How to Care for a Dachshund With a Broken or Fractured Pelvis

Dachshunds sometimes get themselves into a lot of trouble. This article is for the owner who has had surgery done on their dog but it also has care tips for those dogs whose injury did not require surgery. It is not intended to replace the instructions your vet should have given you for your specific case but should give you some tips to help you through the recovery period. This article should also help prepare you for the task ahead.


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    Plan for full-time care. Dachshunds will return the love you give them twice over, and in some cases four times. You have a job ahead of you that at times will be hard but most of the time will go better than you expect. If you are a single person who has a full-time job, you should consider finding a dog boarding facility that can take care of a dog with medical problems.
    • Keep in mind though that very few people can take as good of care of your dog as you personally will. If you are single, and can take care of your dog during his entire recovery, you have something that you can be proud of. If you are married, and have kids that are good with animals, you have a situation that the entire family can be proud of.
    • You may think that you know your Dachshund very well, but once the recovery is over, you will find that you have come to know your dog even better and, if you have a smart dog, he will come to know you better. Never underestimate the intelligence of a Dachshund. At the end of this situation, you and your dog will become more bonded, even if you thought it was not possible to love your dog more than you already did.
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    Get a crate, preferably one with rollers on the bottom. Don't get one that the dog will barely fit in because right after surgery there will be times that you will need to physically lift him out of the crate. This is hard to do in a small crate. Later, when your dog is able to move, he will appreciate the extra space.
    • The crate in the right hand picture is a bit too large, but this type can come with rollers. The all-wire types usually do not. (And yes, the dog in the picture looks like a lab ––the image is for the benefit of the crate). Note of caution: It's not a good idea to let a cat stay on a Dachshund's crate after surgery, even if they got along very well before. The dog may see the crate as "his" and only want humans around it.
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    Purchase a liner for the bottom of the crate for the times that your dog has an accident. Even if your dog is house trained, it's very likely that right after surgery, he will have an accident in the crate. After a bit of time has passed, your dog will let you know when it's time to go out and potty. The blue liner in the right hand picture is a good choice.
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    Buy or rig a comfortable bed to put in the crate for your dog, keeping in mind that your dog will be spending a lot of time in there for the next several weeks. The bed on the right is a good choice because it is square and thick. You can also use the blankets you already have on hand to make your own bed crate to your satisfaction. Your goal is to ease your dog's pain and keep him warm too. Making your dog comfortable will speed up his recovery and reduce your workload.
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    Keep water and food inside of the crate. If your dog has a weight problem, it might be advisable to keep the food outside of the crate unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise. An overweight dog may not heal as quickly and will be more prone to re-injuring the hip. If you have to cut back on food, it would be a good idea to give your dog vitamins, but you'll need to clear this with your vet just to make sure that it does not interfere with whatever medications your dog is taking. There really are a surprising number of things that may interfere with medications. The food and water bowls on the right are a bit too big for a crate. The combined food and water bowls need frequent cleaning due to the fact that some pets scatter their food into the water.
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    Place the crate in an area where your dog can see you. This is where the rollers come in handy. A Dachshund will recover faster if he can see you a majority of the time. This is also especially helpful right after surgery, as you will need to be able to monitor your pet for any changes.
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    Give pain medication. Your vet should have given you some pain medication for your dog. They may tell you to give the meds when you think your dog is in pain. The problem with this is that dogs will sometimes hide their pain from their owners - especially a Dachshund. Right after surgery you should give your dog the pain meds regardless of whether they look like they are in pain or not. After a few days you should be able to cut back gradually on the number of times per day you give the pain meds. If the surgery went well and you have taken good care of them, the need for pain meds will decrease. If your dog still appears to be hurting, you need to call your vet.
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    Carefully follow your veterinarian's orders on when your dog can walk and exercise. This all depends on how severe the injury was and how extensive your Dachshund's surgery was. There is no one set of rules that applies to all situations. Some dogs with successful surgery may be able to walk short distances within a day or so after the procedure.
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    Diligently monitor the surgery site. Check for drainage, swelling, redness, or anything that looks unusual. If the drainage is clear in color there is little need for concern, but if it does not stop after a few days you need to call your vet.
    • Any drainage that is not clear needs to be reported.
    • Swelling can be caused by the surgery itself, but if it does not appear to be going away, or if it increases, you need to call your vet.
    • Redness can be caused by the surgery also, but if it does not go away, increases, or if you observe a new area, you need to call your vet. Keep the area as clean and dry as possible. A new infection will seriously hamper your dog's recovery time and increase your workload.
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    Your vet may have given you some antibiotic medication to give your Dachshund. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. Keep notes on the times you gave your dog any medication. It's easy even for an experienced person to forget when they gave their dog his last dose of meds and how many times that day they gave them. Develop a new habit of writing the times down. It will come in handy.
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    Make sure your dog wears his cone collar. When your dog comes home it should be wearing a cone collar provided by your vet. Your dog will need to wear this at all times until the stitches are removed. This is to prevent him from biting at or licking his stitches. Your dog will hate it but it is a necessary evil. It can be removed sometime after the stitches are removed. If your dog starts licking the surgery site again, the collar will need to be put back on. A little bit of licking is okay––a lot of licking is not.
    • Don't throw the collar away. It's possible it can be used as a training tool once your dog has recovered. If, and only if, you catch your dog in the act of doing something that will cause him great harm, tell him "No" and put the collar back on again for a short period of time. If you have a smart dog, he will get the message that what he just did can be very harmful. Don't use the collar for minor everyday transgressions, and never use it unless you have caught the dog doing something right at that very time. Putting it on later or allowing the kids to put it on for fun sends a confusing message to the dog.
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    Use a belly swing. When taking your Dachshund out of the crate to potty, you will need a belly sling to support his stomach. This takes weight off of the dog's hips. Finding one online or in a pet store is next to impossible. The sling in the picture was probably provided by a vet. Be sure to ask if they have one to spare.
    • You can rig one up yourself fairly easily and custom fit it to you and your Dachshund's liking. You can take a long towel, run it underneath your dog's belly, and tie it in a knot where you hold it.
    • The idea is to be able to walk comfortably and support your dog's weight. This is not a perfect system, but it does work. You may, using your own imagination, come up with something better. This system was used by an elderly man who walked with a cane and had his Dachshund on a leash at the same time. A younger, more able person should be able to use this until they come up with something better.


