The 9 Most Common Health Issues in Poodles: A Complete Guide


Poodles are generally very healthy dogs and make excellent family pets. However, as is true in most breeds, Poodles are more prone to some ailments than other canine breeds may be. So, what are the most common health concerns that affect Poodles?

The 9 Most Common Health Issues in Poodles include:

  1. Hypothyroidism
  2. Bloat
  3. Addison’s Disease
  4. Hip Dysplasia
  5. Epilepsy
  6. Hypoglycemia
  7. Mitral Valve Disease
  8. Hyperthyroidism
  9. Entropion

As a Poodle parent, It’s vitally important to recognize these nine common illnesses to help prevent unnecessary pain and allow for an excellent quality of life for your dog for years to come.

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Read on to learn how to help prevent these common health issues in your Poodle and discover the signs and available treatments that enable you to be more proactive with your dog’s care.

Common Poodle Illnesses: Signs, Treatment, And Prevention

Many illnesses are common to dogs as a whole and depend on the type of parasites you have in your area, but with a poodle, some certain diseases and illnesses are more prone to bother a poodle. Here are those illnesses, the signs, treatment, and prevention.

Poodles are faithful companions, and they depend on us to provide the quality care they need. To help your canine friend live his best life, here are some of the most common health problems, their signs, and what you can do to help prevent them.

1. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism in Poodles occurs when the thyroid gland produces less thyroid hormone than is needed to properly regulate metabolism. Hypothyroidism can result in disruption in heart rate, temperature, and a variety of other negative physical effects on your dog.

Poodles are at higher risk of developing Hypothyroidism which can greatly affect your pet’s quality of life. It’s very important to recognize the signs of Hypothyroidism in your dog to help prevent this condition from quickly progressing.

Signs:

Even though hypothyroidism affects hormone regulation, this condition is very rarely fatal. Poodles with Hypothyroidism most often live a normal lifespan and can even have a good quality of life if the condition is properly managed.

Poodles with Hypothyroidism can exhibit a wide variety of signs, so it’s often difficult to determine definitively if the thyroid is the cause of the observed symptoms.

A Poodle with Hypothyroidism can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:


Less Serious Symptoms of HypothyroidismMore Serious Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
* Unexplained weight gain
* Head tilting
* Itching
* Ear infections
* Exhaustion
* Apathy
* Obesity or overweight
* Seizures
* Slow to Heal
* Hair Loss
* A rapid Increase or decrease in heart rate
* Sensitivity to heat or cold

Treatment

The treatment for Hypothyroidism is fairly straightforward. Once your veterinarian has made the diagnosis of Hypothyroidism, your dog will need to be treated with thyroid replacement therapy for the rest of his life.

The FDA has approved these two drugs for thyroid replacement therapy in dogs:

  1. THYRO-TABS CANINE (levothyroxine sodium tablets)
  2. ThyroKare™ (levothyroxine sodium tablets)

While there is no cure for Hypothyroidism in dogs, your Poodle will likely see symptom improvement within a few weeks of beginning a thyroid replacement therapy regimen.

Additionally, your veterinarian may prescribe medicine to help restore the proper balance of your pet’s hormone levels. Be patient, as It may take some time for your vet to determine the best dosage to correct the imbalance.

Prevention

Hypothyroidism has no cure, so it is not a condition Poodle owners can prevent completely.

However, regular visits with a good Veterinarian can help ensure an early diagnosis, thereby lessening your dog’s discomfort. Be sure to feed your dog a well-balanced diet and stay vigilant by accessing your Poodle for the signs and symptoms of hypothyroidism regularly.

2. Bloat

Bloat in Poodles occurs when the stomach becomes filled with food, fluid, or gas and becomes twisted. Bloat is a very serious medical condition that can develop very quickly, often resulting in death if not properly treated.

Bloat can be quite dangerous for dogs and is more common in Poodles than in other dog breeds.

Signs

It’s important to understand the signs of bloat so you can take your pet to the vet right away when symptoms are observed. Without emergency treatment, some dogs can go into shock in as little as one hour, sometimes resulting in death.

Here are the signs of Bloat in Poodles you need to pay attention to:


Less Serious Symptoms of BloatMore Serious Symptoms of Bloat
* Restlessness
* Loss of appetite
* Lethargy
*Gassy
*Excessive drooling
* Vomiting
* Pacing and panting
* Pain
* Distended stomach
* Signs of extreme distress


If you notice any extreme symptoms, you need to take your dog to the veterinarian right away. This is an emergency and should be treated accordingly.

