Most Common Diseases in Poodles

The "small dog" trend has caused some breeds to be modified to be smaller in size. However, this also makes dogs more susceptible to certain genetic diseases.
Most Common Diseases in Poodles
Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez

Written and verified by the biologist Cesar Paul Gonzalez Gonzalez.

Last update: 19 April, 2023

Poodles are one of the most famous dog breeds in the world, and come in many different sizes and colors. They generally have a gentle temperament, and, for this reason, many owners often choose them as pets – also because their attractive appearance receives a lot of attention. However, the genetic condition of poodles can predispose them to certain common diseases. Find out the most common diseases in poodles in this article.

Different breeds of dogs originate through artificial selection. This mechanism consists of encouraging inbreeding to preserve “pure” traits in the dogs. However, this is also detrimental to a dog’s health, as it makes them more susceptible to certain pathologies. Read on and learn about the most common diseases in poodles.

Origin of the poodle breed

According to the Fédération Cynologique Internationale the poodle descends from the barbet dog , which was used for hunting waterfowl. At first, these dogs were called “barbet females”, as their fur wasn’t as lush as that of the original breed.

Over time, the poodle breed diverged from the barbet and acquired unique characteristics in the process. In addition, breeders strived to maintain uniform colors, but with sizes that meant they were easier to keep in the home. The result was a loyal dog that easily adapted to the needs of its owner.

A poodle.

Common diseases in poodles

All dogs are susceptible to any pathology during their lifetime. However, some breeds have a greater weakness to certain types of problems. In general, the most common diseases in dogs fall into one of the following categories:

  • Sight: These are pathologies that affect the eyes or nearby regions, and, as a result, will affect the dog’s vision.
  • Skin: Any ailment that causes discomfort to the skin.
  • Hearing: Pathologies that affect any part of the ear and interrupt hearing.
  • Osseous: Malformations, weakness, or wear of certain bones in the dog’s body.
  • Hormonal: Any problem that affects the dog’s endocrine system and its hormone production.

Eye conditions

Dogs usually adapt well to vision loss if it’s progressive, and we don’t generally notice any problems. As a result, the pathology is usually only detected when it’s too severe and represents a danger to the dog’s health. Some of the most common eye diseases in poodles are as follows:

  • Cataracts: The loss of transparency of the crystalline lens, which is observed as a white plaque in the eye that obstructs the dog’s vision.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: A hereditary disease that causes the deterioration of the receptors that allow light to be captured in the eye.
  • Uveitis: Inflammation of the eyewall (uvea).
  • Glaucoma: A group of conditions that cause damage to the optic nerve. The most common cases are caused by extreme pressure in the eye.
  • Entropion: An inversion of the eyelid that begins to rub the area of the eye, causing inflammation, pain, ulcers, and even blindness.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca: This is caused by the lack of tears in the eyes, which causes inflammation. A kind of yellowish-white “mucus” can be seen in the eye. It’s an autoimmune disease that poodles are predisposed to.

Skin ailments

The skin is the most exposed organ in animals, as it’s susceptible to invasion by parasites that cause different problems. However, these external infestations aren’t the only diseases that poodles can face. Listed below are some of their most common skin ailments:

  • Sebaceous adenitis: A hereditary disease characterized by progressive hair loss and the appearance of white scales. This pathology can be complicated by encouraging the development of secondary infections.
  • Allergies: An excessive reaction of the immune system to certain environmental elements (allergens). As a result, dermatitis is produced (which isn’t usually serious if the time of exposure to the allergen is minimal).
  • Fungi are infectious agents that grow in warm, moist environments. The poodle can be affected if proper coat hygiene isn’t maintained.
  • Pyoderma: A bacterial infection that causes pus, ulcers and swelling of the skin.
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: This disease is very rare in dogs, but the poodle is one of the breeds most likely to exhibit it. It causes different problems such as alopecia, ulcers, scabs, scars, and inflammation.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: This is a type of neoplasm that is generated from the scales of the skin and causes lumps. Black poodles are susceptible to this carcinoma on the toes, right where the nail meets the skin.
  • Basal cell tumors are seen as small warts on the skin that can move. This type of tumor is benign and easy to remove, however, poodles have a high predisposition to suffer from it.

Hearing ailments

Hearing ailments in dogs are usually common and quick to treat. Usually, the most common disease in poodles is otitis externa, which is an inflammation of the skin of the ear that causes itching. This pathology isn’t dangerous for the pet, but if it worsens it can cause deafness.

Bone diseases

Bones aren’t exempt from diseases that can cause deformations. In the case of poodles, the most frequent pathologies that affect their bone formation are the following:

  • Hip dysplasia: This is caused by a problem between the femur and the hip bone, which causes difficulty walking, lameness and pain.
  • Patella or patellar luxation: The patella is a small bone that stabilizes the dog’s knee joint. During luxation, the dog limps intermittently because of the pain it causes. This condition is caused by congenital problems or trauma (a blow).
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes disease: This is a degenerative disease that affects the structure of the femur, which causes it to wear faster and causes severe pain when a dog walks.
  • Intervertebral disc disease: This is a disease of genetic origin that causes the rupture of the discs that separate the vertebrae, which causes compression of the spinal cord.
  • Chondrodysplasia: A congenital disease that affects mostly small (toy) poodles. It causes the dogs’ limbs to become deformed as they grow, so they begin to have trouble walking. The severity of chondrodysplasia depends on each case, although it can range from a slight stoop to total locomotor disability.

Hormonal ailments

Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate a large number of metabolic processes. For this reason, any increase or decrease in these compounds causes a serious impairment in body functions. In poodles, the most common diseases of this type are as follows:

  • Hypothyroidism: A condition caused by the inability of the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormones. This problem causes the canine’s body to have constant infections, as its immune system is depressed.
  • Diabetes: This is characterized by the increase of glucose in the blood, which is caused by a malfunction or low production of the hormone insulin.
  • Cushing’s syndrome: This term represents a group of alterations that are caused by an increase in the cortisol hormone in the blood. The symptoms are confusing and aren’t usually the same in each case, so, in most cases, the condition is detected when checking other pathologies.
A poodle.

As you’ll have seen, poodles are susceptible to several different diseases. However, this doesn’t mean that your pet will develop any of them in the future, as everything will depend on the care and attention that you provide. Remember that regular visits to the vet are the best way to look after your dog.

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