Whether you are the proud pet-parent of a Poodle, or considering getting one, there are a few things you need to know. In my 7 years handling the breed, and work at veterinary offices, I have compiled essential information for any Poodle lover. Below is a list of common Poodle problems and how to avoid them.
Ear infections can be very common for ‘floppy eared’ dogs. Moisture may get trapped in their ear canal with no way of escape. If your dog gets wet (like during bath time) dry the ears well. You may even want to take a soft, plush, head band and wrap their ears together behind their head so the moisture can air dry out. At least once a week, flip your dog’s ears over and look inside. If there is a lot of wax, a smell, or many hairs in the ear canal there may be a problem. A groomer can remove the hairs that may trap moisture. A vet can clean the ears, and if you have recurrent problems may teach you how to do this yourself.
Tooth tarter and rot are real problems for small breed dogs. While all dogs are susceptible, small breeds are more likely to suffer from tooth issues. To prevent this problem, brush your pets teeth. Start brushing their teeth while they are puppies to prevent tarter buildup. You can buy kits to brush their teeth from a pet store. Feed your dog hard food and NEVER table scraps. If you notice a terrible smell in your dog’s mouth, this could be tooth rot and you should see a veterinarian and schedule a cleaning immediately. Tooth rot can cause many other problems, including infection of the gums and jaw bone deterioration.
Cataracts, glaucoma, and lens luxation are terrible problems. Many dogs develop cataracts as they age. Poodles without a breeding ‘eye certification’ may develop cataracts as young as 6 years old. They can also develop glaucoma after trauma or infection of the eye. A small group may even suffer lens luxation- when the eye lens slides out of place. If your dog begins to squint or you notice a grey haze in their eyes, take them to the vet immediately.
Hair matting, allergies, anal gland impaction and abscess, and sliding knee caps are also common problems for Poodles. Many of these issues are easily corrected by the veterinarian and kept in check with casual observation.
Don’t get discouraged! Every breed has its own set of problems to look out for. With proper care and prevention your Poodle can be the best pet you ever had. They are highly trainable, very empathetic, and beautiful dogs.
This author has also written about cheap replacements for expensive pet products, correcting common dog behavioral problems, and the value of a kennel to your dog.