin problems and pattern baldness related to their coat genetics. Dilute colored breeds tend to have dry, sensitive skin. A comprehensive skin care regimen is recommended to keep their coat and skin healthy.


Bloat is a life threatening condition that twists and distends the stomach. It requires emergency surgery. Dachshunds are susceptible due to their deep, narrow chests. Risk factors include stress, eating large meals rapidly, and excessive activity after eating.

Preventing bloat in dachshunds involves dividing meals into smaller portions. Raising food and water bowls can also help. Avoid vigorous exercise one hour before and after eating. Recognizing early bloat symptoms (restlessness, drooling, distress, attempts to vomit) and getting prompt emergency treatment boosts survival chances.


In summary, cream dachshunds share many of the same health vulnerabilities as other dachshund varieties. Their genetics and body structure predispose them to certain conditions. However, with responsible breeding practices and proactive veterinary care, cream dachshunds can lead long, happy, healthy lives.

Here are some key points on the health of cream dachshunds:

  • Color dilution alopecia is a risk associated with their diluted coat genetics.
  • IVDD is common due to their long backs and short legs.
  • Obesity leads to added back strain.
  • Trick knees may require surgery in severe cases.
  • Seizures may be managed with medication.
  • Eye exams help detect progressive diseases that threaten sight.
  • Heart testing screens breeding dogs for congenital defects.
  • Certain cancers are more prevalent in dachshunds.
  • Skin issues are common but treatable.
  • Preventing bloat is vital.

While they may be prone to some hereditary conditions, with attentive care cream dachshunds can live long happy lives and make wonderful companions!