Poodles, including Toy Poodles, are a generally healthy breed. Like all breeds they are subject to some health problems and diseases but the breed tends to be long-lived. Toy Poodle life expectancy is estimated to be 14 to 14.5 years, but some Toy Poodles can live to be 20 years old if they avoid health problems and are not overweight.
Poodle Health Issues
Poodle breeders maintain an international Poodle Health Registry so they can register and track diseases in Poodles. This helps them gather data on the diseases; it helps breeders make better breeding decisions; and it helps anyone interested in obtaining a Poodle find out more information about health issues in the breed. http://www.poodlehealthregistry.org/
The diseases that occur most frequently in Poodles are: Addison’s disease, Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV or bloat and torsion), thyroid problems, tracheal collapse, epilepsy, sebaceous adenitis, juvenile renal disease, hip dysplasia, and cancer. Ear infections can also be a problem in the breed but they can be avoided with good ear cleaning and care.
Addison’s disease is a common problem in Poodles. In Addison’s disease the adrenal cortex produces too little glucocorticoid and/or mineralocortoid. This disease is often undiagnosed because the early symptoms can be vague, but if it’s caught early dogs can usually live a normal life. It usually occurs in Standard Poodles (the largest Poodles) but it can also occur in Toy and Miniature Poodles.
GDV or bloat is another disease that affects Standard Poodles most often. However, thyroid deficiency or hypothyroid and tracheal collapse both affect Toy Poodles. Tracheal collapse occurs when the walls of the dog’s throat become weakened and collapse. This is a common problem in many Toy breeds.
According to a UK health survey, the leading cause of death for Toy Poodles was old age, which accounted for 25 percent of deaths, and kidney failure, which accounted for 20 percent of deaths.
Good breeders will have their dogs tested using the available tests prior to breeding. There are not tests for every health problem that affect Poodles (or any breed), but there are many health tests which can help breeders reduce the chance of passing along health problems to their puppies.
Some of the health tests that breeders can have done of their Toy Poodles include:
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) DNA testing from an approved laboratory
- Eye clearance by the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)
- Patellar Luxation OFA evaluation
The above tests are considered the minimum testing required for Toy Poodles that will be used for breeding. Many breeders will perform additional testing on their breeding stock. All testing is valuable and gives information regarding the breeder’s interest in the future of his or her breeding program. Using the tools that are currently available will allow the breeder to successfully use the entire gene pool in combinations that provide for a healthy future of the breed. Other health problems that can currently be tested for include Legg-Calve Perthes (LCP), thyroid, elbow dysplasia, and von Willebrand’s disease.
Using health testing on dogs prior to breeding will produce healthier puppies which will, in turn, eventually increase Toy Poodle life expectancy.
Toy Poodles are a generally healthy dog though Poodles can have health problems, like any breed. If you are considering getting a Toy Poodle, go to a breeder who health tests his or her dogs. This is the best way to improve Toy Poodle life expectancy and get a healthy dog.