Treatment

Your veterinarian will need to begin by treating the symptoms of shock. When restored to a stable condition, your dog will likely need to be taken into surgery as soon as possible.

There are two procedures Veterinarians most commonly perform during surgery:

  1. The stomach is deflated and returned to its correct position.
  2. Your veterinarian will tack the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent further twisting.

For more subtle symptoms, your vet may also prescribe medications to help reduce the gas that could potentially lead to bloat in the future.

Prevention

If you know that your dog is more prone to becoming gassy and bloated, there are many ways you can help reduce the symptoms and lower the risk of your Poodle developing Bloat during his lifetime.

Here are some tips to prevent bloat in Poodles:

  • Feed smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Don’t elevate your dog’s feeding dish.
  • Use a slow feeder bowl.
  • Reduce triggers of anxiety.
  • Try to change up your dog’s diet to more organic and healthy foods.
  • Don’t give your Poodle table scraps.

While these tips can help prevent Bloat in Poodles, there isn’t a sure way to avoid it altogether. As Poodles age, they are at an increased risk of Bloat occurring.

3. Addison’s Disease

Addison’s Disease in Poodles is a disorder that causes damage to the Adrenal Glands, resulting in insufficient production of Cortisol and Aldosterone in the body. While not usually fatal, Addison’s Disease is a common condition that affects the Poodle breed, especially in Standard Poodles.

The cause of Addison’s Disease in Poodles remains largely unknown. However, many veterinarians suspect the cause to be the result of an autoimmune response in most cases.

Although not as common, Addison’s Disease in Poodles can also develop as the result of:

  • Cancer
  • Severe infection
  • Injury

Addison’s Disease tends to develop relatively quickly in Poodles, sometimes in as little as one week. That being said, some Poodles have also been known to go years without a diagnosis, and with very few noticeable symptoms.

Signs

In Poodles, the symptoms of Addison’s disease tend to be hard to diagnose and may not be as initially noticeable as other illnesses on this list.

The best way to know for sure whether your Poodle has Addison’s Disease is to have your vet administer the Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Stimulation Test(or ACTH). This Test monitors the function of the adrenal glands to determine the level of hormones present in your dog.

Poodles with Addison’s disease can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

Less Serious Symptoms of Addison’s DiseaseMore Serious Symptoms of Addison’s Disease
* Loss of Appetite
* Lethargy or Depression
* Change in body temperature
* Change in Skin pigmentation
* Painful abdomen
* Shaking
* Dehydration
* Diarrhea
* Vomiting
* Hypoglycemia
* Weight Loss
* Bloody stools

Treatment

Your veterinarian will most likely prescribe your poodle medications that your pet will need for the rest of its life.

Common medications Veterinarians use to treat Addison’s Disease in Poodles include:

  1. Hydrocortisone
  2. Prednisolone 
  3. Dexamethasone

These drugs are used to supplement the hormones that the adrenal glands no longer produce in sufficient quantities.

Prevention

There is no good way to prevent your Poodle from developing Addison’s disease. However, you can reduce the risk of your dog developing this disease by providing an active, healthy lifestyle and providing routine veterinary care for your pet.

4. Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia in Poodles results from the atypical development and growth of the hip joint. This condition causes the ball and socket in the hip joint to grind instead of operating smoothly. While Hip Dysplasia occurs most commonly in large dog breeds, it can affect dogs of any size or breed.

Hip dysplasia is a very common ailment among older dogs but is also observed quite often in Standard Poodles. Hip dysplasia causes the hip joints to become weak and deteriorate, greatly affecting a dog’s quality of life.

Check out this article I wrote on Hip Dysplasia in Poodles. In it, you’ll find much more in-depth information and find out exactly what to do if you suspect your dog might have this condition.

Signs

Hip dysplasia can be a painful condition for your dog and may manifest a wide variety of symptoms. You will want to look for the common symptoms of this disease and signs of pain.

The severity of your Poodle’s Hip Dysplasia symptoms will likely depend on the following factors:

  • Your dog’s level of inflammation
  • The extent of looseness in the joint
  • The length of time your dog has has Hip Dysplasia

Fortunately, smaller Poodles have a relatively low chance of developing Hip Dysplasia during their lives. However, Poodle owners should make themselves aware of the symptoms of this condition and take a more proactive approach to their care.

