Poodle Health Differences by Type

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If you don’t know much about Poodles, you probably at least know that they come in different sizes. Their sizes dictate their names – The Standard Poodle, The Miniature Poodle, and The Toy Poodle. Each of these have poodle health differences that affect it either as a puppy or once it is older. It is extremely important to understand the size of Poodle you own/want to own to ensure that you’re giving your Poodle the happiest and healthiest life possible.

Let’s explore the different sizes of Poodles and what health differences they bring to the table.

Common Health Concerns Regardless of Poodle Health Differences

There are some common health concerns that all Poodles share regardless of their size. These issues include:

Hip Dysplasia

Poodles suffer from hip dysplasia when the hip joints become weak or deteriorated. Most veterinarians believe that the condition is caused by genetics and usually arises when the hip socket doesn’t properly form.

While hip dysplasia is thought to be hereditary, it can be exacerbated by too much weight on the hip joints as well as too much exercise over an extended period of time. Poodles are very active dogs, which means that Poodles are more likely to experience hip dysplasia as they age.


  • Weak limbs
  • Difficulty getting up and down off of the floor
  • Limping
  • Hesitancy when walking
  • Lack of interest in exercise
  • Lack of interest in play
  • Inability to climb stairs

Seek professional veterinarian advise if you are concerned that your Poodle may be suffering from hip dysplasia, regardless of their size or age!


This neurological disorder is found in dogs when recurrent seizures begin to become a common theme in a dog’s life. Sometimes, these seizures are caused by a traumatic event, a toxin in their body, a brain tumor, and possibly an infection in the body. However, some other underlying health causes could bring epilepsy to the forefront if not treated appropriately. These issues include (but are not limited to) blood, kidney, or other organ issues.

Should you notice any of the following symptoms in your Poodle, take note of exactly what occurred during the epileptic episode and take it with you to your veterinarian.


  • Unresponsiveness when called or prompted
  • Drooling
  • Walking in place
  • Stiff limbs
  • Sudden and unexpected unconsciousness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Erratic behaviors otherwise unexplained

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Poodles suffer from retinal atrophy that comes on slowly and progressively gets worse. It is a very serious eye disease that can lead to eventual blindness. The retina of the eye is affected, and, unfortunately, affects both eyes whenever it strikes.

There are no known cures yet for progressive retinal atrophy, but there are some treatments that you can give your Poodle to make life a little easier. There are antioxidant supplements you can give your dog, but it only slows down the progress and doesn’t actually stop your Poodle from going blind in the long run. You can, however, get many more years of life full of joy and happiness with your Poodle with treatments.


  • Dilated pupils
  • Problems seeing at night
  • Glassy eyes
  • Clumsiness
  • Bumping into furniture

Addison’s Disease

This condition affects all sizes of Poodles and is very serious. When the adrenal glands don’t produce enough of the hormone cortisol, your Poodle is suffering from Addison’s Disease. At times, severe cases of Addison’s Disease can lead to hospitalization. Luckily, that is not often the case. Poodles with Addison’s Disease can live a healthy lifestyle with the appropriate treatments and medications prescribed by their veterinarian.


  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Digestive Problems

Thyroid Issues

Surprising to some, Poodles can suffer from thyroid issues just like their human counterparts. When a Poodle suffers from canine hypothyroidism it means their thyroid isn’t producing enough thyroid hormones to keep the body balanced. It is not typically a life-threatening condition, but it can cause the quality of life to decrease if not treated.


  • Hair Loss
  • Weight Gain
  • Weakened Immune System
  • Eating Non-Stop
  • Need for Warm Spaces (even in warmer months)

Now that we’ve looked at some of the common health issues for all Poodles (no matter their size), let’s dive deeper into the different health concerns each size of Poodle faces on their own.

These are not the only health differences Poodles see, but they are the most common. If you’re concerned about anything related to the health of your Poodle, please seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.

Thankfully, Lenny is completely healthy – from @lennytheminipoodle

The Standard Poodle

As the largest Poodle in the breed, the Standard Poodle typically measures over 15 inches in height at the shoulder. Any Poodle over that height is considered a Standard Poodle. Most Standard Poodles are about 22 – 27” tall at the shoulder.


The number one health issue for Poodles is bloating. It is more common in Standard Poodles simply because of their body structure. With deeper chests, Standard Poodles tend to have more room to allow for things to expand and move about more freely. This can cause issues such as bloating or gas. It can be fatal if not treated as soon as possible. The stomach can potentially twist on itself and trap air inside of the stomach itself. To resolve bloating issues, a Standard Poodle typically has to undergo surgery to relieve the bloating pressure.


  • Swollen or distended stomach
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Pacing
  • Sounds of Pain (groaning, moaning, crying, etc…)

Cataracts and/or Glaucoma

If you notice your Standard Poodle’s eyes start to become cloudy and exhibiting signs of vision loss, it is most likely that she is suffering from cataracts and/or glaucoma. This type of eye disease is more common in Standard Poodles but can be found in any size Poodle (or canine for that matter). Cataracts can derive from diabetes, as well, so it is important to pay attention to symptoms that could lead you to believe other issues may be occurring, too.


  • Cloudiness of the eye
  • Vision Loss
  • Extreme Thirst (when connected to diabetes)
  • Frequent Urination (when connected to diabetes)
  • Weight Loss (when connected to diabetes)

Less Common Health Concerns

These three health concerns are less common in Standard Poodles, but it doesn’t mean they don’t pop up from pup to pup. Keep an eye out for any warning signs that something is amiss and discuss with your veterinarian as soon as possible!

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Tracheal Collapse
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia

The Miniature Poodle

Coming in at a whopping 10 inches in height at the shoulder, Miniature Poodles are extremely popular and in high-demand across the world.

von Willebrand’s Disease

This blood-clotting issue is a very serious health concern for Miniature Poodles and should not be taken likely. Most Miniature Poodles will have vWD type 1 if they have it at all. It is the most common type of the disease and the mildest of all three types.

While the disease cannot be cured, it is easy to manage on a day-to-day basis. As with human bleeding, applying pressure to the bleeding area can stop and/or control the bleeding until it is done. There are some rare cases when sutures may be needed, but this is not common.


  • Frequent Nose Bleeds
  • Bleeding from the Gums Unprovoked
  • Excessive Bleeding in Females during Heat/Whelping
  • Urine or Stool Blood Present

The Toy Poodle

The tiniest of all of the Poodle breeds is the Toy Poodle. It is only (at its max height) 10 inches tall at the shoulder and most likely shorter. It does come with its own health concerns, but they’re really no different than the other Poodles and/or small breeds as a whole.

Dental Problems

A very common problem for all small breeds is dental issues. Because their mouths are so small, teeth become crowded and crammed in small spaces. This can lead to gum irritation, crooked teeth, missing teeth, etc… Your veterinarian will know what to do to keep your Toy Poodle’s teeth as healthy as possible.


  • Lack of Interest in Food
  • Chewing on One Side
  • Whimpering and/or Crying while Eating

All Poodles will have their own set of health concerns to watch out for as do any other canine breed around the world! Knowing the poodle health differences will make it easier to treat them, and you will know what to expect.  Keep up with your pup’s health, and you’ll find that owning a dog is a lot easier than it sounds! When they’re happy and healthy, so are you!

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