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5 Most Common Poodle Health Issues

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Poodles are often thought of as France’s national dog, though they originated in Germany. They are probably the fanciest pets you could acquire in the pet market today. They not only look great with their thick curly coat but also have a fancy demeanor as well. 

They are quite the socialites and have a clean smell. Poodles prove to be very intelligent, energetic, and possess a great sense of humor. They make great service dogs as a result of their eagerness and good temper. These breeds are not very aggressive so they don't make good guard pets, however, they are protective of their owners. That makes them great companions, especially for families.

These canines are categorized into four major types based on their sizes; the Standard Poodle, Medium Poodle, Miniature Poodle, and Toy Poodle which is the smallest. Their coats come in colors like white, black, brown, blue, gray, silver, café au lait, silver beige, cream, apricot, red, and sometimes patterns. They also have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

Like most dog breeds, they have health issues peculiar to them. This article will give you insight as a dog owner into some of the common diseases that could affect your Poodle.

Most Common Poodle Diseases

Five of the top illnesses that appear in this particular dog species more than in other breeds include:

Bloat

Bloat is a condition where your pet's stomach becomes overstretched and rotated by too much gas content. It is also called gastric dilatation-volvulus. This complication can be caused by a flaw in the guard muscles called sphincters. Sphincters control the inflow of material from the esophagus and its outflow through the pylorus.

Standard Poodles are at higher risk of this health problem because they are large, deep-chested breeds.

It can usually be remedied but can be fatal if the stomach twists 180 degrees on itself and traps air inside it. Bloats can be characterized by;

  • Swelling of the abdomen.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness and depression.
  • Difficult breathing.
  • Excessive salivation.
  • Your dog may make retching sounds without actually vomiting anything i.e. unproductive vomiting. 
  • They may also display signs of serious discomfort.
  • Sometimes, abnormal heart rate is also a symptom.

Treatment:

Once these symptoms are observed, your Poodle must be taken to the vet as soon as possible. Bloats are usually treated by surgery.

Addison’s Disease

It is also called hypoadrenocorticism.

This disease occurs when your Poodles' adrenal glands become defective and aren’t producing the required levels of stress hormones called corticosteroids. Corticosteroid hormones help your pet adapt to stressful situations so without them, even the tiniest bit of stress can be fatal for your dog.

Addison's disease symptoms include ;

  • Depression and lethargy.
  • Anxiety.
  • Digestive issues.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea. 
  • It can also cause dangerously low blood sugar i.e hypoglycemia.
  • Dehydration or excessive thirst.
  • Shaking.

This disease is hard to spot by symptoms alone, but it can be detected with a full blood work. Most dogs are only diagnosed after an Addisonian crisis (a collapse from the shock of a stressful event) and by then need to be hospitalized. To make sure it doesn't get to this point with your Poodle, make sure to take them for routine checkups and tests.

Treatment:

Addison's disease is incurable, but it can be managed by administering fluid or drug therapy to replace the corticosteroid hormones. Your pooch will also need a lot of care and as little stress as possible.

Thyroid Issues

This is more common in aging Poodles because with age comes a decline in body functions. The two major issues of the thyroid gland are hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism.

  • Hyperthyroidism is the increase in the secretion of thyroxin.

Thyroxine is the hormone responsible for the regulation of dog metabolism or how much energy their body uses. It aids the proper function of all the body organs.

  • Hypothyroidism is the decrease in the production of the hormone thyroxine, thereby slowing down body functions. It is the more threatening health issue of the two. 

Thyroid issues can be caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland or a tumor. Symptoms include:

  • Hair loss.
  • Weight gain.
  • Excessive hunger.
  • Seeking out warm spaces.
  • Itching and hair loss.
  • Non Healing wounds.
  • Slowed heart rate.
  • Weak immune system.

Treatment:

Hypothyroidism has no cure but can be managed with thyroid replacement therapy.

Hip Dysplasia

This disease occurs when a Poodle’s hip joint weakens. It is mostly genetic in canines and is passed down as a deformation of the hip socket.

It can also worsen with being overweight, stress from too much exercise, and sudden growth spurts.

Symptoms may begin showing in Poodles when they are young but become more prominent with age. They include:

  • Weak limbs.
  • Unwillingness to exercise.
  • Difficulty in standing.
  • Limping.
  • Small, hesitant steps.
  • Hopping with both back legs up.

Treatment: 

Hip Dysplasia is treated with joint therapy, weight reduction, anti-inflammatory medication, joint fluid modifiers, and joint supplements. You can also moderate the amount of exercise your pet gets. These will help reduce symptoms.

Epilepsy

It is a disorder of the central nervous system characterized by abnormal brain activity that leads to seizures. During these episodes, your dog may lose control of their body, suffer spasms and foam at the mouth.

Epilepsy is said to be closely hereditary. In most dogs, it is easy to miss until a seizure happens.

 Symptoms usually include any of;

  • Drooling.
  • Pacing.
  • Sudden unconsciousness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Unresponsiveness.
  • Confusion. 
  • Stiff limbs. 
  • Strange movements.

Treatment:

Depending on the severity, medications like Phenobarbital and Imepitoin are usually prescribed. It is also important to help your vet by taking extra care to note your pooch's symptoms and the way their seizures happen. 

Keeping Your Poodle Healthy

Working on preventing diseases is always easier than working your way out of them. It's the simple things that make all the difference for your dog's health and prioritizing them will help your pet avoid many diseases. Some measures you can take to keep your dog feeling strong and health sure includes;

Nutrition

A good diet will contain meat, grains, vegetables, fruits, and water. Avoid artificial sweeteners and food that expand in the stomach like kibble.

Grooming

Poodles have thick coats, so they require intense grooming. Consider giving nail trims with a dog nail trimmer, regular baths, good dental hygiene, and coat care to your pet to keep up their hygiene habits. It's also easier to spot symptoms and parasites while grooming them. 

Regular Vet Checks

A lot of diseases can be discovered and stopped in their early stages during wellness checks at the vet. Don't miss them.

Exercise

A walk a day will keep the doctor away. Exercise helps your dog’s mental and physical health. It also teaches them to be sociable.

Conclusion

Other diseases including cancers like insulinoma and hemangiosarcoma also affect Poodles more than other breeds. Toy poodles are known to be more susceptible to hypoglycemia.

They are special dogs nonetheless. Though most of the poodle breed health issues are genetic and therefore kind of unstoppable, you shouldn't feel discouraged as their owner. By giving them the best care you can, you'll help them live their best lives and have great memories. In the end, all that matters is your devotion to your pet. 

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