Although commonly listed as one of the healthiest dog breeds, Poodles are not immune to certain medical issues. In this article we will briefly go through several prevalent Poodle diseases. We will also say a word or two about the Poodle life expectancy.
The Most Common Poodle Health Issues
The following health concerns can typically occur in all Poodles (Standard, Miniature, and Toy) regardless of their size.
1. Hip Dysplasia
Poodle hip dysplasia is an orthopedic genetic condition in which the hip socket and femoral head grow out of sync, leading to hip joint incongruity. Factors like strenuous physical activity and obesity can aggravate the disease. Surgical management is highly advised.
2. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) disease is a serious eye anomaly that stems from retinal damage and can culminate in blindness. PRA is the most common Poodle eye disease. It affects both eyes simultaneously and sadly, there is no known cure (only experimental treatments that can slow down the progression).
Epilepsy is a common illness in Poodles. Sadly, its underlying reasons and etiology are unknown. In addition to the classic Poodle seizures, the dog may show confusion, excessive drooling, stiff limbs, sudden unconsciousness, and unresponsiveness.
4. Addison’s Disease
Addison’s disease indicates that the Poodle’s adrenal glands don’t produce adequate levels of cortisol. The condition can generally be managed. However, Poodles with acute Addison’s disease crisis often require hospitalization until proper stabilization is achieved.
5. Thyroid Issues
Hypothyroidism means the Poodle’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce sufficient levels of thyroid hormones. Unless supplemented with artificial thyroid hormones it will manifest hair loss and balding, weight gain, increased appetite, weakened immune system, and excessive cold. Hypothyroidism can often result in a bald Poodle.
6. Chronic Active Hepatitis
Chronic active hepatitis is a devastating inflammation of the liver triggered by autoimmune processes. As many other immune diseases in Poodles (immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, immune pancytopenia, Evan’s syndrome, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia) its frequency stems from irresponsible inbreeding practices and is a result of the Poodle genetics.
As any other deep-chested dog, the Poodle is at higher than average risk of developing gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) or bloat.
The Poodle bloat manifests with stomach dilating and then twisting. GDV is a life-threatening condition that warrants immediate veterinary attention.
Toy And Miniature Poodle Health Issues
Small and toy breed dogs can be prone to some specific health issues because of anatomical and physiological differences.
1. Luxating Patellas
The name of the issue explains everything – instead of being well-fixed the patella can move freely which leads to pain and mobility impairment (limping, reluctance to move). Surgical correction is recommended.
2. Collapsed Trachea
Tracheal collapse is a potentially life-threatening disease in which the cartilaginous rings that are supposed to keep the trachea open become flaccid. As a result of their flaccidity, the trachea flattens and cannot support the normal breathing processes.
3. Dental Issues
As any other small dog, the Poodle is prone to tartar buildup because of its small jaw and teeth overcrowding. Over time, the tartar buildup causes gum disease and can lead to premature teeth falling.
4. Sebaceous Adenitis
The condition is caused by inflammation of the sebaceous glands accompanied by frequent and sever skin infections. There are several Poodle skin problems, but this is the most commonly reported. The infections cause itchiness and lead to hear loss. In more severe cases it can cause Poodle hair loss and make your Poodle smell very unpleasantly.
Health Issues In Newborn Poodles
Puppies are particularly sensitive creatures. Their underdeveloped immune and thermoregulation systems put them at higher risk for many conditions. Same as puppies from all breeds, Poodle puppies are prone to intestinal worms and several infectious diseases. However, there are two puppy health problems specific to newborn Poodles.
Hypoglycemia or simply put low blood sugar levels can occur in Poodle puppies (usually less than four months old) due to stress or irregular feeding regimens. A sudden drop in the sugar levels can make the puppy slip into coma and in severe cases have fatal consequences. Talk to your vet about Poodles diet to prevent this health issue.
2. Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
Legg-Calve-Perthes disease develops as a result of inappropriate blood supply to the femur (thigh bone) which eventually causes bone degradation.
The first clinical sign is limping and it manifests when the puppies are between four and six months old. Surgical correction is the only possible treatment. The condition occurs only in Toy Poodles.
Senior Poodle Health Problems
As dogs age they go through various changes. All senior Poodles develop cognitive dysfunction syndrome – the canine equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease in people. The old Poodle dog is also very likely to develop some of the following health issues.
Arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints that manifests with limping, joint pain, and decreased exercise intolerance. As dogs age, diminished joint and hip health issues are inevitable. However with proper care, its onset can be delayed and once it presents its clinical signs minimized.
2. Certain Types Of Tumors
Poodle cancer is a prevalent issue among seniors from this breed. The most common types of cancer in this breed are insulinoma and hemangiosarcoma. Insulinomas develop on the pancreas, trigger excess insulin secretion, and are usually benign. On the other hand, hemangiosarcomas are aggressive and cancerous tumors that stem from the blood vessels lining.
3. Heart Disease
Sadly, the clinical signs and symptoms of heart disease are commonly mistaken with normal aging. By the time, right diagnosis is made the condition is already quite advanced in senior Poodles.
Life Expectancy Of Poodles
Poodles are no exception to the rule that larger dogs grow old faster. Therefore the exact life expectancy of Poodles depends on its size.
The largest Poodle breed is the Standard Poodle which usually lives around 12 years. The average lifespan of the Miniature Poodles is between 14 and 17 years while Toy Poodles usually live over 16 to 18 years.
Just because you have a Poodle it does not mean your pet will develop any of the described specific Poodle health issues. Today, with the advances in veterinary medicine there are ways of preventing many conditions and managing if they are already present. Talk to your trusted vet and craft the best medical Poodle care plan.
Do Female Dogs Cramp When In Heat?
It is assumed that female dogs can experience cramps while in heat. In fact, a Poodle in heat is likely to whine and the whining is believed to stem from discomfort and pain associated with cramps.
Do Poodles Get Fleas?
Just like any other dog breed, Poodles can become infested with a variety of internal and external parasites including fleas.
What Can Poodles Eat?
Unless the Poodle has some medical issue warranting a special diet, it can eat the same foods all dogs eat – commercially available formulas (there are specific options based on coat color) or homemade diets using high-quality and wholesome dog-friendly ingredients.
Why Do Poodles Shake?
When it comes to Poodles shaking is not uncommon. The top three reasons why Poodles shake include feeling cold, low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), and stress.