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Miniature Poodle Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Miniature Poodle

Start your Miniature Poodle off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Miniature Poodle Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Miniature Poodle 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 Mini Poodle lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Miniature Poodle are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Poodle will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

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

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Miniature Poodle be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Miniature Poodle? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Poodle suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Miniature Poodle

Complete list of Miniature Poodle health problems

Eye diseases

Eye diseases are the major concern – there are a lot of blind or partially blind Mini Poodles:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) can appear at 3-5 years old. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available so you can find out at any time (without waiting for symptoms) whether your Mini Poodle has inherited PRA, or not.
  • Cataracts that appear from birth to 3 years old usually progress to blindness. Cataracts appearing after age 3 are usually milder.
  • Other eye problems in Miniature Poodles include tear duct disorders, corneal ulcers, eyelash abnormalities, retinal dysplasia, and glaucoma.

Orthopedic diseases

The most common orthopedic health problem in Miniature Poodles is luxating patella (loose knees).

Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, a degenerative hip disease, is less common, but more serious.

Hip dysplasia occurs in Mini Poodles, as well.

Intervertebral disk disease is not uncommon, especially in Poodles with short legs and a long back, which is a deformity called chondrodysplasia. But disk disease can occur in square-built Poodles, as well.

Neurological diseases in Miniature Poodles

Epilepsy (chronic seizures that usually start between ages two and four) is a concern in Miniature Poodles.

Rare neurological diseases include cerebellar ataxia (in Miniature Poodle puppies) and narcolepsy.

Skin problems in Miniature Poodles

It's ironic that Poodles are the best breed for allergic people.... yet Poodles are so prone to having chronic allergies themselves! Allergies cause itchy skin in Poodles, and constant scratching can break open the skin and lead to infections.

Poodles are notorious for having small skin growths peppered around their head and body.

  • Fortunately, most growths in Poodles are non-tumorous warts and cysts. But they're a nuisance if you nick them with the grooming clippers and they bleed.
  • Some are true tumors, especially sebaceous gland tumors and basal cell tumors. But again, fortunately, these are usually benign.
  • Less commonly, a tumor may be malignant.

Ear problems in Miniature Poodles

Ear infections and ear mites occur in Poodles more frequently than in most other breeds.

This is because breeders have created an abnormally long and narrow ear canal simply so the breed can look "elegant" in the show ring.

Here's how this abnormal ear canal provides such an inviting home for fungi and parasites.

  • The long narrow tube traps wax, providing a sticky medium in which fungi can grow and parasites can feed.
  • The folded ear flap blocks air from circulating and provides a dark, moist, dirty cave for fungi and parasites to hide.
  • And the long hair inside the ears acts as a magnet for moisture, dirt, and wax.
  • Result: ear infections or mites move right in.

Keep your Poodle's ears clean and dry. Remove wax and either pluck out the hair (painful) or trim it short (my preference).

Digestive diseases in Miniature Poodles

Two serious digestive diseases, pancreatitis and hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, are more common in Miniature Poodles and Miniature Schnauzers than in any other breeds.

Pancreatitis attacks are especially common in middle-aged female Poodles who are pudgy around the middle, who don't get a lot of exercise, and who suddenly eat something that's very high-fat (like turkey and gravy at Thanksgiving).

The moral is to keep middle-aged and elderly poodles slim and exercised. And DON'T suddenly give them a big mouthful of high-fat food when they're not used to it. No licking of people's plates with butter, oil, or gravy!

Heart and respiratory problems in Miniature Poodles

Heart diseases in Mini Poodles includes mitral valve disease (MVD), patent ductus arteriosus, and septal defects.

MVD is the most common; indeed most Mini Poodles, as they age, will develop a mild heart murmur related to MVD. It's usually easy to manage with inexpensive medication.

Poodles are also prone to chronic bronchitis. This can be trickier to manage, often requiring both oral and inhaled medications.

Dental disease

Miniature Poodles are very prone to dental disease. To avoid frequent (and risky) dental cleaning under anesthesia, keep their teeth well-brushed and scraped clear of tartar. When brushing, focus on the cheek side of the teeth. The tongue side usually stays clean.

The best canine toothpastes contain enzymes that actually EAT plaque and tartar so that you'll need to do much less brushing. I like Virbac CET Plaque & Tartar or Zymox Oratene Gel, but there are others.

You can also use enzymatic sprays or powders. Just as toothpaste can contain tartar-eating enzymes, so can pump sprays that you spritz onto the teeth or powder that you sprinkle into his food. I recommend Leba 3 spray or VetriScience Perio Support powder.

Blood-clotting diseases in Miniature Poodles

There are two: von Willebrand's and hemophilia A. Fortunately, a DNA test is available so you can find out at any time (without waiting for symptoms) whether your Poodle has inherited von Willebrand's disease, or not.

Hormonal/endocrine diseases

Most common in Miniature Poodles are hypothyroidism, Cushing's disease, and diabetes.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Miniature Poodle in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.