15 Poodle Health Issues Every Owner Needs To Know

Categorized as Poodle Health & Wellbeing, Poodle Breed Information, Poodle FAQs

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. They’re known for their long, silky hair and their bright eyes, which makes them a favorite among many people.

But poodles also face a lot of health problems that are specific to their breed, so it’s important that you know what they are—and how to treat them—if you want to keep your poodle happy and healthy.

In this article, we’ll discuss 15 different health issues that poodles can face, what causes each problem, how to diagnose it, and how much it will cost you if you need treatment.

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15 Most Common Health Issues in Poodles

Poodles are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States, and they’re also one of the longest-lived. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of common poodle health issues and how to watch out for them.

A sick apricot poodle

Here are 15 of the most common poodle health issues:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Atrial Septal Defects in Standard Poodles
  • Bloat
  • Chronic Active Hepatitis
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes
  • Neonatal Encephalopathy
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Optic Nerve Hypoplasia
  • Sebaceous Adenitis
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Like all breeds of dogs, poodles may suffer from various health problems. Some are common in all dogs, while others are more specific to certain varieties—or even one individual animal.

Today’s exciting era of DNA technology is making it possible to test breeding stock for abnormal genes, and health tests already allow us to screen animals with these problems.

Let us explore each of these issues in detail, including treatment options and costs, as well as various ways to prevent them.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian, who is best suited to diagnose and treat your poodle’s specific health problems. Please consult a licensed veterinarian if you have questions or concerns about your poodle’s health or the treatment options discussed in this article.

Addison’s Disease in Poodles

  • Severity: Serious 
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune Disease
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Reduced/Lack of Appetite, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration, Weight Loss, Increased Thirst, Frequent Urination, Shivering, Abdominal Pain, Irregular Heart Rate, Weak Pulse, Low Body Temperature
  • Cause: Infection, Physical Trauma, Cancer, Adrenal Gland Failure, Genetic, Drug Therapy, Abnormal Blood Supply to Adrenal Glands
  • Treatment Cost Range: $250 to $300
  • Average Treatment Cost: $350

What is Addison’s Disease in Poodles?

Addison’s disease—also known as hypoadrenocorticism—is a condition in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough adrenal hormones. Because these hormones are critical to life, Addison’s Disease is considered an extremely serious illness and must be treated accordingly.

Most dogs with Addison’s disease will initially have gastrointestinal disturbances, such as vomiting and diarrhea followed by poor appetite. Lethargy is also a common early indicator.

These are vague symptoms, and it is easy to overlook this disease if you don’t know what to look for.

If your poodle is stressed or has high potassium levels, he may develop more severe symptoms of hypoadrenocorticism. Severe symptoms can interfere with your dog’s normal heart functions.

Dogs with Addison’s disease may suffer shock symptoms when stressed that can lead to rapid death.

High levels of potassium in your poodle can cause dangerous irregularities in the heartbeat or even a complete stop.

At times, this disease is difficult to differentiate from renal failure because the symptoms and even blood work can be similar. The ACTH response test may therefore be necessary to definitively diagnose Addison’s disease in these cases.

A diagnosis of hypoadrenocorticism may be suspected when a veterinarian examines a dog showing the typical clinical signs, and can be confirmed by blood tests.

The definitive test for hypoadrenocorticism is an ACTH stimulation blood test (a measure of the adrenal glands’ ability to produce hormones in response to stimulation).

What To Do if My Poodle Has Addison’s Disease?

Once Addison’s disease has been diagnosed, most dogs can be treated effectively.

Desoxycorticosterone pivalate, or DOCP (brand names: Percorten®-V or Zycortal®), is an injectable medication that has been FDA approved for use in dogs to treat Addison’s disease.

It is injected every 3–4 weeks, depending on the patient’s needs. It replaces aldosterone, which controls electrolyte and fluid balance in the body.

It is often supplemented by an oral glucocorticoid. With a little training, DOCP injections can be given at home and are relatively easy to administer.

DOCP is not a good option for all Addison’s patients, and some do well with fludrocortisone (Florinef®), which replaces both the mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid hormones.

A dog’s diet and activity levels can remain unchanged after an Addisonian crisis, and most dogs resume normal lives.

Your veterinarian will discuss with you which treatment would be best for your dog and then administer it.

How Common Is Addison’s Disease in Poodles?

In one survey conducted on 1722 Standard Poodles, it was found that 8.6% of Standard poodles showed low levels of adrenal hormones – a condition known as hypoadrenocorticism or Addison’s disease.

This condition, which is caused by an abnormality in a poodle’s genetic makeup, has been found to be highly heritable (i.e. an affected parent is likely to pass it on) and causes a variety of metabolic disturbances.

What Age Do Poodles Get Addison’s Disease?

Studies have found that 75% to 80% of dogs diagnosed with Addison’s disease are females, and their age at the time is often around four to seven years. 

Lower than average production of hormones required to control salt, blood cell activity, and more will significantly affect the day-to-day function of a dog with Addison’s disease.

In general, the symptoms of Addison’s disease come on quickly over a period of days or weeks; however, it can also develop more slowly.

Most owners report that their pet develops a number of problems at about the same time.

How To Prevent Addison’s Disease in Poodles?

Standard poodles are not currently the subject of any organized breeding programs designed to reduce the number of cases in which they develop hypoadrenocorticism.

Researchers should be able to make better progress toward reducing the incidence and suffering of dogs with hypoadrenocorticism once genetic factors are more fully understood.

Is Addison’s Disease Hereditary?

The genetics of hypoadrenocorticism have been studied by Famula and their colleagues in 2003.

They found that the condition has a very high heritability of 0.75—meaning that three-fourths (or more) of factors influencing whether or not a dog develops hypoadrenocorticism are genetic.

Genetic testing is not available for hypoadrenocorticism in poodles, and the gene responsible has not been identified yet.

Atrial Septal Defects

  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Congenital Heart Defect
  • Symptoms: Coughing, Troubled Breathing, Fainting, Lethargy, Reduced/Lack of Appetite, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration, Weight Loss, Increased Thirst, Frequent Urination, Shivering, Abdominal Pain, Irregular Heart Rate, Weak Pulse, Low Body Temperature
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $2500 to $7000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $4500

What is Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) in Poodles?

