The Most Underrated Accessory to Help With Dachshund’s Vasculitis

The Most Underrated Accessory to Help With Dachshund’s Vasculitis


written by Sarina Chiu

4 mins read

Most of us would agree our dachshunds are more than just pets. They are beloved members of our families and their well-being is paramount.

That’s why it has always been my mission to design and create products that are not only stylish but practical for our dachshunds.

Small Dogs, Big Ears

Roughly a year ago, as I navigated the Canadian winter, I noticed Cooper’s big ears were always exposed to the chilling cold weather.

Many people talk about dachshund’s elongated bodies and their short legs. So when it comes to clothing, that’s one thing we pay most attention to.

However, another distinct feature that makes dachshunds super charming, is their endearing floppy ears. 

Their ears make them extremely adorable, but on the flip side, they can also be a source of vulnerability, especially when winter arrives.

My first horror

It wasn’t obvious in the beginning.

But as I petted Cooper one day, I noticed the tip of his ear was a little harder than normal.

I didn’t pay too much attention, thinking it was just dry skin.

However, things didn’t seem to improve. Slowly I noticed crusty lesions started to form at the tip of his ears.

It started on the left side of his ear, and then slowly appeared on the right side.

I am a big believer in natural remedies. Since I thought it was just dry skin, I applied coconut oil and massage his ear tips two times a day.

I kept doing that for a week, and was able to rub off some of the residues off the dry skin. I was hopeful, thinking his ears would be back to normal soon. 

But it didn't.

One day after our walk, I saw blood.

His ear was bleeding!

I immediately booked him into a visit to the vet.

While the vet cannot tell what caused the lesions, she believed Cooper has ear tip vasculitis.

What is Ear Tip Vasculitis

Ear tip vasculitis, also known as "ear margin vasculitis," is a medical condition that affects a dog's ear flaps or pinnae. It is characterized by inflammation and damage to the blood vessels in the ear tips.

This condition is common in certain breeds with floppy ears, like dachshunds, Basset Hounds and Beagles.

The exact cause of ear tip vasculitis is not always clear, but it is often associated with environmental change (can be hot or cold weather), allergies (including food or even vaccinations), or underlying immune system issues.

Some symptoms of ear tip vasculitis included:

1. Inflammation: When this happens, your dog will display visible redness, swelling and discomfort in their ear margins, particularly at the tips.

2. Ulceration: In severe cases, the condition can lead to ulcerations or sores on their ear tips. This can be really painful and may even lead to tissue loss. This is exactly what happened to Cooper.

3. Pain and discomfort: Dogs with ear tip vasculitis may exhibit signs of pain, such as severe head shake, constant scratching at their ears, or a reluctance to have their ears touched.

4. Cauliflower ear: In chronic or severe cases, the ear tips may become thickened and deformed, resembling a "cauliflower" appearance. 

dachshund vasculitisCooper's ear tip vasculitis (early symptom)

Cure for vasculitis

After the initial diagnostic, the vet prescribed a topical cream for Cooper to help with alleviating inflammation. It was a tiny 20g tube costs $75. Unfortunately it did not work.

I decided to book in an appointment with a dermatologist but was told it will likely be a 3 to 4 months wait.

As I got desperate, I decided to ask "Google" for help.

I did a lot of research and tried to find ways to help reduce the swelling and redness on his ear. 

After consulting friends and other dachshund owners in a number of Facebook dachshund groups, I decided to try Manuka Honey.


I admit I had little knowledge about Manuka Honey but it’s a natural remedy, and some say honey cures everything, so I tried.

It seemed to work in the first few days as the bleeding stopped.

But then it came back.

I also tried to dilute apple cider with warm water and applied it to his ears.

Again it seemed to work the first 2 days and then it was back to crusty ear tips again.

I was stressed and frustrated. Nothing seemed to work.

I started paying attention to when the bleeding start and noticed he usually bleed after his walk (from the cold) when he shake his head severely.

I can't help but wonder if it was the cold weather, and decided to avoid exposing Cooper's ears to the cold as much as I can.

Suddenly, something click. Haven't I designed some snoods? That would have been perfect to cover his ears to keep them warm while we go on a walk!

Most underrated “fashion”

When designing the snoods for dachshunds, I took into consideration of their long necks.

I want to ensure the snood is long enough to cover their head and ears if it gets too cold.

And to ensure the snood gives our dachshunds the ultimate comfort, I used soft, glazier fleece that is not thick and heavy on their neck.

I can’t believe I forgot about the thoughts I put into when designing the snoods. 

I immediately put them on Cooper every time we go on a walk.

While the snood can’t heal Cooper’s vasculitis, it helps to regulate his ear temperature.

On the cold and snowy days, I would double-layered the snood (so it’s harder for him to shake it off ) to ensure blood can circulate along those small and narrow vessels. 

This worked as he no longer bled after his walk in the cold.

It was honestly one of the most underrated “fashion” items for our dachshunds, especially if you live in a country with a colder climate.

Cooper's ear tip vasculitis was finally cleared but his ear was never the same

Final Thoughts

The difference a snood has made in Cooper’s life is immeasurable.

Not only did his ears stay snuggly warm, they helped to reduce the risk of complications from vasculitis. 

While I did end up spending another $250 for another topical cream called Tacrolimus to help clear the vasculitis (this time it worked - plus I believe the warmer weather helped), I can't imagine if I didn't have that little snood in the winter.

As the temperature starting to drop, I encourage all dachshund owners to get a snood for their dachshunds, especially if you love taking your dachshunds on a walk regardless of weather.

There are many places you can get your dachshund a little snood. You can also get ours here.

Cover your dogs' ears to keep them warm. If they still get vasculitis, at least you know it's not because of the cold weather. 


Disclaimer: This article was written based on my personal experience. Please consult your vet before applying any products or medications on your dog. 


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