Poodle Health Problems
Poodles are generally sturdy dogs with good health, but as with all pure breeds, there are some poodle health problems to consider.
Before buying a poodle it is wise to find a reputable breeder who can vouch for the paternity of the dog. Although this will not guarantee a perfectly healthy dog, it will be a safer bet than buying a dog from another source.
Common Poodle Health Problems
Genetic diseases afflict all breeds, and the poodle is unfortunately not immune to these. The following are some of the more common diseases and disorders to watch out for.
- Ear infections. The hair of a poodle tends to grows directly into the ear canal. This can cause ear infections because the hair traps wax and dirt if it is not cleaned and or plucked on a regular basis.
- Addison’s disease. This is a potentially fatal disease whereby the adrenals produce insufficient hormones. It is also the most commonly reported of poodle health problems. Early diagnosis is often missed because the symptoms can easily be confused with those of other conditions. Early symptoms include lethargy, gastric disturbances, intolerance to stress and weakness. If caught early it can be treated with medication.
- Gastric dilatation volvulus. This disease affects standard poodles and the incidence is quite high. Bloating, brought on by trapped gas in the stomach, causes much pain to the dog. The abdomen may or may not show visible signs of swelling but the dog will be restless and fidgety and may have dry retching episodes. Immediate veterinary care is crucial as the dog could die in terrible pain in a matter of hours without it.
- Hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia causes lameness, limping and pain. In this condition the head of the femur is malformed and does not fit into the hip socket. Mild cases can be managed with diet and exercise but surgery may be necessary for more severe cases.
- Hypothyroidism. If the thyroid is underactive the dog may experience weight gain, excessive hunger, a brittle coat, skin conditions, sluggishness, temperature fluctuations and heart arrhythmias. Treatment involves daily medication to substitute inadequate thyroid hormone.
- Patella Sub-luxation. The kneecap is unstable and slips in and out of place, causing the dog to limp until it pops back into place. Surgical correction is possible.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy. The retina, which starts out looking normal, becomes increasing abnormal over time due to a lack of blood, eventually leading to blindness. There is no cure for PRA which usually strikes dogs of around five or six.
- Epilepsy. All varieties of poodles are susceptible to ‘idiopathic epilepsy’ which is generally an inherited condition, causing mild to severe seizures which can be controlled with medication. Seizures, however, can be caused by many other factors such as infectious diseases, poison, head injuries and liver disorders.
Poodle health problems can be very distressing, but remember that a good diet, plenty of exercise and love can go a long way to keeping your pooch fit and healthy.