Atrium Septal Defects in Poodles refer to a hole in the wall between the left and right atrial chambers of a heart causing blood to flow abnormally from one side of that chamber directly through to another. It is rare in dogs, accounting for less than 4% of the total. Some poodles have few or no symptoms of heart disease, but others with more severe symptoms will develop congestive heart failure.

Certain breeds of dogs—such as Boxers, Doberman Pinschers, and Samoyeds—are more likely to develop ASD.

This type of malformation has recently been recognized among Standard Poodles, and it seems to run in families. This suggests a genetic cause for the disease.

If the hole is too small to allow a somewhat normal blood flow, a dog may not show any symptoms.

However, a larger hole disrupts the blood flow a lot more than a small one and makes it harder for the dog to maintain normal levels of oxygen. As the heart weakens, it may fail to adequately circulate blood through the body.

ASD is a genetic condition present from birth.

Severe defects are typically evident by the time a dog is three.

Dogs with ASD will have trouble breathing and may be too tired to exercise.

Are Atrial Septal Defects Hereditary?

The mode of inheritance for atrial septal defects (ASD) is not yet known. However, ASD is a genetic disorder that is believed to be caused by the interaction of several genes.

How Is Atrial Septal Defect Diagnosed?

Heart murmurs can be detected even on dogs that are asymptomatic.

Heart murmurs are sometimes diagnosed during a routine visit to the veterinarian, who can hear abnormal heart sounds while listening with a stethoscope.

Heart murmurs that occur over the left-heart base are often associated with atrial septal defect.

If a veterinarian notices a significant heart murmur while listening to your pet’s chest with a stethoscope, further testing may be recommended.

Many dogs show symptoms of respiratory difficulty and lack of stamina with exercise.

In puppies with a severe defect, growth is often stunted.

When a heart murmur is heard along with symptoms of ASD, it suggests the possibility that a dog has this condition.

The veterinarian will thoroughly examine the dog or puppy and perform blood tests as well as urine tests to check for other diseases that may be causing the symptoms to rule out other diseases.

The veterinarian may order an echocardiogram if he suspects that a dog has ASD. A veterinarian will consider your dog’s age, breed, family history, and any other known medical conditions when diagnosing a problem.

The size of the holes may be diagnosed on a two-dimensional echocardiogram, while Doppler echocardiography will identify an abnormal pattern in the way blood flows through them. Ultrasounds and X-rays can also show how severe your condition is.

In cases where symptoms are present, enlargement of the right side of the heart and pulmonary arteries is seen.

Fluid may be visible in the abdomen and lungs of a dog developing congestive heart failure.

How Is Atrial Septal Defect Treated?

Most veterinarians don’t recommend treating dogs for symptoms of ASD unless the dog is showing severe signs.

In humans, surgery is routine for many conditions involving atrial septal defect; however, in dogs, the procedure is less common and only used to treat life-threatening illnesses.

The veterinarian may recommend frequent check-ups to determine if the problem is getting worse.

Dogs with mild symptoms will be given medications to stabilize their heart function and reduce the severity of congestive heart failure.

A sodium-restricted diet and limited exercise may help reduce fluid build-up.

In some cases, surgery may be necessary to save the patient’s life. It is more effective if performed before your dog develops congestive heart failure (CHF). If you have not already done so, it would be a good idea for you to get him referred by your regular vet either way as he’ll likely need an expert opinion on his condition.

Surgery for all types of ASD in dogs has been successful, but the procedure carries a risk of fatal complications. Before surgery is performed, the chances that it will be effective should be discussed with your vet; extensive recovery time will likely follow after any operation.

Bloat (GDV)

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Metabolic Syndrome
  • Symptoms: Distressed, Stretching Frequently, Stomach Looks Distended or Bloated, Drooling Excessively, Labored Breathing, Rapid Breathing, Panting, Elevated Heart Rate, Retching
  • Cause: Gas Accumulation, Dry Diet High in Fat and Oil, Genetic, Deep Chest, Eating Too Quickly, Eating a Single Meal With Excessive Water, Exercising Soon After Eating, Stress, Age, Inhaling Excessive Air, Nervous or Aggressive Personality
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $10000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $5000

What Is Bloat in Poodles?

Bloat is a health condition that affects many dog breeds, including Poodles. It occurs when the stomach fills with gas and then twists on itself.

Large and giant breeds with narrow, deep chests such as the standard poodle are at an increased risk of developing GDV.

This can be life-threatening and progresses very quickly, so it’s important for any dog owner to know what signs to look for and act quickly.

Bloating is documented to increase with age. There appears not to be a sex predisposition toward the condition.

Gastric dilatation-volvulus can cause shock in dogs due to how widespread its effects are on the body. Quick and aggressive treatment is vital if your dog develops a gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV).

Are Poodles Prone to Bloat?

Poodles are especially susceptible to bloat because they have deep chests and narrow abdomens. If their stomachs fill up with gas, they may suffer from bloat.

Bloat usually strikes after eating or drinking too much water too quickly, but other factors such as stress can also contribute to it.

What Causes Bloat in Poodles?

Bloat is a serious condition that can affect dogs of many breeds, but it’s common in poodles.

There are many different causes of bloat. The first is gas accumulation, which happens when the stomach fills up with gas and can’t expand anymore. This happens when your dog eats too quickly or eats a single large meal throughout the day rather than smaller meals 2-3 times. 

A dry diet high in fat and oil is another cause. Some poodle owners choose to feed their poodles dry food because it’s convenient for them; however, this can lead to bloat if the dog eats too much at once or exercises soon after eating.

Stress, age, and inhaling excessive air can also play a role in bloat. Finally, nervous or aggressive personalities have been linked to an increased risk of bloat.

How is Bloat in Poodles Diagnosed?

Many diagnostic tools can help your veterinarian determine whether or not your pet is suffering from bloat.

During the physical examination, your doctor may find that your dog’s abdomen is enlarged and firm to the touch—and this could mean he is experiencing pain.

The veterinary team will keep your pet’s pulse under continuous observation since it is likely to be weak.

Testing might include the following: blood glucose levels, coagulation assays (testing to determine whether a patient’s blood clots properly), complete blood count (a test that examines red and white cells in the body), and blood electrolytes and serum chemistry tests.

These tests will provide valuable information for diagnosing the problem.

