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Poodle health Health Information

As with any purebred dog, there are many health concerns for the Poodle owner to be aware of. Though the Poodle is usually a healthy, long-lived canine (it's not unheard of to see a 15-year-old Toy or Miniature Poodle or a 12-year-old Standard Poodle), owners should be aware of the health problems that this breed is predisposed to.

Always consult with a veterinarian that you feel comfortable with before diagnosing or treating any disease on your own.

The health concerns that people owning Toy Poodles must be aware of include: cataracts, entropion, epilepsy, intervertebral disc degeneration, lacrimal duct atresia (deformed or absent tear ducts that cause tears to run down the face), Legg-Perthes, patellar luxation, PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), trichiasis, and urolithiasis.

For the Miniature Poodle, owners must watch for: cataracts, distichiasis, entropion, epilepsy, glaucoma, intervertebral disc degeneration, lacrimal duct atresia, Legg-Perthes, PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), patellar luxation, trichiasis, and urolithiasis.

For the Standard Poodle, owners must watch for: Addison's Disease, cataracts, CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia), distichiasis, entropion, epilepsy, gastric torsion, PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), sebaceous adenitis, and vWD (Von Willebrand's disease).

All three breeds are predisposed towards certain types of mammary tumors, so if the Poodle owner doesn't plan on breeding their female, then they should consider spaying her before her first heat cycle. This dramatically cuts down the Poodle's chances of developing quite a few different types of mammary tumors later in life.

Poodles make good companions and are extremely loyal, sometimes to the point of being possessive. The owner should be a competent trainer, as Poodles can be willful if trained poorly. Well-trained Poodles are eager to please and love putting on a show for family and friends. Poodles do not shed and are considered by some to be a hypoallergenic breed. (See list of Hypoallergenic dog breeds) Poodles, like all dogs, do create dander and saliva, and they can bring allergens inside on their coats, so they are really only hypoallergenic for people who are allergic to dog hair loose in their homes. Some Poodles have hyperactive tear ducts that do not drain very well. It is quite common to see Poodles with streaks of gooey brownish-red secretions in the corners of their eyes. If lots of drainage needs to occur, the tear duct may clog and a small ball of yellowish mucous may form near the tear duct. It is advisable to gently remove this accumulation with a lint-free soft towel wrapped around the index finger. Many products exist in pet stores designed to help remove this drainage from Poodles' faces, as it can be unattractive. Often these clear solutions are applied to a cotton ball which is then firmly wiped over the stained fur.

Poodles' coats require plenty of grooming to keep the constantly growing hair at a manageable length and to prevent it from matting. Matted fur can be very difficult to untangle, and often the clumps must be cut out with scissors. There a number of short pet clips that make a very easily maintained family pet.

Corded Poodle
If a Poodle's coat is not given the attention it requires, it may form into cords

Most national registries recognize two coat types for Poodles: curly and corded. Some Poodles have coats which will more or less naturally cord, others must be coaxed into it, but virtually all Poodles are capable of having corded hair once their adult hair has been established. Puppies can be born with either type of coat, even in the same litter. Once cords have been established, they cannot be brushed out, but must be clipped away.

Breed historians seem to agree that the corded coat is the older of the two varieties. Corded coats are more difficult to take care of, and corded dogs fell out of fashion, in favor of those with wooly coats.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Poodle".
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