The Pomeranian is a sturdy little dog that suffers from very few health issues. With that being said the breed does have some common ailments that you, as a Pommy Mommy should be aware of. Here are the most common:
Patella Luxation: The most common health problem that can affect the Pomeranian, as in many of the “toy” breeds is patella luxation, or slipping kneecaps . The kneecaps either float around the middle of the leg or become fused and keep the leg from bending. Our little Sophia has this problem very bad. Usually there is no pain associated with patella luxation but if there is, you can ask your Vet about medicinal therapies.
To help keep up joint health especially in Sophia’s legs and knees I feed her Alfalfa tablets crushed up, powdered Vitamin “C” and a natural glucosamine/chondriton supplement I picked up at the local vitamin store. Just make sure it doesn’t have all the nasty “fillers” that most supplements have. This seems to keep little Sophia’s problem at bay and hasn’t shown any signs of pain from her.
A Collapsing trachea is also a common problem for many toy breeds and does affect Pomeranians. Poms affected by a Collapsing Trachea make a sound like honking when excited or they may cough as if something is stuck in their throat.
Tracheal collapse or in laymen’s terms, Collapsing Trachea is a common cause of airway obstruction in dogs. The trachea, or “windpipe,” is a tube made up of sturdy rings of cartilage through which air is transported to and from the lungs. Sometimes, however, these rings begin to collapse, and as air is squeezed through, a characteristic honking cough results.
Why this problem occurs is unknown at this time, it is considered a congenital abnormality, in which the cartilage of the tracheal rings becomes less cellular (the structure of the ring breaks down) and therefore weaker than it should be. If your Pomeranian starts honking or coughing please call your Vet right away. Maggie’s sister Shieka had this before she died and was misdiagnosed.
Coat loss problems can affect Pomeranians.This problem is often referred to as Black Skin Disease, SHLS (Severe Hair Loss Syndrome) or Alopecia X. An accurate diagnosis is often a very long, inconclusive and expensive exercise. Possible causes of the problem are Hypothyroidism or low thyroid, cushing’s disease, eczema, mites, fungus infections and allergies. Ask your veterinarian for help to diagnose the cause and suggest a remedy.
Visit Black Skin Pomeranians for more information on coat loss in Pomeranians
Heart issues ranging from extremely minor to life threatening are common in all dogs. Similar to humans, heart disease in dogs is associated with genetic factors and poor lifestyle which includes poor diet, obesity and lack of exercise. The most common in Pomeranians is a heart murmur. This is an abnormal heart sound. It can be simple or it could be a sign that that dog has a more serious heart condition. Most are harmless (Maggie has been living very well with a heart murmur, we just make sure we monitor it with consistent Vet check ups), but all require a vets attention. Your Vet will be able to very clearly hear if your furry baby has a heart murmur.
Seizures or idiopathic epilepsy. Known as idiopathic because the cause is not known and epilepsy basically means repeat seizures. Seizures might happen as a onetime occurrence for numerous reasons, however if the seizures are repetitive this is called epilepsy.
Seizures in Pomeranians can happen for a few reasons, including:
- a liver shunt
- a head injury
- Severe Hypoglycemic episode
- Water on the brain (hydrocephalic)
Head injuries are the #1 cause of seizures and death in young Pomeranian puppies. Many new owners are not aware of how to properly protect their Pomeranian’s head or hold them correctly. Many new mommies allow their “human” children to hold the newest member of the family (too get them used to the new pet) who frequently drop them because Pomeranians tend to wriggle out of the children’s arms. Some mommies also allow their new Pomeranian on their couch or bed, and then he/she falls off (Read this post about your Pom falling off the bed) thus creating an opportunity for injury. When we rescue Pomeraninas we really don’t know the extent of the abuse they suffered as was the case with Maggie’s sister Sheika who suffered seizures on an almost regular basis even though she was medicated… she eventually died from one such seizure.
Hypoglycemia is basically very low blood sugar. The majority of cases where low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) is present in Pomeranians are the result of insufficient or low quality food. Excessive exercise or even over handling and playing may possibly cause your Pom’s body to require more sugar than is accessible. A young Pomeranian puppy with hypoglycemia will certainly be lacking energy and will sleep more than usual.
Glucose (sugar) is the fuel the body burns for energy. Without this sugar the puppy will be lethargic or lazy. In serious cases, the puppy might even seizure, and in very serious cases can become comatose and die.
Glucose is essential for the brain tissue and muscles to function. The dangers of Hypoglycemia depend on the the severity or degree. Hypoglycemia as a consequence of insufficient food or excessive exercise or too much handling, is easily remedied. If however the cause is a liver disease preventing the storage of glucose as glycogen, or intestinal disease interfering with the absorption of food, hypoglycemia might be chronic and even life threatening. If your puppy is lethargic and fatigued as a result of low blood sugars, immediately supply glucose. Karo Syrup (which is pure glucose) and honey are excellent sugar options and should be immediately given upon your Vet’s recommendation.
If you have a “Tip” or question feel free to contact Pommy Mommy here.