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Navigating Poodle Health Issues: Common Ailments and Solutions

Get the scoop on keeping your poodle happy and healthy for years to come.

Lauren Lee - Writer for DailyTails
By Lauren Lee
Janet Barben Bio
Edited by Janet Barben

Published February 5, 2024.

Navigating Poodle Health Issues

Poodles are well-known for their intelligence, humor, and hypoallergenic coats, making them a popular companion breed. However, like all dogs, poodles are susceptible to certain health conditions that responsible owners should be aware of. Being informed on common poodle ailments and available treatments can help catch problems early and improve your dog’s quality of life.

Overview of Poodle Health Issues

Several hereditary and acquired conditions are prevalent in poodles, which veterinarians can diagnose through routine wellness exams and bloodwork. Some common poodle health problems include hip dysplasia, cancer, Addison’s disease, bloat, thyroid dysfunction, progressive retinal atrophy, and skin conditions. While concerning, many of these issues can be effectively managed if caught early.

Regular vet visits are critical for identifying abnormalities before symptoms arise. Blood tests can reveal developing conditions like Addison’s, and vets can prescribe medications or lifestyle changes to prevent further progression. For example, monitoring weight fluctuations at yearly check-ups allows vets to suggest dietary adjustments to avoid obesity-related illnesses. Preventative care greatly minimizes overall expenses and chances for complications down the road.

Common Ailments in Poodles

Various ailments can affect poodles, but they are all fairly easy to manage, and some can be prevented with the proper care.

Hip dysplasia, an inherited malformation of hip joints, is prevalent in standard poodles. Signs include limping, difficulty standing up, jumping, or navigating stairs. While this condition may fall under pre-existing exclusions, long-term coverage from a company like Lemonade Pet Insurance can save substantially on managing complex conditions over time.

Miniature and toy poodles can develop progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), a group of degenerative eye diseases leading to vision loss or blindness.

Skin conditions like allergies, infections, and seborrhea are common due to poodles’ dense, curly coats. Symptoms involve redness, itching, hair loss, scabs, and odor. Hereditary cataracts, epilepsy, and cardiac issues may also occur.

Symptoms and Causes

Symptoms can vary based on the condition. Lameness, exercise intolerance, or stiffness may indicate orthopedic problems like hip or elbow dysplasia. Meanwhile, increased thirst/urination, appetite changes, tremors, or lethargy can signal conditions like Addison’s disease, diabetes, Cushing’s disease, or kidney disorders.

Hereditary conditions are passed genetically, while others may be caused or exacerbated by obesity, poor nutrition, allergies, thyroid dysfunction, trauma, infections, or autoimmune disorders. Vets determine specific causes through diagnostic testing.

Solutions for Poodle Health Issues

Preventative Measures

Choosing reputable breeders who screen breeding dogs helps avoid propagating genetic conditions to offspring. Providing excellent nutrition, regular exercise, and proper socialization also reduces disease risk. Routinely grooming and clearing ears promotes skin and coat health. Avoiding obesity through measured feeding prevents joint strain and related illnesses.

🐾 Protect your pet—connect with insurance companies for pre-existing conditions


Medical solutions depend on the diagnosed condition. Here are a few examples:

  • Addison’s disease: Treatment for this condition involves lifelong cortisol replacement therapy.
  • Hip dysplasia: Treatment ranges from joint supplements to pain medication, weight management, physiotherapy exercises, or surgery for severe cases.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: While there is currently no cure for this condition, owners can help blind dogs navigate homes. This can be done by installing baby gates to safeguard dangerous areas such as stairs and ensuring clear pathways so your pooch can navigate your home safely.

Holistic Approaches

Some owners find success in gently managing heritable disorders through holistic treatments. These may include the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic adjustment
  • Homeopathic remedies
  • Antimicrobial/antifungal shampoos
  • Omega-3s
  • Probiotics
  • Anti-inflammatory supplements

If your dog is currently on any prescribed medical treatments, check in with your vet before starting any holistic approaches to avoid interfering with the ongoing treatment.

Protect Your Poodle With Pet Insurance

As a poodle owner, prioritizing preventative care is key to your dog's lifelong wellness. This includes maintaining proper nutrition, incorporating regular exercise, adhering to annual veterinary exams and recommended vaccines, and practicing vigilant parasite control.

Browse DailyTails to compare pet insurance providers to find the best fit for your needs and budget. Investing in your poodle's preventative and emergency care maximizes the years you'll share with your trusted companion and will help your furry friend thrive into their senior years.