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    Poodle Health Problems

    Articledog breed guidesThursday 17 April 2014

    The Poodle is often thought to be very clever, well mannered, beautiful in appearance that tends to live for a long time. Life expectancy often comes down to the poodles bloodline with the average life span ranging from 10 to 18 years with a maximum age of 21 years.

    Poodles like all pedigree purebred dog breeds have their share of health problems. The Miniature and Toy Poodles seem to share the same disorders.

    When purchasing a Poodle puppy we recommend that the breeder you buy from has the correct certificates for testing: Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Corneal Dystrophy, Legg-Calve’ Perthes, Patella Sub-luxation, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Cryptorchidism, Mitral Valve Disease, Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA) and Cushings Disease.

    A brief description of these disorders is below:

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy

    This is an eye condition where the light cells in the retina tend to wither and die over time due to an insufficient blood supply. Although the disease progresses gradually it often results in complete blindness without any known cure. The disorder usually starts when the poodle is between 5 and 6 years old. Progressive Retinal Atrophy can be detected by a qualified vet performing an ophthalmascopic examination.

    Corneal Dystrophy

    Corneal Dystrophies’ are cornea diseases that are bilateral, non-inflammatory and unfortunately hereditary.


    A disorder in which the vascular necrosis of the neck and head results in one possibly both of a young dogs rear legs to become lame resulting in irritability and pain as the main symptoms. Most dogs recover completely without treatment however in extreme cases surgical removal of the femur head maybe required.

    Patella Sub-luxation

    Often referred to as a slipped knee cap this is where the patella slides in and out of the groove where it is normally held in place by ligaments. As a result it can result in the dog hopping and favouring another leg until the knee cap moves back into place. If its reoccurring it can easily be corrected with surgery.


    A neurological disorder marked by recurring seizures tht follow episodic, abnormal discharges of electrical impulses by nerve cells. It is controlled the same way it is in humans with drugs such as Phenobarbital or Dilantin


    This is a condition resulting from the inadequate production of a thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include a thickening and discolouration of the skin, obesity, irregular heart cycles, coarse brittle coat that falls out and lethargy.


    This is a condition where one or both of the testicles are retained in the abdominal cavity. Dependant on the severity hormone injections can be given to stimulate the testicular descent. However if the injections fail to work removal of the testicles is recommended as it may cause cancerous cells.

    Mitral Valve Disease

    The heart consists of 4 chambers - 2 atria and 2 ventricles. The atrioventricular (AV) valves ensure that the blood flows from the atria to the ventricles when the heart beats. A defect in the mitral valve (the left atrioventricular valve) causes backflow of blood into the left atrium, or mitral regurgitation. Less commonly, a narrowing or stenosis of the valve can be identified. Because of the leaky valve, the heart is less efficient at pumping blood to the body.

    Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)

    Caused by a decrease in the amount of red blood cells or often reffered to as haemoglobin. This results in a decrease in the amount of oxygen the blood can carry around the body.

    Cushings Disease

    Caused by the the over production of cortisone by the adrenal glands



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