|Progressive Retinal Atrophy :
(affects Standard and Miniature Poodles)
refers to a group of diseases that cause the retina of the eye to
degenerate slowly over time. The result is declining vision and eventual
The Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) records examination
findings by board-certified veterinary opthalmologists on examined
dogs, which also include any other eye disease. This test shows that
the dog's eye is or is not healthy on the date of the examination. The
fault in this test is that most dogs who show clinical signs of PRA are
already past the age of breeding as it rarely develops before 5 years
of age! Often the condition affects very senior dogs.
|Patellar Luxation :
"slipped stifles" are a common problem in small breeds. The
patella, or kneecap, is part of the stifle joint (knee). In patellar
luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a
medial or lateral position.
Bilateral involvement is most common, but unilateral is not
uncommon. Animals can be affected by the time they are 8
weeks of age. The most notable finding is a knock-knee
(genu valgum) stance. The patella is usually reducible, and
laxity of the medial collateral ligament may be evident. The
medial retinacular tissues of the stifle joint are often
thickened, and the foot can be seen to twist laterally as
weight is placed on the limb.
Any vet can test for Patellar Luxation as early as 8 weeks of
age but breeding dogs should be tested after their first
birthday for most accurate results.
Patellar Luxation can also be caused by injury.
|von Willebrand's disease :
the most common canine hereditary bleeding disorder and
has been reported in over 50 different breeds of dogs.
However, vWD is most prevalent in the Corgi, Doberman
Pinscher, German Shepherd Dog, German Shorthaired
Pointer, Golden Retriever, Shetland Sheepdog, and
The Test for Von Willebrands is also a DNA test. Once the
parents are clear of the disease they cannot pass on the
gene to their offspring.
|Thyroid : just like people, dogs can suffer from
hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid). Common symptoms are
obesity, hair loss, fatigue, skin problems, and infertility.
Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is much rarer in dogs.
Although the onset of clinical signs is variable, hypothyroidism
most commonly develops in middle-aged dogs between the ages
of 4 to 10 years. The disorder usually affects mid to large size
breeds of dogs, and is rare in toy and miniature breeds of dogs.
Breeds that appear to be predisposed to developing the condition
include the Golden Retriever, Doberman Pinscher, Irish Setter,
Miniature Schnauzer, Dachshund, Cocker Spaniel, and Airedale
Terrier. German Shepherds and mixed breeds appear to be at a
reduced risk of contracting the disease. There does not appear
to be a sex predilection but spayed females appear to develop it
more often than intact females.
|Hip Dysplasia :
(Affects Standard Poodles)
We are passionate about this issue. Please
read our page on Hip Dysplasia Click here
|Sebaceous Adenitis :
(Affects Standard Poodles)
a skin condition in which sebaceous glands become
inflamed, resulting in scaling, odor and hair loss. Affliction
subclinical cases look completely normal, even though they
have SA and can pass it on to offspring.
|Toy Poodles and Miniature Poodles can be tested for the prcd-PRA form of PRA, which most commonly
afflicts these varieties. This is a genetic test and therefore a reliable test!
The prcd-PRA test is a DNA-based test that helps avoid one form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA).
“prcd” stands for “progressive rod-cone degeneration” which is the type of PRA known in several breeds
including the Miniature and Toy Poodle but not the Standard Poodle
Prcd-PRA is inherited as a recessive trait. This means a disease gene must be inherited from each parent in
order to cause disease in an offspring. Parents were either “carrier” or affected. A carrier has one disease
gene and one normal gene, and is termed “heterozygous” for the disease. A normal dog has no disease
gene and is termed “homozygous normal” – both copies of the gene are the same. And a dog with two
disease genes is termed “homozygous affected” – both copies of the gene are abnormal.
|Canine Wellness Exam
|Canine Blood Panel:
(important for all breeding poodles)
Complete Blood Count (CBC)
This tests for anemia, infection, inflammation and the healthiness of blood cells.
A Complete Blood Count is a series of tests that evaluate the number of cells in circulation. WBC, or white
blood cells, help fight infection or inflammation. RBC, or red blood cells, carry oxygen to the tissues.
These panels survey many of the organ systems of the body to make sure they are working properly.
A normal blood panel indicates all results are within a normal range.. Again, this indicates the dog is healthy
at the time of testing.
|Thyroid Function Tests These tests are useful in diagnosing increased (hyper) or decreased (hypo) functions
of the thyroid gland. As the name implies, thyroid tests evaluate the function of the thyroid gland. Too little
thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) is common in dogs whereas too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) is
common in older cats. Because there is no single thyroid test that can diagnose all thyroid diseases in
animals, several different thyroid tests are used to assure proper results (T4, T3, Free T4, etc.).
|Even if a dog does not go to the vet for annual vaccinations a complete Canine Wellness Exam should occur
annually for all dog... not just breeding ones!