A Poodle with Hip Dysplasia can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

Less Serious Symptoms of Hip DysplasiaMore Serious Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia
* Stiffness and Pain
* An Unusual Gait
* A “clicking sound” in the hip joint
* Difficulty getting up and down off the floor
* Limping
* Muscle atrophy
* Hind End Lameness
* Loss of appetite

Treatment

Treatment for hip dysplasia is very dependent on the severity of the disease. If you catch the disease in its early stages, you can take preventive measures to slow down the deterioration, such as giving your dog supplements to strengthen its bones.

Unfortunately, if your dog’s Hip Dysplasia is severe, your veterinarian may suggest a full hip replacement.

Hip replacement is a treatment of last resort and is only performed if symptoms have progressed to the point where your dog can’t move around well without severe pain.

Prevention

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease but is common in older dogs. There are many ways you can reduce the risk of developing Hip Dysplasia, but this condition is not always preventable.

Here are things that can help reduce the risk of Hip Dysplasia in your Poodle:

  • Glucosamine and chondroitin supplements
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Low impact exercises
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Join fluid modifiers

5. Epilepsy

Epilepsy in Poodles is a neurological condition that occurs when abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes seizures. Epilepsy is most often an inherited illness in dogs, but its cause is currently unknown. While there is no known cure for Epilepsy, proven treatments are available.

Poodles with Epilepsy often seem confused or disoriented and may develop symptoms suddenly, or more gradually. Either way, it can be a very disrupting and serious disease.

Signs

The most obvious sign of epilepsy is seizures that may often be combined with confusion and disorientation. If observed, your Poodle may seem out of it and collapse into a seizure.

Other common signs of Epilepsy in Poodles include:

  • Foaming at the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Jerking
  • Muscle twitches
  • Loss of consciousness

Treatment

There are two types of treatment for epilepsy in Poodles. Both are necessary measures you must take to help treat a seizure that is occurring in the present, and treatment to help reduce seizures in the future.

Common treatments for epilepsy in Poodles include:


Treating An Ongoing SeizureTreatment To Reduce Seizures
* Remove any objects around your poodle.
* Remove all loud noises and bright lights.
* Set a pillow under your dog’s head.
* Write down the time and length of the seizure to show to your vet.
* Try to remain calm.
* Medication prescribed by your vet.
* Reduction of triggers such as loud noises or bright lights.
* Healthy diet
* Frequent exercise
* Ensure they are up to date on all vaccinations and checkups.
* Take preventive measures against parasites.

Prevention

It’s not possible to completely prevent epilepsy in your Poodle. However, reducing stress and limiting changes to your dog’s environment can help prevent seizures in dogs.

Additionally, feeding your Poodle a healthy diet, as well as providing proper veterinary care can help lower the chance of developing epilepsy in the future.

6. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when Poodles develop an abnormal decreased glucose level in the blood. This condition can result in organ damage and brain dysfunction if not properly treated. Hypoglycemia is not particularly common in adult Poodles but is observed more frequently in Poodle puppies.

Signs

Symptoms of Hypoglycemia in Poodles most often begin with signs of low energy or fatigue. However, these symptoms can become progressively worse over time if not properly treated.

A Poodle with Hypoglycemia can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

Less Serious Symptoms of HypoglycemiaMore Serious Symptoms of Hypoglycemia
* Weakness or fatigue
* Slowed breathing
* Discoloration of skin and gums
* Polyuria (increased urination)
* Lack of coordination
* Polydipsia (increased thirst)
* Confusion or disorientation
* Tremors
* Seizures
* Involuntary twitching
* Irregular heart rate or breathing
* Blindness

Treatment

In mild cases of Hypoglycemia, your veterinarian may recommend a change in your dog’s diet to help balance out glucose levels. However, in more severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend injectable glucose intravenously.

Poodles suffering a sudden hypoglycemic attack should immediately be given a sugar solution such as corn syrup or Nuti-Cal to increase glucose levels in the blood. Try to give only a little at a time so that their sugar levels don’t spike too quickly.

Once you have temporarily treated the problem, you should contact your veterinarian and set up an appointment as soon as possible.

Prevention

Your veterinarian may prescribe your puppy or adult dog medication to help prevent Hypoglycemia and control glucose levels. Be sure to feed your dog regularly throughout the day and provide a diet high in protein, carbohydrates, and fat.

You will most likely need to keep an eye on your dog’s blood sugar until your vet is satisfied glucose is at an appropriate level. This will help your veterinarian determine if the Hypoglycemia event is temporary and due to a more serious underlying disease.

7. Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral Valve Disease in Poodles occurs when high blood pressure damages the mitral valve in the heart, resulting in insufficient valve closure and the leakage of blood. Mitral Valve Disease affects about ten percent of Poodles and results in roughly eighty percent of all heart diseases in the breed.

Mitral Valve Disease is a common heart condition in poodles.

Symptoms most often develop slowly over time, so regular checkups with a qualified veterinarian is vitally important to properly diagnose and treat this disease before severe damage is done.

Signs

Initial signs of Mitral Valve Disease usually manifest as a heart murmur, but symptoms can vary greatly between dogs. Over time, this damage can become quite severe.

A Poodle with Mitral Valve Disease can exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

Less Serious Symptoms of Mitral Valve DiseaseMore Serious Symptoms of Mitral Valve Disease
* Fatigue and weakness
* Shortness of breath
* Reduced appetite
* Cough
* Exercise intolerance
* A Heart murmur
* Fainting
* Swelling in the abdomen
* Increased respiratory rate
* Congestive heart failure


Treatment

If Mitral Valve Disease is caught in time, your Poodle may need mitral valve heart surgery to fix it. In less serious cases, medications such as Pimobendan can help reduce symptoms, but this will not cure the disease long term.

Prevention

Mitral Valve Disease usually manifests at birth or due to hereditary. While this condition can not be prevented in most cases, early intervention can greatly increase your pet’s quality of life and help prevent more serious symptoms.

8. Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism in Poodles occurs when too much thyroid hormone is produced, resulting in a greatly increased metabolic rate in the body. This condition is very serious and most often results from thyroid carcinoma, an extremely aggressive and deadly form of cancer in dogs.

Signs

Some Poodles show no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. However, the signs of Hyperthyroidism will become more apparent as this condition progresses.

Signs of Hyperthyroidism in Poodles may include:

Less Serious Symptoms of HyperthyroidismMore Serious Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism
* Excessive eating
* Weight loss or trouble gaining weight
* Increased energy
* Vomiting
* Excessive thirst
* An enlarged heart
* Forced breathing
* Enlarged thyroid gland
* Diarrhea
* Difficulty breathing

Treatment

Most often, the first step taken to treat Hyperthyroidism is to correct the hormone imbalance within the body. However, your dog’s veterinarian will make a diagnosis and determine the right course of action for your pet.

Treatment options for hypothyroidism in Poodles can include:

  1. Medication
  2. Surgery
  3. Radiation

Your vet may decide on any one of these treatments or use multiple options in tandem to return your dog to good health.

Prevention

Because this is due to the hormone, there isn’t much to prevent the thyroid imbalance. A healthy diet and exercise can help keep the symptoms of hyperthyroidism under control. Keep a close eye on the above symptoms and let your veterinarian know if you have any concerns.

9. Entropion

Entropion is a common disease in poodles where the eyelids roll inwards and rub against the cornea of the eye. This condition can occur as the result of a genetic problem, or as the result of inflammation from trauma and can become increasingly painful over time.

Signs

Entropion in Poodles is relatively easy to spot with just a careful physical examination of your dog. The most common sign of entropion is an obvious inverted eyelid that results in eye irritation.

Less Serious Symptoms of EntropionMore Serious Symptoms of Entropion
* Eye irritation or pain
* Eye redness
* Sensitivity to light and wind
* Watery eyes (excessive tearing)
* Mucous discharge and eyelid crusting
* Loss of vision
* Blindness
* Eye infections
* Corneal abrasions
* Corneal scarring

Prevention

Entropion is often hereditary, so there isn’t a good way to prevent it from occurring, but you can treat the symptoms quite easily. You’ll want to seek professional help as soon as possible as the condition could eventually lead to swelling of the eyes and extreme pain.


Treatment

Your dog will likely have to undergo several surgeries to treat this deformity until the eyelids are corrected. These procedures are quite simple, and they are not risky surgeries.

Conclusion

Poodles are a very healthy breed overall. However, as with any dog, it’s important to be proactive and intentional about your dog’s long-term health.

Understanding these health concerns in Poodles can help prevent your dog from experiencing a decreased quality of life over his lifetime. Don’t let these common illnesses deter you from experiencing the joys of this wonderful breed.

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Brent Hartman

I'm Brent Hartman. I've been a dog lover my entire life and have owned many animals over the years. When my black lab Angus passed away, I was looking for another friend to share my life with. As a result of my research, I've come to love poodles and wanted to share some of what I've learned with you. Whether you're looking to adopt a poodle, or already own one, I created Poodle report to be the ultimate guide to help you find the answers you need.

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