As a cockapoo owner, or someone who may be thinking about getting a new cockapoo puppy, it is important to know what health issues you may find in the lifetime of your dog. Here is a list of the ailments that can afflict your cockapoo and a little bit about them all.
Eye Health: Cockapoos can be affected by cataracts, glaucoma, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. These are all common eye problems that affect the cocker spaniel and poodle, and could be passed down to your cockapoo. Watch for cloudiness or graying of the eyes to detect cataracts or glaucoma, and you may see vision problems like your pooch losing his peripheral vision or having trouble with dark or low light, which is a sign of Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
Some tips for prevention are to keep your cockapoo away from sprays and chemicals, and have eye health check ups, especially if you know that the parents of your dog have any history of these three diseases. Another good thing to remember about avoiding eye trauma is to keep your window in cars up enough so your dog can’t get his head out of it. Moving objects can hit your pooch in the eye, and may be hard to treat and very painful.
Bone Health: Problems with the bones and skeleton that can occur in your cockapoo are patella luxation and hip dysplaysia. These are both very common in the cockapoo and both can require surgery. Hip displaysia occurs when the hip bone separates from the joint, and luxating patella is the knee cap moving out of place. These can both occur due to strain from jumping or falling from high up. Some dogs will show a limp or tenderness in the area, while others may not present with obvious pain. All dogs can also be affected by arthritis and back problems. As your dog ages watch for signs of discomfort like weakness and limping.
Good ways to try to prevent these are to discourage jumping from high places and playing hard for excessive, extended lengths of time. If your dog seems fatigued but doesn’t want to stop playing, make the decision for him and stop playing. You can also have pet stairs in your home to minimize jumping.
Dental Health: Tooth issues that can affect your cockapoo can include periodontal disease, proliferating gum disease, and gingivitis. Be aware of your dog’s breath. It is one thing to smell like typical “dog’s breath” but it shouldn’t smell too foul. Keep a good mouth care routine throughout your dogs life, and have regular teeth checks at the vet. If you see signs of broken teeth, bleeding gums, or swelling in the mouth, bring it to the attention of your vet.
Ear Health: Your cockapoo has long, furry ears, and partially because of this, is prone to ear infections. A cockapoo’s ears must be properly cared for. Try to check your pup’s ears regularly and clean them with cotton and a ear care product on a regular basis. Some groomers will shorten the hair inside the ear and clean the ears out gently. This goes a long way to helping prevent ear issues. If you see your dog itching alot and having sensitivity in his ears, clean them. If the issue continues, make an appointment with the veterinarian to have them looked at.
Skin Health: One thing to be aware of, regarding cockapoo skin health, is that many cockapoos are sensitive to allergens and can also have skin dermatitis. Any dog can also experience ringworm, mange, hypothyroidism, resulting in hair loss and some other skin problems. If your dog does experience skin allergies or dermatitis, soothe him using a oatmeal or sensitive skin shampoo. When allergens are high, rinse your dogs feet after walking in grass and bathe him an a somewhat regular basis. If your cockapoos skin problems persist, consult a pet dermatology specialist.
Immune Health: Your cockapoo’s immune health can be affected by bloat or gastric torsion, both of which can be helped by a dog-safe anti-gas medication if caught early. If you see your pooch having stomach issues or excess gas, keep anti-gas pills on hand and try to feed your dog smaller meals spaced throughout the day. You may also try using probiotics designed for dogs to help with his belly upsets.
Other immune problems can include Addison’s Disease, which is a hormonal disorder and can be treated with prescription medication, lyme disease, which is passed onto pets and people most often through ticks. Prevention is easy by keeping your pet on a flea and tick medicine year round, and lyme disease is treatable. Watch for a bullseye type rash around a tick bite site and see a vet if you find this.
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, or HGE, can affect a dog without warning and can be life threatening. This is a complex and confusing illness to understand, but onset often occurs after a dog gets food that is too rich or out of his normal type. Too much protein in large amounts, or food found outside, can upset the stomach and start this. If your dog has persistent diarrhea and you see any blood in the stool, seek medical attention immediately! Help revent this happening by keeping a kit of dog-friendly anti-nausea medicine and gas pills on hand. Try to be consistent with what foods you give your dog and avoid most, if not all, table scraps.
All these issues could affect your cockapoo sometime in his life, but you should not be discouraged in your choice of owning one. Cockapoos are fun, happy, and loving dogs, who are family oriented and loyal. The love you will receive in their life will make up for the occasional vet bills, and good care will go a long way in helping your cockapoo live a full, healthy, and long life!