The veterinarian may do a urinalysis as well as a blood gas analysis to check the health of your pet’s respiratory system.

An electrocardiogram will reveal what is going on in the heart and whether it’s functioning properly. More importantly, a radiogram will show if the stomach has been distended and help determine if it’s rotated its position.’

How is Bloat in Poodles Treated?

The constant monitoring of your poodle’s blood pressure, heart rate, and other vital signs will be a priority.

The prompt administration of oxygen and intravenous therapy can help increase the volume of blood circulating in the body, correct electrolyte imbalances, and help stabilize the patient.

After your dog has been stabilized, gastric decompression will be performed.

A tube will be placed down the throat so that fluid and air can be released.

A lavage, or “washing out” of the stomach with a solution to empty it completely of all contents. A needle may be used by inserting it into the patient’s stomach through which air and fluids can escape freely.

After decompression, surgery may be performed to determine whether other organs have been affected by the condition, and also to restore normal stomach positioning if volvulus has occurred.

To prevent the recurrence of the volvulus, the stomach will be attached to the abdominal wall (gastropexy) after surgery. If damage to blood vessels in the intestines or pancreas is severe enough, a doctor may have to perform gastric resectioning.

If the vet suspects that your pet is infected with bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed and food withheld for 48 hours.

The veterinary team will monitor your pet’s condition closely and be prepared to treat any complications that could arise after surgery.

How to Prevent Poodle Bloat?

Bloating in poodles can be a common problem, but it can be prevented. Here are some tips to keep your poodle from getting bloated:

1. Feed him more than two meals per day.

2. add canned food to his daily diet.

3. Discourage your dog from running around with a full stomach.

4. Parasites such as roundworms and heartworms, among many others, can be prevented by visiting the veterinarian every three months.

5. To keep your dog from poisoning himself, you should keep toxic chemicals, food (including chocolate), and other dangerous items away from him.

Chronic Active Hepatitis

  • Severity: Mild to Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Loss of Appetite, Weight Loss, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Poor Coat Quality, Bleeding Gums, Seizures, Nose Bleeds, Excessive Thirst, Frequent Urination, Swollen Belly, Yellow-ish skin, gums, and ears
  • Cause: Exposure to toxins, Environmental, Drug-related, Immune-Mediated, Genetic, High Levels of Copper in the Liver Tissues
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $5000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1800

What is Chronic Active Hepatitis in Poodles?

Chronic hepatitis is the progressive deterioration of liver tissue that occurs over an extended period. The inflammation or necrosis may be caused by any number of factors, such as exposure to toxins or drug (medication) related.

The cause is often unknown, and it may stem from a combination of factors.

Genetic predisposition is a major factor in some types of liver disease, particularly when high levels of copper are found in the tissues. Certain breeds have been shown to be at risk for developing this condition.

Because the symptoms of chronic hepatitis are often subtle, it is easy to miss them until serious liver damage has already occurred. If your pet is exhibiting any signs of this disease, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Breed-specific chronic hepatitis is a disease involving inflammation and possible tissue death of the liver that occurs more often in certain breeds of dogs than others.

Is Chronic Active Hepatitis Deadly?

Certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to chronic hepatitis, a condition believed to be caused by a genetic defect in the way that they metabolize copper.

Median survival duration of 18.3 to 36.4 months have been reported for patients with this condition.

However, patients with hypoalbuminemia (a low level of albumin in the blood), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), prolonged clotting times, bridging fibrosis (scar tissue that builds up between healthy liver cells and more damaged ones) and ascites (distension of the abdomen due to accumulation of fluid when there is no other cause such as heart failure or kidney disease ) have a lower survival rate.

Many patients with chronic hepatitis can live with minimal clinical signs and good quality of life for extended periods if they receive proper treatment and monitoring.

Treatment of dogs with chronic hepatitis should begin as early in the course of illness as possible because patients who receive treatment at an advanced stage tend to do worse than those treated earlier.

How to Diagnose Chronic Active Hepatitis in Poodles?

The early symptoms of chronic hepatitis can be vague and may indicate that the patient is suffering from another condition.

Your veterinarian will evaluate your dog’s physical condition by palpating (touching) the abdomen. If she feels an abnormally swollen liver, that could be a sign of disease.

In very advanced cases of liver damage, the organ may shrink to the point where it is difficult or impossible to feel with a hand.

It is possible for standard blood tests to reveal elevated liver enzymes, regenerative anemia, or coagulation disorders before a patient experiences any symptoms of liver disease.

Ultrasound imaging can help determine the size and shape of the liver, whether it’s healthy or not. It may also reveal abnormalities such as nodules on the organ itself.

A liver biopsy is necessary in order to correctly diagnose the condition.

The biopsy may be taken by ultrasound-guided needle biopsy, laparoscopic biopsy, or a wedge excision. Fine-needle aspiration is insufficient for accurate diagnosis because it fails to obtain sufficient cells.

How to Treat Chronic Active Hepatitis in Poodles?

By the time most symptoms of liver disease develop, substantial damage may already have been done to the organ. Treatment is aimed at stopping further progress and providing support to damaged tissues.

If excessive fluid has accumulated in the abdominal cavity, it first must be drained by a procedure called abdominocentesis. In this process, a needle is inserted directly into the cavity to remove excess fluid.

Diuretic medications may be prescribed to dogs who are at risk of developing further fluid buildup.

Doctors generally hospitalize dogs who suffer from acute symptoms so that they can receive intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and correct any imbalances in their blood chemistry.

Where the blood is not clotting properly, plasma or whole-blood transfusions may be required. Medicines to protect the stomach from irritation may also be prescribed.

Chelating agents, or chemicals that bind to and remove heavy metals from the body, may be used in conjunction with zinc supplements to help prevent copper levels from rising too high.

Cushing’s Disease

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Possible
  • Type: Endocrinological Disorder
  • Symptoms: Increased Appetite, Increased Water Consumption, Frequent Urination, Hair Loss/Thinning, Excessive Panting, Skin Infections, Weakness, Poor Coat Condition, Pot-like Belly Appearance, Lethargy, Recurring UTIs, 
  • Cause: Pituitary tumor/damage, Adrenal tumor/damage, High-Dose Use of the Cortisol-Like Glucocorticoids 
  • Treatment Cost Range: $350 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2000

What Is Cushing’s Disease in Poodles?