  • This article is not intended to replace the advice and information provided by a licensed veterinarian. As veterinary medicine advances it could possibly be outdated in a short period of time.
  • This article does not guarantee the advice to be 100 percent accurate. Always consult a veterinarian.
  • Schools of veterinary medicine are sometimes less expensive than going to a regular vet. A good school has veterinarian instructors or professors supervising the students at all times. Much of the advice provided in this article came from the University of Missouri's School of Veterinary Medicine and was provided after the surgery of a Dachshund in January 2011.
  • Accidents happen regardless of how good the care is that you give your dog, and will happen when least expected. The accident that happened to the Dachshund in the pictures happened inside a home.
  • When traveling with a pet, find out where veterinary emergency facilities are located along your route and at your destination before you depart. Don't rely on any brand of GPS device to locate a vet after an accident has happened. They tend to try to send you to non-existent addresses or try to send you to a facility that is four hour drive away when there may be a vet only a few blocks away.


  • When the healing period is over and and you finally let the dog off the leash, be sure to have some tissues in your pocket. It's hard not to cry when you see her break into her first post-surgery run. If the run does not do it, the look of sheer joy on her face will. You realize that your patience and stubborn resolve along with hard work produced good results.
  • If your Dachshund spent a lot of time outdoors, is female (regardless of being spayed), and you live in an area where dogs are allowed to roam free, you may run into unusual problems when you take your Dachshund outside to potty. Sometimes unusual problems can be solved with unusual solutions. Here's the problem: You take your female dog out to potty. You come across her dog buddies who are male. They know you but they have never seen a dog on a leash and in a cone collar, especially their buddy. They don't like it. They seem to think the human may be hurting their friend. Their tails go up and they start barking. What do you do? You act normal. You show no fear. You throw them off balance by telling them they are good dogs. Actually they are being good dogs. You let them come up and sniff their buddy. Her body language will tell them that everything is okay and soon everybody is happy. After a bit her friends may decide that, by golly, it would sure be fun to go along on the walk with you. The beauty of this situation is that now you have some bodyguards. They run off any dog that approaches you in a hostile manner.
  • Another problem you will run into in an area where dogs run free is that another dog may decide to rough play with your Dachshund. If you own other dogs this can be a problem too. Hopefully your dog will show body signs that he doesn't want to play. If the other dog ignores these signs, tell them "No" in a sharp tone of voice. If he is your own dog and it insists on playing, confine him until your healing dog is back in his crate.
  • Your dog's ability to relieve himself is a major concern, especially for a few days after the surgery. If your dog does not pass urine or feces (pee and poo) within a day of coming home, you need to call your vet without delay. If your dog can walk, he must be on a leash whenever he is out of his crate to potty.
  • There will come a time in the healing period that you and your dog will become very bored with each other. Your dog will test the boundaries and you will become tired of correcting her and of the whole situation. A bored dog can be made happy by switching up the routine a little bit. If she is up to it, take her for a longer potty break. Or invent a little game to play. A bored human is harder. Remind yourself that a dog has to be intelligent before it can become bored. Remind yourself that if you do your job properly, this situation is only temporary. If possible, get a responsible person to sit with your dog for awhile. If you have kids and if they are good with animals, have them sit with your dog. Don't let all the responsibility fall on one person. If your dog's accident was caused by one of your family members, it does no good at all to keep bringing it up constantly. Bearing a grudge against them only brings resentment and leads to them being uncooperative.
  • Your Dachshund will need to spend all of his recovery time either in his crate or in your lap. You cannot allow it any freedom because the chances of re-injury are quite high. You have probably spent a large amount of money for surgery on your dog. Letting your dog run free is like throwing that money away. It's not a question of if the dog will be re-injured, it's a question of when it will happen and it will happen.

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