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The Poodle is known as a healthy breed but like other dog breeds, it is prone to certain medical conditions. Your best bet is to get your new Poodle from a trustworthy breeder who can guarantee that the parents are tested for certain medical conditions. It is their job, after all, to take certain steps in order to breed dogs that are at a lower risk in terms of genetic medical conditions. The good news, however, is that the average lifespan of a Standard Poodle is between 12 and 16 years, with 20 years being achievable for the Miniature Poodle or Toy Poodle. Therefore, if you do decide to own a Poodle, you can expect him to be part of the family for some time.
However, there are a number of health problems that your pooch could develop, such as mitral valve disease, dental disease, bleeding disorders, digestive disorders, joint problems, diabetes mellitus (diabetes), and mites to name but a few. That said, many of these problems can be avoided if the puppy benefits from the right diet and exercise from a young age. However, even with the right dog’s diet, your pooch may still develop certain conditions. Read on.
This is one of the more common poodle medical conditions and is an irregular development of the hip. It manifests itself when the bone part of the hip is “loose”(i.e. when it is not sufficiently held in place by muscles, tendons, and ligaments).
Hip dysplasia is, in fact, hereditary but can be further triggered by certain factors such as rapid growth due to irregular nutrition, obesity, and certain injuries.
Some dogs suffer from symptoms such as stomach or pain in one or both of the hind legs while others will not develop any symptoms at all. By consulting your vet, you will get to know the best way to treat your pet: rest and medication or even surgery.
This disease involves problems with the joints. What happens is that the flow of blood into the head of the femur (the large bone of the hind legs) is reduced. This causes the head of the femur (the bone that is connected to the pelvis) to start deteriorating. The first symptoms are lameness and atrophy of the leg muscles. It usually begins when pups are four to six months old.
The good news is that there is treatment available that does not involve surgery—six months of strict rest. It may sound preposterous but the dog can make a full recovery if the owner is persistent. Confining the dog to a cage or small crate while allowing him to exit to go potty, will make it possible for him to be pain-free and walk normally again in no time.
This condition happens when the kneecap slips out of its seat, causing the dog to limp. Although it is hereditary, the symptoms of the luxating patella can manifest themselves significantly later in life. The disease can even lead to arthritis.
The most common treatment is rest and anti-inflammatory medication; surgery is the last go-to option.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is a degenerative eye disorder that can ultimately cause total blindness due to loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. However, with the use of their other receptors, many dogs can live a relatively happy life. You can help by not changing the furniture arrangements too often so your pooch can get used to the existing layout.
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
This is an inborn eye disorder (occurs during development of the fetus) that causes blindness and an abnormal reaction of the pupil in the diseased eye.
In general, poodles have very sensitive eyes that are prone to tear staining. Although this is not as severe as the others mentioned above, it can still be the source of a lot of discomfort for your pooch.
This is a serious problem for this breed, especially for standard poodles. A large percentage of Standard Poodles are carriers of the disease or are affected by it. It is not easy to diagnose this genetic disease and it is often confused with hypothyroidism or even allergies. If a dog has sebaceous adenitis, it causes sebaceous glands (just under the skin)to become inflamed.
Their function is to produce sebum, the oily secretion that helps prevent the skin to dry out. It is commonly seen for the first time in dogs from the age of one to five. The diseased dog usually has dry, rough skin and lack of hair on certain parts of their body. If the disease progresses, poodles can also develop a “hard shell” of skin, as well as a distinct odor.
There are different methods of treatment, such as keratolytic shampoos.The best option is to always have a veterinarian give a proper diagnosis by carrying out a biopsy.
This is quite a serious condition that occurs when the adrenal glands are not producing a sufficient number of hormones. Most poodles with this condition suffer from vomiting, a loss of appetite, and lethargy.
Since these symptoms are not unique and can develop with other conditions, this disease often goes undiagnosed and can be discovered only in advanced stages.
More serious symptoms show up when the dog is under stress or when the levels of potassium rise enough to interfere with the natural heart rhythm, causing the dog to go into shock. Luckily, hydrocort is one replacement therapy will allow the dog to live a normal life.
This is a condition caused by abnormally low levels of hormones produced by the thyroid. One symptom of the disease can be infertility. More obvious symptoms are obesity, mental indifference, lethargy, eyelid depression, and problems with heat regulation.
Gastric Torsion or Bloat
This is a life-threatening disease that affects dogs, especially those with a developed chest. It can affect poodles that have one large meal a day, eat too fast, drink large amounts of water after meals, or have post-meal activity. It is more common with older dogs but can occur at any age. Torsion occurs when the stomach fills up with air, followed by its rotation (torsion).
The dog is unable to vomit or spit out the food because the normal blood supply to the heart is prevented. The blood pressure drops and the dog goes into a state of shock. You should suspect torsion if your dog has a bloated stomach, drools excessively, starts coughing,or is unsuccessful in trying to spit something out. It will also be upset, depressed, and passive with a fast heart rate. This is a medical emergency and you have to react instantly.
Epilepsy comes in different forms but the most common in poodles is idiopathic epilepsy. It is considered to be hereditary and can cause mild and more severe episodes. You will recognize the seizures by the unusual behavior of the dog, running around like someone is chasing them, hiding, pacing back and forth and staggering. Seizures can be hard and stressful to watch;however, it is good to know that dogs with this condition have very good long-term prognosis.That’s why, as soon as you notice any of these symptoms, take your pet to the veterinarian to begin therapy as soon as possible. With proper treatment, they can lead a normal life.
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