Most common health problems in Papillons, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Papillon

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Papillon, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Papillon already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Papillon dog breed

Papillon Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Papillon health problems

The leading health issue in toy dogs is injury: fractures, concussions, choking on small objects, being attacked or jumped on by a larger dog.... you must keep a Papillon under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these little guys in the blink of an eye.

Hereditary eye diseases in Papillons include cataracts, which can lead to blindness, and progressive retinal atrophy, which always leads to blindness.

The most common orthopedic problem is luxating patella (loose knee joints), which cause pain and lameness and can require expensive surgery.

Heart disease (mitral valve disease) is a growing concern in the breed, as is epilepsy.

Other health issues that occur in Papillons are dental disease, collapsing trachea, and liver shunt.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Papillon have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases and luxating patella, your Papillon has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Papillon, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Papillon puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Papillon puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Papillon lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Papillon
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Papillon. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Papillon
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Papillon. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Papillon puppy really need? Does your adult Papillon need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Papillon. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Papillon. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Papillon health problems

The Papillon Club conducted a health survey that reports the average lifespan of the breed is 11-13 years.

The leading health issue in all toy dogs is INJURY. You must keep Papillons under constant surveillance and leash/arm control. Too much can happen to these small creatures in the blink of an eye.

  • Bone fractures or a concussion can occur from jumping off furniture, or falling or leaping from your arms, or being hit on the head by a thrown or falling object, or being stepped on.
  • Papillons can choke on the tiniest object and it takes very little to overdose them with anything toxic.
  • Papillons can squeeze through the smallest crack of a door or fence and be gone.
  • If you allow them to act foolishly aggressive toward larger dogs, their neck can be broken with a single grab.
  • If you let them off-leash, their excitable chasing instincts may send them under the wheels of a car.

The most serious eye disease in Papillons is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which appears at 3-4 years old and causes blindness. Cataracts can appear between 6 months old and 8 years old. Eyelash abnormalities, tear duct disorders, and persistent pupillary membranes have also been reported.

Heart disease (mitral valve disease) is a growing concern in the breed, as is epilepsy.

The most common orthopedic problem is luxating patella (loose knees). Occasionally intervertebral disk disease occurs in Papillons.

Blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's) occurs in Papillons. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available so you can find out at any time whether your Papillon has von Willebrand's, carries it, or is clear of it.

Papillons often have sensitive stomachs. Digestive diseases include colitis (inflammatory bowel disease) and pancreatitis.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism, and occasionally Addison's disease.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma). A rare skin disease in Papillons is follicular dysplasia.

Inherited deafness can occur in Papillon puppies with a lot of white covering their head.

Other health issues that occur in Papillons are hypothyroidism, collapsing trachea, liver stunt, urinary stones, and hernias.

Papillons are prone to dental disease and harmless episodes of reverse sneezing.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.