Toy Poodle Health Problems and Raising a Toy Poodle Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
The most common health problems in Toy Poodles:
Eye diseases are the major concern in Toy Poodles:
- PRA (which stands for progressive retinal atrophy) shows up between 3 and 5 years of age and always progresses to blindness. If you don't want to wait and worry, there is a new DNA test that can tell you whether your Poodle puppy has inherited the genes for PRA.
- Cataracts can appear at any time in a Toy Poodle. If they show up early (from birth to 3 years of age), they're usually going to be more severe, leading to blindness. Cataracts that show up after age 3 are usually milder.
- Other eye problems in Toy Poodles include tear duct disorders, corneal ulcers, retinal dysplasia, eyelash abnormalities, and glaucoma.
The most common orthopedic health problem to watch out for in Toy Poodles is luxating patella (loose knee joints). Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is a more serious condition, but is fortunately less common.
Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) is not uncommon in Toy Poodles, especially in those born with short legs and a long back, which is a deformity called chondrodysplasia.
Epilepsy (seizures) has become a growing concern in many dog breeds today, including Toy Poodles. Epilepsy usually shows up between 2 and 4 years of age.
Allergies in Poodles cause terribly itchy skin, and the resulting scratching can lead to a bacterial infection called pyoderma. Tumors are fairly common in Toy Poodles, but fortunately they're usually benign sebaceous gland tumors or basal cell tumors. Non-tumorous skin growths such as lipomas and papillomas are very common in Poodles as they age. You'll find these little growths peppering your Poodle's skin under his curly coat. Ear infections are common due to the long narrow ear canals and profuse hair in the ear canals.
Two digestive diseases, pancreatitis and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, are more common in Poodles than in most other breeds. Pancreatitis is especially common in middle-aged Poodles who are pudgy around the middle and don't get a lot of exercise. High-fat meals or treats are usually the culprit in setting off an attack of pancreatitis, and once it strikes, it can be fatal unless immediately treated.
Heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus and septal defects) is always a concern in Toy Poodles, and mitral valve disease as your Poodle ages.
Blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's and hemophilia A) occur in Toy Poodles. Just as there is a DNA test for PRA, there is one for von Willebrand's disease, so if you feel like it, you can have your dog tested at the vet's to see if he has inherited the vWD gene or not.
Diseases of the hormonal/endocrine system in Toy Poodles include hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, and diabetes.
Toy Poodle puppies, and adults who are tiny (less than 4 pounds) are susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
Toy Poodles of any size can develop collapsing trachea, a weakness in their tracheal (breathing) tube that makes them cough (a honking cough) when they exert themselves too much. Collapsing trachea gets worse with age. Another condition that causes a honking cough is called reverse sneezing, but this condition is not a health problem and is in fact harmless.
Rare neurological diseases in Toy Poodles include white shaker dog syndrome and narcolepsy.
Toy Poodles are prone to dental disease – you must keep after your dog's teeth, brushing them regularly and chipping off the tartar. Otherwise, he'll need a veterinary cleaning, which requires anesthesia, which always carries some risk. Don't let your dog's teeth get this bad!
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Toy Poodle?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Toy Poodles today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Toy Poodle puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Toy Poodle puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Toy Poodle puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Toy Poodle lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Toy Poodle
The best diet for feeding your Toy Poodle is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Toy Poodle
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Toy Poodle puppy really need? Does your adult Toy Poodle need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.
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.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Toy Poodle.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.