Cushing’s disease is caused by an overproduction of cortisol in your pup’s body. Cortisol is a hormone that helps regulate blood pressure, heart function, and stress response; it also helps control inflammation in the body.

While there are several reasons why this can happen (such as tumors or infections), the most common cause is a tumor on the pituitary gland called an adenoma.

Excessive levels of cortisol have been shown to negatively impact health and well-being, resulting in a number of side effects including liver damage, hair loss/ thinning, skin irritation (including bruising/acne), obesity, and recurrent urinary tract infections.

Because Cushing’s disease is more common in older dogs and can mimic natural aging, it may go undetected for some time.

Only a veterinarian can determine if your dog’s symptoms are indicative of age-related deterioration or the onset of disease. Diagnosis and treatment can add years to your pet’s life.

Is Canine Cushing’s Disease Fatal?

Yes, Canine Cushing’s Disease is Fatal. According to the AKC, most dogs diagnosed with Cushing’s disease are elderly. Although the average survival time for these animals is about two years, 10 percent of them live beyond four years and their condition can be managed through medication or surgery.

How is Canine Cushing’s Disease Diagnosed?

Diagnosing Cushing’s disease is a complicated process because there is no single definitive lab test and many conditions—including other illnesses that present similar symptoms—can be confused with it.

A dog’s owner can help identify Cushing’s disease by being observant of the dog’s habits and noticing changes in its appearance, as well as seeking out a veterinarian for analysis as soon as possible.

The veterinarian will probably examine your dog thoroughly, looking for signs of an enlarged liver and checking the skin. Then he or she may send urine and blood to a lab to be tested.

A urine test measuring the ratio of cortisol to creatinine is a good way to diagnose Cushing’s disease in a dog that has no other health problems, but it can also return positive results if your pet suffers from an additional condition.

Once Cushing’s disease is suspected, a number of tests can be performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine whether it’s caused by an abnormality in the pituitary gland or elsewhere (such as in the adrenal glands).

Once a doctor diagnoses Cushing’s disease, he or she may use medical imaging to determine whether an abnormal growth (tumor) is causing the symptoms.

For examination of the pituitary gland, MRI is used; for adrenal glands, ultrasound is preferred. This method also can be easily performed at your veterinarian’s office to screen animals suspected of having Cushing’s disease before more invasive procedures are done.

How to Treat Canine Cushing’s Disease?

Most veterinarians who treat Cushing’s disease use medication to control symptoms caused by either the adrenal or pituitary gland.

Treatment for Cushing’s disease involves removing the adrenal tumor if it is causing symptoms and hasn’t spread.

Because of the risks and complications, most dogs with Cushing’s disease are treated with medication rather than surgery.

Surgical techniques to remove pituitary tumors from dogs are being researched, but surgery is not commonly available.

Although Cushing’s is a lifelong condition, the disease can be managed with medications. It’s important for a veterinarian to see how your dog responds to treatment and do blood tests regularly.

Blood tests and a patient’s response to treatment are used to determine the right dose of medication, which may need adjusting periodically.

Depending on the dog’s tolerance to and response to the medication, frequent blood tests and veterinary checkups may be required for several months after starting treatment.


  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Possible
  • Type: Neurological Disease
  • Symptoms: Abnormal Behavior (Panic, Hiding, Clinging, Confusion), Collapse, Stiffness, Teeth Grinding, Drooling, Paddling Legs, Jerking Movement, Shivering Movement, Uncontrolled Urination/Defecation
  • Cause: Head Trauma, Liver Disease, Stroke, Anemia, Exposure to Toxic Substances, Kidney Disease, High/Low Blood Glucose, Hyperthermia, Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $6000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $3000

What is Epilepsy in Poodles?

Dogs can experience epileptic seizures, just like people. But what is a seizure? A seizure occurs when there is a sudden change in how the brain’s nerve cells behave.

The normal electrical activity of the brain becomes disturbed, and this may cause involuntary movements, changes in awareness or behavior, or other symptoms.

Seizures are most commonly caused by abnormal firing of neurons from groups of brain cells that have become too excited.

Seizures may occur individually, but they can also be repeated in a pattern. For example, some dogs have one seizure and never have another, while others have frequent seizures throughout their lives.

Seizures can occur in any dog, regardless of its breed. However, certain breeds are more likely to suffer from epilepsy than others, including Standard Poodles, Beagles, Belgian Tervurens, and Labrador Retrievers.

Dogs with epilepsy usually live normal lives unless the seizures become severe enough to interfere with daily activities.

Seizures can become more frequent, prolonged, and severe if not treated.

There are many potential causes of seizures in dogs. These include trauma, toxins such as heavy metals or chemicals, diseases that affect the brain (such as tumors or infections), and an overabundance of certain chemicals produced by organs including your dog’s liver or kidneys.

Don’t be alarmed if your vet is unable to identify the cause; some cases of this condition are idiopathic, meaning that the underlying cause is unknown.

When Does Epilepsy Start in Dogs?

The majority of epileptic dogs have their first seizure between 1 and 5 years of age, with the likelihood that a dog will be diagnosed as having idiopathic epilepsy being greatest within that time frame.

How is Epilepsy in Poodles Diagnosed?

If you feel that your pet may be having a seizure, take her to the vet for an examination.

Because seizure episodes are so brief, your pet may be over the episode by the time you reach a clinic, video recording of the seizure activity can help your veterinarian to see what is happening firsthand.

A medical exam can still be important to identify the cause of a seizure, even if it is not immediately life-threatening.

When a veterinarian diagnoses epilepsy, they will ask you for the following information: when your pet first had seizures (age of onset), what happened during each seizure (its duration and type), and how many times he has experienced convulsions before coming to the hospital.

Make note of the exposure your pet may have had to toxins, whether or not they have been recently vaccinated, changes in behavior (such as aggression or depression), and any recent injuries.

A number of laboratory tests are performed to eliminate possible causes for the pet’s symptoms. These include a complete blood cell count, blood chemistry, and urinalysis.

The tests will look at liver and kidney function, as well as blood sugar levels.

A CT or MRI scan may be used to examine the brain of a pet with seizures.

If a cause for the seizure cannot be identified, the condition is labeled as primary idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy of unknown origin).

How is Epilepsy in Poodles Treated?

