By now, you must have heard of the Doodle’s hybrid vigor. People praise them as being healthy and immune to the common inflictions that their purebred parents suffer from. But it might surprise you to know that Doodle’s are just as prone to disease as any other dog. Today we are going to talk about the most common Doodle dog health issues. What causes them and how to prevent them.
Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
The most common Doodle dog health issues lie in the joints. Particularly with larger breeds, they develop what is known as hip or elbow dysplasia. This condition is where either the hip or elbow joints do not sit within the joint sockets. It is a painful health problem that costs thousands of dollars to reverse. And even with surgery, it’s not a guarantee to fix it.
The leading cause of hip and elbow dysplasia is terrible genetics. The reason it is common in larger breeds is due to their growth rate. Large breeds grow an incredible amount in the first year of their life. In many cases, this fast growth can cause joint issues.
But this isn’t the only cause. If your dog becomes overweight, inactive, or eats a poor diet, it can make joint problems more pronounced. And in some cases, it can create issues that didn’t exist before.
Another well-known Doodle dog problems are patellar luxation. This is a joint disease that afflicts a small dog’s knees. Mostly the knee will come out of place while doing daily activities. It’s not permanent and moves back into place eventually. But it can cause unnecessary pain and will get worse as a dog ages.
Just as with dysplasia, patellar luxation is the result of poor breeding. It is especially widespread in breeds that typically have bowed legs. It can also become intensified in Doodles that are overweight.
Another of the prominent Doodle dog health concerns involves the eyes. Everything from glaucoma, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy are the most common. Glaucoma and progressive retinal atrophy are genetic diseases that deteriorate your dog’s vision. And cataracts are the slow blurring and clouding of the eye lens. All of these eventually lead to blindness and progress in old age.
The cause of most of these eye diseases is purely genetics. If one or both parents has any of these eye problems, their puppies will too. But this isn’t the only way for a dog to develop eye issues. Some eye problems develop after a severe eye injury or diabetes.
The most obvious sign of this Doodle dog health concern is baldness and dandruff-like scales. It can also make your dogs itch enough to cause abrasions throughout their coats. You might even find that in areas where the condition is the worse, the hair feels dry, brittle, and wirey.
Scientists are still trying to find out what causes sebaceous adenitis. There are a few theories out there, and most of them revolve around genetic mutations passed down through the generations. But what that genetic mutation is, is what’s debated. Some believe it is a keratin deformity. Others believe it is an immune-deficiency. And since no one knows precisely what causes it, sebaceous adenitis is hard to treat.
Doodle health concerns include a sneaky condition called Addison’s disease. This illness is hard to detect and yet very common. Most of the time, the symptoms go unnoticed because they are vague such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Increased thirst and urination
As you can see, these symptoms can also be the cause of many other illnesses. So they may go unnoticed until a vet performs a blood test.
Addison’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks the adrenal glands. Sometimes this is caused by other conditions and medication. Or it can be the cause of bad genes. In either case, the body starts to attack the adrenal glands that begin to break down the tissue. Once these tissues break down, the body has a hard time regulating cortisol and aldosterone. And in turn, your dog’s whole body goes into chaos.
When you look up common Doodle dog health problems, epilepsy is near the top of the list. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder expressed in either the typical muscle spasms or by periods of “spacing out.”
Epilepsy is a neuropathic disease with a fuzzy cause. Infections, brain tumors, kidney and liver disease, and toxic exposure are all possible causes of seizures. But it can also be deduced that if the parents suffer from it, the puppies will too. And while you can control episodes with medication, there are no real cures.
Cushing’s disease is one of the Doodle health problems that happen too frequently. Cushing’s is when your dog produces too much cortisol. And in turn, it causes a bloated stomach, hair loss, thin skin, and panting.
There are two ways Cushing’s happens in dogs. The most common is that they develop a tumor in the pituitary gland. The other type of Cushing’s is the result of a tumor in the adrenal gland. Depending on where the tumor is, your vet could cure your dog with a simple removal. But if the tumor is inoperable, they will treat the symptoms with a medication called Vetoryl.
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
Subvalvular aortic stenosis is a fancy term for a narrow valve in the heart. Specifically, it occurs in the aortic valve and is the most common in larger breeds. Most puppies with aortic stenosis don’t show any signs of having a heart condition. And during a routine check-up, it is discovered that they have a slight heart murmur. In severe cases, the puppies show signs from birth of having a heart defect. Some of these signs include difficulty breathing and heart failure.
A genetic defect causes Subvalvular aortic stenosis. And in most cases, no treatment is needed until later in life. As your dog ages, they will need beta-blockers and reduced exercise to prevent heart failure.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Back problems in Doodles is also a prevalent thing. Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is where the cushioning between the vertebrae become damaged. Often the tissue bulges or bursts causing partial paralysis. In these cases, surgery is the only way to reverse the damage.
IVDD can come about in many different ways. The age of the dog has a lot to do with their risk of developing back problems. But things like obesity or trauma can also cause it suddenly. And let’s not forget that IVDD can also be hereditary. Most Doodles that develop back problems start before they are two years old.
Allergies are the most common Doodle dog health issues. Allergies can cause everything from itching to sneezing. And while you might not think this is a severe Doodle dog health problem, it can be. If the itching gets too intense, your dog could get hot spots and baldness. Some owners spend thousands on allergy tests and special food.
And that doesn’t even include food allergies. It’s becoming more and more common for dogs to have protein or grain allergies. If your dog develops allergies such as this, you could spend a small fortune on food and medications.
Like all allergies, they are the result of DNA. Our genetics cause us to produce antibodies to non-threatening proteins. The antibodies cause either an allergic reaction or itchy sneezy, and watery eyes. Unfortunately, there are no ways to prevent these allergies, but they are treatable with medication.
Our last point is about mental problems in Doodle dogs. With high intelligence and a need to be social, it is common for Doodles to develop separation anxiety. You will notice that your dog becomes nervous when you leave. They might get destructive or try to run away.
Separation anxiety is the result of your dog not getting the attention that they need. Sometimes it can be long lasting from past trauma. Or it is easily remedied by spending quality time with your Doodle. Occasionally some dogs have such severe anxiety that they need medication. In any case, it helps to give them lots of love, attention, and busy toys when you are away.
You might be feeling overwhelmed by this list. But you don’t have to be. There are many things you can do to prevent your dog from getting these diseases and illnesses.
- Breeding: The first step is to find a reputable breeder. You will want a breeder that is knowledgeable in common Doodle dog health issues. Reputable breeders have a passion for breeding healthy dogs, and they are willing to prove their puppy’s superiority.
- DNA Tests: Most reputable breeders will DNA test all of their parental dogs. But if you are adopting, this might not always be the case. Instead, you can get at home DNA tests to see what your dog is prone to developing. Once you know what your dog is prone to, you can take every precautionary measure to prevent them.
- Diet And Exercise: Just like people, your dog needs daily exercise and wholesome foods to keep them healthy. These measures will keep your dog’s immunities up and weight down. And we all know that both of these are essential to staying healthy.
- Vet Check-Ups: And finally, the best preventive care is to see your vet twice a year. Frequent checks catch diseases before they become life-threatening.
This list of the most common Doodle dog health issues seems daunting. But don’t be discouraged! Most Doodles are very healthy as long as they have good breeding. And with a little preventative care and precautions, your Doodle will live a long and happy life.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!