Most common health problems in Portuguese Water Dogs, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Portuguese Water Dog

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Portuguese Water Dog, 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 Portuguese Water Dog 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


Portuguese Water Dog breed

Portuguese Water Dog Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Portuguese Water Dog health problems

A heart disease called cardiomyopathy can cause sudden death in young Portuguese Water Dogs.

A serious endocrine system disease, Addison's, is so common in this breed that it should always be considered whenever a Portuguese Water Dog becomes lethargic or won't eat.

A significant number of PWDs are blind from cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy.

Hip dysplasia causes lameness and pain and may require expensive surgery.

A severe neurological disease in the Portuguese Water Dog is GM1 gangliosidosis.

Skin problems include chronic allergies (which cause itchy skin) and hair-loss diseases.

Then there are gastrointestinal diseases. Epilepsy. Thyroid disease....

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Portuguese Water Dog have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, hip dysplasia, GM1 gangliodosis, heart disease, and thyroid disease, your Portuguese Water Dog 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 Portuguese Water Dog, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Portuguese Water Dog 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 Portuguese Water Dog 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 Portuguese Water Dog 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 Portuguese Water Dog
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 Portuguese Water Dog. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Portuguese Water Dog
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


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


Information on spaying your Portuguese Water Dog. 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 Portuguese Water Dog. 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 Portuguese Water Dog health problems

Currently the most critical issue facing Portuguese Water Dogs is heart disease, specifically cardiomyopathy, which can cause sudden death in puppies at 2-7 months old. Other heart diseases also occur in the breed, including pulmonic stenosis.

A serious endocrine system disease, Addison's disease, is so common in this breed that it should always be considered whenever your Portuguese Water Dog becomes lethargic or won't eat.

Cancer is the number one cause of death in Portuguese Water Dogs.

The most serious eye diseases are cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for PRA in Portuguese Water Dogs, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is clear of it. Also reported are eyelash abnormalities and persistent pupillary membranes.

Skin diseases include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma) and follicular dysplasia, though follicular dysplasia is usually limited to curly-coated PWDs who have two curly-coated parents. Ear infections are somewhat common due to all the hair in the ear canals.

The primary orthopedic disease in Portuguese Water Dogs is hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 9100 Portuguese Water Dogs and found 13% dysplastic. Elbow dysplasia occurs at a low 1-2% rate.

Gastrointestinal diseases include colitis (inflammatory bowel disease and protein-losing enteropathy), and occasionally hemorrhagic gastroenteritis.

Epilepsy is becoming a concern in the breed.

A severe neurological disease that can occur in the Portuguese Water Dog is lysosomal storage disease (GM1 gangliosidosis). It used to be widespread in the breed, but is now controllable by testing for it before breeding.

Other health issues of concern in Portuguese Water dogs are hypothyroidism, megaesophagus, and kidney disease.


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.