If the veterinarian can determine what caused your pet’s seizure, he or she will treat it accordingly.

If this is your pet’s first seizure, and no cause of the seizures has been identified, it is likely that a veterinarian would ask you to continue monitoring your pet for future seizures. If another occurs, report back to him or her immediately.

An epileptic dog is not treated for his condition until he has had several seizures or suffers from particularly severe ones.

The veterinarian should be notified as soon as possible when a seizure occurs. This will help the vet determine what course of treatment to follow.

If your pet’s seizure lasts longer than a few minutes or if you have any other concerns for the animal’s safety, it is very important that you take him to see the veterinarian.

Here are a few things you should note down in case your poodle has a seizure:

  • Time of onset
  • Duration
  • Video (if possible)
  • Specific seizure behaviors (paddling legs, shivering, jerking motion, vocalization, etc)

Hip Dysplasia

  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Hip Joint Disorder
  • Symptoms: Decreased Activity, Difficulty Getting Up, Limping, Decreased Range of Hip Motion, Difficulty Climbing Stairs
  • Cause: Obesity, Injury, Malnutrition, Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $1500 to $15000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2500

What is Hip Dysplasia in Poodles?

Hip dysplasia is a condition that affects the hip joints of dogs and other animals. It results in the head of the thigh bone not being able to fit properly into the hip socket. This causes pain and loss of mobility.

Hip dysplasia is one of the most common hereditary orthopedic diseases in dogs.

The most common symptom is pain while walking or running—your dog may limp or experience stiffness after activity, especially if they’ve been laying down for a while before getting up again.

The good news is that hip dysplasia can be treated with medication, surgery, weight loss/management, and physical therapy; however, if you notice any symptoms of hip dysplasia early on you should take your dog to see their vet immediately so that they can begin treatment as soon as possible.

The disorder is inherited in a manner similar to many other genetic diseases and can result from an inheritance, environmental factors (e.g., diet), or both.

The onset of dog hip problems can occur at any age, causing pain and restricted movement—not to mention a decreased quality of life for both the poodle and its owner.

How is Hip Dysplasia in Poodles Diagnosed?

If you notice that your pet is showing signs of hip dysplasia, or if you have concerns about possible injury to the joint, contact a veterinarian.

A pet’s genetic parentage information can be helpful in diagnosing hip dysplasia.

A physical exam will check for evidence of joint pain and determine whether your pet has a normal range of motion in its hips.

Radiographs can provide clear evidence if a dog has hip dysplasia by showing the severity of the condition and how it affects bone growth.

How is Hip Dysplasia in Poodles Treated?

Diet and Weight Management

Proper nutrition and weight control are the first line of defense in treating hip dysplasia in dogs.

It is important to keep track of the progression of hip dysplasia so that preventative measures can be taken.

To prevent joint degeneration, large and fast-growing breeds should be fed a proper diet and participate in low-impact exercise programs.

The veterinarian will give you suggestions for weight management and exercise, tailored to your pet’s age and breed.

Oral supplements

Osteoarthritis patients can safely take glucosamine and chondroitin to help maintain their joints.

The cartilage-building blocks in supplements can take 6 weeks to kick in, but once they do the results are beneficial.


Low-impact physical therapy, such as swimming, can help loosen joints and develop muscle mass—both beneficial for patients with hip dysplasia.


Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

They are not intended for prolonged use, and liver function should be monitored at regular intervals when taking these medications.


Hip dysplasia is a condition that may be treated with hip replacement surgery in dogs, depending on the individual animal’s age and other factors such as size, level of activity, and degree of degradation of the hips.


  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Thyroid Disease
  • Symptoms: Lethargy, Weakness, Rapid Weight Gain, Excessive Hair Shedding, Skin Infections, Ear Infections, Infertility, Lack of Muscle Coordination, Dry Eyes, Mental Dullness, Slowed Breathing, Low Blood Pressure, Low Heart Rate, Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Cause: Thyroid Cancer, Idiopathic Thyroid Gland Atrophy, Lymphocytic Thyroiditis, Iodine Deficiency/Overabundance
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $2000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1300

What is Hypothyroidism in Poodles?

Hypothyroidism in poodles is most common in standard poodles, but it some rare cases it can also afflict toy and miniature poodles as well.

There are several reasons for hypothyroidism to develop, the most common being an underactive thyroid (sometimes caused by a decrease in hormone production), and destruction of the thyroid gland.

While easily treated, sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose hypothyroidism because the symptoms of the condition are similar to those experienced by dogs with other diseases.

Once hypothyroidism has been diagnosed, your dog’s symptoms can usually be treated so that he can live a fairly healthy and normal life.

The thyroid gland, in conjunction with the pituitary gland, produces hormones that help regulate all of your body’s systems.

Hypothyroidism occurs when there is an imbalance in the thyroid, which slows down the metabolism and affects every organ. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, and skin problems—often blamed on old age.

Severe hypothyroidism can lead to several serious symptoms, including paralysis and coma.

How is Hypothyroidism in Poodles Diagnosed?

Because hypothyroidism can mimic other diseases, a correct diagnosis is difficult unless symptoms and test results are carefully observed.

Your veterinarian may run a variety of blood and urine tests to identify the cause.

If a doctor suspects hypothyroidism, he or she may order tests to measure the levels of thyroid hormone in your blood.

An underactive thyroid gland can be indicated by low levels of a hormone called thyroxine.

Additional tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis. These may include further hormone testing, such as a TSH stimulation test (which measures thyroid function under conditions of low iodine intake) and free T4 test; equilibrium dialysis (measures the amount of bio-available thyroid hormone in relation to total protein levels); or imaging by ultrasonography, scintigraphy—the use radioactive material for detection—or sonography

A thyroid hormone supplementation test can be used to confirm a diagnosis of hypothyroidism.

Health-care practitioners often order tests to rule out or diagnose other disorders that can be responsible for symptoms of hypothyroidism.

How is Hypothyroidism in Poodles Treated?

Although there is no cure for hypothyroidism, it can be managed.

Thyroxine is typically given once a day throughout your dog’s life. The initial dosage of the hormone will vary based on your dog’s weight, but it will likely be adjusted over time.

The dose of the supplement may be increased gradually, then reduced to a single daily dose.

Blood samples to check the hormone levels of your dog are taken one month after beginning treatment.