Wellness Exams are physical exams involve a visual or manual (feeling and palpating body parts) inspection of
the entire body. This doesn't take long but can reveal many hidden problems.
Nose: visual inspection of the start of the respiratory system looking for any crusts or discharges.
Eyes: Complete exam of the eye and the tissues surrounding the eyes. Inspection of the cornea (surface of
the eye) and the internal structure of the eye. Looking for any redness, irritation, changes in the pupil size,
presence of changes in the lens (cataracts), checking tear production, and checking the pressure in the eye to
screen for glaucoma.
Ears: visual inspection of the pinna (ear flap), and the ear canals. Checking for the presence of any
discharge, hair in canals and inspection of the tympanic membrane (ear drum) to identify any swelling deep in
Auscultation of the chest: (listening to the chest with a stethascope) Listening for normal or abnormal cardiac
sounds (murmurs or irregular cardiac rythm) and normal and abnormal lung sounds.
Palpation of the abdomen: Feeling the internal organs in the abdominal cavity. Many organs can be felt and
evaluated for enlargement or abnormal shape, also how comfortable the dog is upon palpation.
Evaluation of the skeletal system: Feeling and manipulating all joints and bones for signs of swelling, and/or
pain. All joints are evaluated for range of motion, and the gait is evaluated for any subtle lameness.
Rectal palpation: Evaluating the end of the gastrointestinal system and the anal glands for evidence of
infection or any abnormal growths. Male dogs are evaluated for enlargement of the prostate gland.
Oral exam: Teeth and gums evaluated for evidence of dental tartar, gingivitis, periodontal disease, fractured
teeth or any growths in the mouth.
Skin and the surface of the entire dog: looking for evidence of any skin diseases, growths, and any evidence
of external parasites.
|Legg-Calves-Perthes David M. Nunamaker
Osteonecrosis of the femoral head of young, small breed dogs. LCP disease is an osteonecrosis of the
femoral head in small breed dogs, usually those weighing less than 12 kg. There seems to be no sex
predilection in the dog as contrasted to humans, in whom an 80% male incidence of the disease is evident.
As in children, however, the condition is usually unilateral, with only about 10% to 15% incidence of bilateral
disease. The age of onset varies between 4 months and 12 months, with a peak incidence at about 7
The etiology of the condition is unknown. The pathologic features are typical of avascular necrosis of bone.
Ljunggren (1967) suggested a possible endocrine etiology and showed the osteonecrosis that occurs with a
high dosage of steroids (estrogens and/or testosterone). Her hypothesis was predicated on the idea that the
morphologic picture of LCP disease in the dog is a manifestation of precocious sexual maturity. Although the
experimental evidence in this study is supportive of this idea, no reasons are advanced to explain the
unilateral nature of the condition or the low incidence in a breed population that is characterized by
precocious sexual maturity. The pathology of avascular necrosis followed by revascularization and bony
remodeling of the femoral head in the dog certainly suggests a vascular etiology even though the cause of the
condition is not completely understood.
The animal is usually presented with a limp. Physical examination shows some pain on extension of the hip
joint, particularly with internal rotation. The dog will also evidence pain on forced abduction of the hip joint.
Advanced signs include muscle contracture and/or apparent shortening of the leg on the affected side
associated with collapse of the femoral head.
|Diagnosis of Legg-Calves-Perthes is obtained using an x-ray which shows hip degeneration. Hip x-rays are
conclusive at a year old although the peak incidence is by 7 months.
Dogs who are over a year old and show no lameness, unbalanced gait or favoring one limb (periodically
lifting one rear leg while running) can be considered past the age of being affected by this condition as this
is a condition which presents during development.
|Thyroid disease can be found (rarely)
in Standard Poodles.... Extremely
rarely in Miniatures and Toys
|Patellar Luxation found in Toy Poodles and
Diagnosis can be made as early as 8 weeks old.
Patellar Luxation presenting in Standard
Poodles is most often as result of injury.
|Poodles are not only one of the most intelligent dogs but they are also considered to be one of
the healthiest breeds.
There are some conditions, disorders and diseases that affect some breeds with a higher
frequency than the average. It is those issues that should be considered and tested for.
However, very few tests are true genetic tests.
The following are the Health Tests we have considered for our dogs.
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