Why Do Some Dachshund Puppies Have Ribs That Stick Out?

By Muhammad Anas 3 Min Read

Dachshunds, especially mini dachshunds, may exhibit ribs that stick out or flare at the end of their rib cage. This phenomenon can be considered a normal variation and is not necessarily a cause for concern. Here are a few reasons why this might occur:

  1. Body Composition: Puppies, in general, have a different body composition than fully-grown dogs. Their lean physique and developing musculature can make their ribs more visible. Therefore, seeing ribs in puppies is quite common and often not a sign of any health issue.
  2. Floating Ribs: Some dogs, including dachshunds, have extra ribs that feel like small bumps under the skin or have cartilage at the ends of their ribs that cause them to “flare” out in a unique way. These are often referred to as “floating ribs” and are part of the normal anatomy for certain breeds.. These ribs are not attached to the sternum (breastbone) like the other ribs, which can make them more noticeable.
  3. Genetic Factors: While some puppies have ribs that stick out due to their genetic makeup, it’s essential to differentiate between normal variations and signs of an underlying health issue. Genetic conditions, such as pituitary dwarfism, can impair growth hormone production, leading to stunted growth and underdeveloped musculature, including visible ribs.

When to Be Concerned:

While some rib visibility is normal, there are situations where it’s essential to consult a veterinarian:

  • Excessive Prominence: If your dachshund puppy’s ribs are excessively prominent, accompanied by weight loss, lack of appetite, or lethargy, it’s crucial to seek professional advice. These symptoms could indicate an underlying health problem.
  • Malnutrition: Puppies need a balanced diet to thrive. Malnutrition can hinder growth and development, causing ribs to become more noticeable. Ensuring your puppy receives essential nutrients is vital.
  • Parasites: Intestinal parasites (such as roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms) can interfere with nutrient absorption, leading to malnourishment and visible ribs.


In most cases, dachshund puppies having ribs that stick out is a normal variation. However, always monitor your puppy’s overall health and consult a veterinarian if you notice any concerning signs. Remember, a healthy and happy start to their lives is essential for our furry friends!

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