After a while, your dog’s body may become accustomed to the thyroid hormone replacement and the dose will need to be adjusted. You should have your dog’s hormone levels checked every six months.

Excessive doses of hormone replacement can cause health problems, so be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions about administering the medication. In case of overdose, get in touch with your vet as soon as you can.

A hormone overdose can cause symptoms similar to those of hyperthyroidism, such as weight loss, increased thirst, reduced sleep, and hyperactivity.


  • Severity: Could Be Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Hip Joint Disorder
  • Symptoms: Limping, Pain During Physical Examination, Increased Joint Space, Collapse of Femur Bone Head, Muscle Atrophy, Inability to Walk at Times, Difficulty Putting on Weight on the Diseased Leg
  • Cause: Vascular Issue, Rickets, Infective Degenerative Arthritis, Endocrine System Disorder, Genetic, Limited Supply of Blood Reaching the Femur Bone Region
  • Treatment Cost Range: $300 to $5000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2500

What is Legg-Calve-Perthes in Poodles?

Legg-Calvé-Perthes (LCP) disease is a condition that affects the hip joint of dogs. The femur bone degenerates and causes severe arthritis in the hind leg.

It usually shows up in toy poodles and miniature poodles when they’re between 4 months old and 1 year, but is most likely to happen during their 7th month.

The disease can affect a poodle’s mobility and cause inflammation, stiffness, pain—even paralysis.

The condition affects one hip rather than both and occurs in equal numbers among male and female poodles.

Certain breeds of dogs, such as the Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, and Pug are more likely to develop Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease than others. Many other breeds are also at risk.

The Legg-Calvé-Perthes (LCP) disease was named after three physicians (Legg, Calvé, and Perthes) who are credited with discovering this hip disorder that can affect children.

Poodles can be afflicted with the disease, especially very young ones. In some cases, dogs become so physically impaired by the disease that they are unable to walk.

How is Legg-Calve-Perthes in Poodles Diagnosed?

If you notice any symptoms of pain or discomfort in your pet, such as limping or lameness, contact your veterinarian and try to get an appointment as soon as you can.

A veterinarian will perform a physical examination at the first appointment if he or she suspects that your poodle has LCP.

They will perform a series of tests on the dog’s hip, including trying to extend its joint while they are examining it.

They may also perform X-rays to get a better look at the problem.

How is Legg-Calve-Perthes in Poodles Treated?

In most cases, a veterinarian will combine the results of X-rays and physical examinations in order to devise an appropriate treatment plan.

The severity of LCP disease is a factor in determining the appropriate treatment.

If a dog’s case of LCP is mild, placing restrictions on his or her activity and allowing the animal to rest can help ease symptoms.

Caging a dog and carrying it out of its cage to take him outside for bathroom breaks is sometimes the most effective treatment.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also be prescribed to treat the condition. The limited movement paired with NSAIDs is sometimes the only treatment that is needed.

If, however, the femoral head collapses at any time during this type of treatment, surgery would most likely be required.

If the LCP is advanced to a point that even slight movement causes pain and muscle atrophy, then your vet may recommend more invasive treatment options.

Cases of LCP that do not respond to treatment may require hip replacement surgery.

Surgery sometimes provides the best treatment for LCP, as opposed to less invasive options such as limiting movements and NSAIDs.


  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Progressive Neurodegenerative Disease
  • Symptoms: Domed-Shaped Skull, Wide Set Eyes, Difficulty Training, Blindness, Seizures, Decreased Awareness, Lack of Response, Abnormal Vocalization, Overly Excited, Drowsiness, Pacing and Circling, Weak Hind Legs, Slow Growth
  • Cause: Genetic, Prenatal Infection, Brain Hemorrhage, Inflammatory Brain Disease, Prenatal Vitamin Deficiency, Trauma, Exposure to Toxic Substances to a Developing Fetus
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $1400

What is Hydrocephalus in Poodles?

Hydrocephalus in poodles is caused by an excess of cerebrospinal fluid that has leaked into the skull, causing brain swelling.

It is generally believed that increased pressure in the skull will press on the brain tissues and can cause permanent damage or death.

Smaller poodles, miniature poodles, and toy poodles to be precise are more likely to be affected by hydrocephalus than standard poodles.

How is Hydrocephalus in Poodles Diagnosed?

To diagnose hydrocephalus in young dogs, your veterinarian will look at the symptoms to determine the severity of the condition.

If the vet spots a large, open fontanel and notes that your puppy is uncoordinated when walking or trying to stand up, he will probably want to investigate further.

During an exam, the vet may take x-rays to check for signs of hydrocephalus—such as open plates and other formations in the skull that would indicate fluids in the brain.

The veterinarian will perform an ultrasound to examine the dilated chambers within your dog’s brain if your poodle has an open fontanelle.

Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests can provide conclusive evidence of hydrocephalus because they can offer information about the brain’s structure that cannot be obtained in any other way.

How is Hydrocephalus in Poodles Treated?

For veterinarians diagnosing young dogs for hydrocephalus, the clinical symptoms help indicate the severity of this condition.

If your veterinarian notices that your poodle has an unusually large open fontanel (the soft spot on the head of young poodles) and walks clumsily, he/she will know what to look for if they suspect hydrocephalus.

Evaluation of the fontanel bulge will reveal dilation of brain ventricles during an ultrasound examination.

A CT or MRI scan can identify the source of the fluid buildup.

The various scans will reveal whether tumors or other abnormalities are present.

Patellar Luxation

  • Severity: Could be Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Congenital/Developmental Disorder
  • Symptoms: Inability to Stand, Shaking the Affected Leg, Lameness, Arthritis, Pain, Limping, Refusing to Exercise, Refusing to Jump or Run, Weak Legs, Pulling Up the Affected Leg Multiple Steps at a Time, Inability to Bend the Knee
  • Cause: Genetic, Trauma, Injury, Accident
  • Treatment Cost Range: $300 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2000

What Is Patellar Luxation in Poodles?

Patellar luxation in poodles occurs when the kneecap is displaced or dislocated from its normal location in the knee joint.

This is a condition that may be present from birth (congenital), or it may develop during the course of the dog’s life (acquired).

Although trauma to the knee is a leading cause of patellar luxation, this condition, in most cases, is hereditary and affects toy poodles more often than standard or miniature breeds.

