Small Breed Health Problems

Small Breed Health Problems 

Small breed dogs weigh less than 22 pounds and are shorter than 16 inches.  However, some dogs outside of these guidelines would still be a small breed.  We love our small dogs because they are great for sitting on your lap and cuddling!  Unfortunately, there are a few common health problems that you need to be aware of.  This article will go into further detail about some of the most common health problems associated with small dog breeds.

The following health issues are among the most common in small dogs.

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome – Brachycephalic breeds have short, flat noses which can create breathing issues.  Bulldogs and pugs fit into this category.  This is a genetic condition, but it can be exacerbated by obesity, over excitement, allergies, and hot weather.  Symptoms include rapid breathing, panting, noise when breathing, excessive snoring, and difficulty eating.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – This disease is most common in chondrodysplastic breeds such as the Dachshund.  The vertebrae of the spine are cushioned as they have discs in between them.  If these discs rupture, herniate, or come in contact with the spinal cord, it can cause several clinical symptoms.

Ectropion – This is a common eye disease where the eyelids drop droop down, and the pink tissue below the white of the eye is visible.  Symptoms may include pawing at the eye, discomfort, or protruding bottom eyelid.

Patellar Luxation – This is a condition where the kneecap moves out of the grove in which it is supposed to sit.  This is most common in small dogs with “bow” legs.  Symptoms include limping, stiffness, and leg pain.

It is your main priority to keep your small dog happy and healthy.  Regular veterinarian check-ups are a must, especially if your dog is experiencing any of the health problems which were mentioned above.  The good thing is that your veterinarian will be able to identify the issues and address them accordingly.  This will ensure that your pup is living the best quality of life!