Portuguese Water Dog Health Care & Feeding
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
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:
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.
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.
Kibble or Canned Dog Food – Almost As Good As Homemade?
Are you looking for the best dry kibble or canned dog food?
Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but think you don't have the time or skill to make it? I have the solution for you....
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.
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.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male 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 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
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.
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.
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.