An injury to the leg, such as a fracture or sprain, can cause patellar luxation that is apparent right away.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s luxation, she may experience mild or severe pain.

The severity of the condition varies from 1 (mild) to 4 (severe). This condition gets worse with time if left untreated.

Depending on the severity of the injury, a tendon rupture can be classified by any grade.

Patellar luxation is almost always in the rear legs, and if left untreated will cause lameness. This causes a skipping gait where the poodle’s legs do not touch the ground when walking or trotting.

Congenital patellar luxation might not be noticed in young dogs until about six weeks of age, when it can look like the puppy is still learning to walk properly.

How Is Patellar Luxation in Poodles Diagnosed?

If this is a congenital condition, your puppy will most likely be diagnosed at his first appointment with the veterinarian.

In the case of patellar luxation caused by heredity or injury, symptoms will be apparent when they reach a certain level in severity.

A physical examination will likely include auscultation (listening) of the heart and lungs, palpation (feeling for abnormalities on the skin or underlying muscles), taking vital signs like blood pressure, examining lameness in different gaits by using feel to see if there are abnormalities with a walking pattern which can reveal what joints may be causing problems.

Make sure to tell the veterinarian about any illnesses your pet has had recently and about any medications or herbal supplements you have given it.

Some medications can affect a pet’s symptoms and how well they respond to treatment, so it is important that your veterinarian knows what drugs you are giving them and if you feel like the medication is not sitting well with your poodle.

A veterinarian will perform blood tests and other diagnostic procedures on the poodle patient to determine the cause of their symptoms.

How Is Patellar Luxation in Poodles Treated?

If your poodle has patellar luxation, the grade of the defect and his or her overall health will determine how the vet will decide the course of the treatment.

Surgery is commonly used as a treatment, but the veterinarian may also try other methods, such as putting your pet in a leg brace or bandage, restricting its activity until the bone heals on its own—or giving the patient medication.


The technique used to treat patellar luxation depends on the severity of the condition, and no single treatment is appropriate for all cases.


Steroids, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and narcotics may be given for pain relief. In addition, supplements such as glucosamine, vitamin C, and E can help with the pain.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Degenerative Disease
  • Symptoms: Night Blindness, Daytime Blindness, Cloudy Eyes, Progressive Loss of Vision Until Blindness, Bumping Into Walls and Objects, Reluctance to Climb Down Stairs
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $1000 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2000

What Is Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Poodles?

Progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA for short, is a condition that causes the retina of your dog’s eye to progressively lose vision until complete blindness. This condition is not painful at all but does degrade the quality of your poodle’s life.

It causes degeneration of both eyes and begins with night blindness followed by daytime blindness. The condition progresses to cause total vision loss.

The gradual loss of vision in both the eyes will enable your dog to adjust, using other senses to get around the best they can.

The progression of this disease is gradual, and you may not even notice that your dog’s vision is failing.

How Is Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Poodles Diagnosed?

You may notice that your dog is less confident about jumping down from high places and hesitates to do so. Or you might see him bump into things around the house—especially if you’ve recently moved the furniture.

The disease usually progresses to an advanced stage before you notice any changes in behavior.

As the dog’s day vision deteriorates, you will notice that its pupils have become cloudy and opaque. This is a sign of cataracts forming in both eyes, further reducing your canine friend’s ability to see clearly during the day.

If you suspect that your dog is losing his vision, it’s important to see a veterinarian right away. The vet will refer the dog to an ophthalmologist—a specialist in eye disease and surgery—for further testing.

The most common method to check your dog’s retinas for abnormalities is by using an electroretinogram (ERG). The test can prove conclusively that your dog has this disease by measuring the response of the retina to light.

Because there is no pain involved, your pet will just need some time to get used to moving around again.

You can help your poodle by making sure the gates are closed so that your poodle does not run outside. Also, make sure there are no sharp objects such as a statue or table edges that your poodle could bump in and get hurt.

How Is Progressive Retinal Atrophy in Poodles Treated?

Progressive retinal atrophy can greatly affect your dog’s eyesight, but if you keep your pet’s surroundings consistent (don’t rearrange furniture or move objects), he will learn to adapt with time.

Researchers have developed treatments that use antioxidants to slow the rate of retinal degeneration, although tests are still being conducted on this method.

Because PRA is a slow-moving disease that does not manifest obvious symptoms until it has reached an advanced stage, your dog will usually be diagnosed with the condition at a late stage of the disorder.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Rare
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Neurological Disease 
  • Symptoms: Genetic, Dilated Pupils, Fixated Pupils, Visual Impairment, Pupils Unresponsive  to Light
  • Cause: Unknown 
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3500
  • Average Treatment Cost: $2200

What Is Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in Poodles?

Optic nerve hypoplasia is a condition in which the optic nerve fails to develop properly.

In Miniature Poodles, optic nerve hypoplasia can be inherited.

The condition may occur in only one eye, or it can affect both eyes. It can also be accompanied by other abnormalities of the eye.

If the optic nerves of both eyes do not develop during infancy, blindness will occur.

The involvement of only one of the optic nerves often goes unnoticed or is not discovered until late in life, if the other eye acquires a blinding disease.

How Is Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in Poodles Diagnosed?

Statistics show that most of these congenital conditions are detected during routine ophthalmoscopic examinations, but some symptoms might not be visible if the owner has noticed them.

This condition does not seem to have an inflammatory component, and so blood work is not likely to be needed unless something vascular (related to the veins or arteries) is noted during this examination.

If a veterinarian needs to determine how much vision is impaired, specialized testing can be done to ascertain the degree of vision loss.

In contrast, dogs are not as responsive to the stimuli that this test uses, making it less accurate for them than for humans.

How Is Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in Poodles Treated?

Because of the cause of optic nerve hypoplasia is genetic underdevelopment of retinal/neurologic tissue, no treatment exists.

There is no inflammation associated with optic nerve hypoplasia, so there isn’t anything to treat the underlying cause of what’s causing his vision loss.

Optic nerve hypoplasia occurs more frequently in certain dog breeds, such as poodles.

If your breeding pool contains a Poodle with this condition, it would be best not to breed the dog so their offspring don’t inherit this genetic trait.

Sebaceous Adenitis

  • Severity: Could be Serious
  • Occurrence: Uncommon
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Autoimmune Disease
  • Symptoms: Hair Loss, Musty, Matted Hair, Poor Coat Condition, Itching, Scabs and Sores, Bacterial Infection
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $200 to $800
  • Average Treatment Cost: $400

What Is Sebaceous Adenitis in Poodles?

Sebaceous adenitis (SA) in poodles is a genetic skin disease that causes hair loss and changes to the texture and color of your pet’s coat. Several breeds carry the gene for SA, including Standard Poodle, Akita, and Samoyed.

The symptoms of SA will usually appear first on a dog’s head and neck and then spread to the rest of their body.

Scaly, crusty skin, and excessive dandruff are visible symptoms. Over time your dog’s hair will thin as the glands that produce it malfunction—making their skin itch and giving off a musky odor.

Although SA does not affect one sex over the other, it tends to occur more often among Standard Poodles as compared to Miniature or Toy Poodles.

The disease has been documented in patients ranging from 1 year old to as old as 12.

Because the symptoms of SA vary according to breed and type, it is a diagnostic challenge. Many dogs are initially diagnosed with hypothyroidism—a thyroid condition that can be confused for SA—or an immune disorder such as food or environmental allergies.

A veterinarian can confirm an SA diagnosis by performing a skin biopsy.

How Is Sebaceous Adenitis in Poodles Diagnosed?

If you notice changes in your pet’s hair coat, such as patchiness or complete loss of hair, along with skin irritation (in the form of scales or lesions), then a visit to the veterinarian is in order.

Your veterinarian will want to rule out other possible underlying causes—such as hormonal imbalances or mite infestations—that may present themselves in the same way but could lead to further consequences if left untreated.

The veterinarian will diagnose the skin condition based on a sample of tissue that she takes.

A test to determine if a fungal or bacterial infection is present may be needed, in addition to the microscopic exam of skin and hair samples.

How Is Sebaceous Adenitis in Poodles Treated?

There is no cure for SA, so treatment must be tailored to the specific needs of each poodle and the severity of their condition.

The disease can affect poodles in different ways, and the extent to which it affects a dog depends on that particular dog’s response.

While some dogs will have to be euthanized in cases of severe SA, most can live normal lives with proper treatment and management.

Since Sebaceous Adenitis is a lifelong condition, pet owners play an important role in the treatment of their dogs.

The success or failure of any given therapy depends on how well the owner adheres to that protocol and administers medication at proper intervals

To treat dry dog skin, a veterinarian may prescribe topical therapy such as keratolytic shampoos and emollient rinses or humectants applied every 3-5 days.

Poodle owners who want to improve their dog’s coat and skin may consider giving him an oil bath or oil spray.

The most popular oils for treating this condition are mineral oil-based products, such as baby oil or Alpha-Keri.

It is recommended that you leave the oil on your dog for 1-2 hours, depending on how much they try to lick it off. Monitoring your pet’s behavior throughout treatment is important because ingesting too much of the medicine could be harmful.

Vitamins A, E, and C are all antioxidants that may help to reduce inflammation. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids have been shown to be anti-inflammatory in studies on humans as well as animals.

Depending on your dog’s condition, your vet will recommend which (if any) vitamins or supplements should be administered daily or only when needed.

In some instances, dogs with SA will develop a bacterial or yeast infection. In these cases, symptoms can be treated with antibiotics and steroid medications. Proper grooming can minimize the incidence of infections.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

  • Severity: Serious
  • Occurrence: Common
  • Hereditary: Yes
  • Type: Neurological Disease 
  • Symptoms: Excessive Bleeding From Minor Injuries, Continuous Bleeding After Surgery, Pain, Nausea, Weakness, Collapse
  • Cause: Genetic
  • Treatment Cost Range: $500 to $3000
  • Average Treatment Cost: $850

What Is Von Willebrand’s Disease in Poodles?

Von Willebrand’s disease, an inherited bleeding disorder common to poodles, can cause prolonged bleeding and may be fatal if left untreated.

It is more commonly found in Standard Poodles than in Miniature or Toy varieties.

Von Willebrand disease is a genetic disorder. It is caused by a mutation in a single gene and passed down through generations via one of the parents’ chromosomes (autosomal inheritance).

In dogs who have two copies of the mutant gene responsible for Von Willebrand’s disease, symptoms are severe. Dogs with only one copy sometimes show no clinical signs at all.

Some dogs that appear perfectly healthy when young may later develop symptoms. On the flip side, some pet parents say that their poodle’s symptoms have gotten better with time.

Because dogs can carry a mutant gene without showing any clinical symptoms, pedigree history is needed to determine whether the dog should be used in a breeding program or not.

How Is Von Willebrand’s Disease in Poodles Diagnosed?

There are tests that can aid in the diagnostic process for Von Willebrand disease. The buccal mucosal screening time test indicates prolonged bleeding is used to evaluate clotting ability.

Furthermore, a blood test will show the presence of Von Willebrand Factor (vWF), which can be verified at the laboratory.

If you have a poodle, it is highly suggested that he or she undergoes VWF testing before having even minor surgery.

Genetic testing can also be used to identify the disease.

Veterinarians often diagnose VWF by noticing abnormal bleeding after surgery.

If the situation is severe enough, it’s possible that the team won’t be able to stop the bleeding and your dog could die from blood loss.

How Is Von Willebrand’s Disease in Poodles Treated?

There is no cure for Von Willebrand disease, so pet parents must carefully manage their pets’ symptoms.

Blood-coagulation agents can be used as a precaution, before performing surgery.

A blood transfusion may be required. The donating dog can receive a substance called coagulants that makes it easier to accept the new blood.

Owners of poodles with Von Willebrand’s disease should be aware that certain precautions are needed in order to manage the condition.

It is important for you to understand that there are associated risks when undergoing treatment. Certain medications can cause more harm than good, and stress may contribute to them as well (ibuprofen and antihistamines in particular).

By Nancy Williams

Hi! My name is Nancy Williams, and I'm a poodle owner. I started PoodleGo because I was tired of not being able to find high-quality information about how to care for my poodle. I wanted to help others who were also frustrated with the lack of good poodle information on the internet. I spend every spare moment reading about poodles, talking to other poodle owners, and learning more about best practices for caring for my dog. I love seeing a healthy, well-groomed, happy poodle—and hope that my site will help you get there!

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