Pomeranians for the most part are a very hardy breed and actually one of the healthiest. If you have been around rescue Pomeranians and survivors of puppy mills you will soon find out that the 5 Pomeranian health issues in this post are fairly prevalent. This list isn’t meant to scare you off from becoming a Pomeranian parent, just the opposite, it is to make you a better Pomeranian parent. The more you know, the more you know what to look for when adopting your furry baby. Armed with this knowledge you will most likely be able to reverse any major health issues concerning pomeranians by heading it off at the pass, so to speak.
Collapsed Trachea – Probably the most common ailment in the breed
All mammals have a trachea, in humans it is known as the “wind pipe” and is needed to breathe, a vital part of survival. The trachea is made up of rings of cartilage that keep the “pipe” opened for air to be inhaled and exhaled. Through excessive pressure from pulling on a collar or sometimes a genetic disposition from over-breeding it can become weakened and start to bend in the middle. This loss of strength creates a “caving in” effect making it difficult to breathe. Obviously, the loss and capability to breathe can mean certain death, so it is imperative that we take every step necessary to prevent this from happening.
A Pomeranian’s neck is very fragile even though they give off a tough but cute exterior. So it is most often recommended that a Pommy Mommy refrain from using a collar on their furry bay and get them comfortable wearing a harness. Overweight Poms have a higher degree of potential for Collapsed Trachea, so exercise is an important part every Pommy Mommy’s routine. pomeranian health issues
Patellar Luxation – The second most common ailment in Pomeranians
When we brought “Little” Sophia home we noticed that she was walking very odd. We were told she had Patellar Luxation but were unaware that it was n both knees. This made her walk with a hunched back and her legs looked like she was walking on stilts. (each leg was almost straight when she would walk). At the time the Vet said she was too old to get the corrective surgery. If you see that your Pomeranian is walking a little funny or has pain when they walk it is a good idea to have the checked for Patellar Luxation. This symptoms aren’t that noticeable at first and may just happen occasionally. So if there is any signs call your Vet right away. The sooner you catch it and the younger the Pomeranian the easier Patellar Luxation is to correct. pomeranian health issues
The knee cap in Pomeranains, just like in humans, floats on the knee joint and is held in place by tendons. An injury or malformation at birth can cause the tendons to not have strength to maintain it’s position on the front of the knee.
Hypothyroidism – Slowing down of a Pomeranian’s Metabolism
“Hypo” means the slowing down or insufficient production of a particular thing. Pomeranians who suffer from Hypothyroidism have a slowing down effect of their metabolism. As in humans, the Thyroid regulates the way your Poms uses it’s stored fuel as energy. If there is insufficient production of Thyroid hormones your Pomeranian will not be able to maintain a healthy weight. Hypothyroidism can occur from lack of exercise, reaction to certain medications and issues developing from damed immune systems.
If your Pomeranian is exhibiting a lack of energy, a weight increase, itchy or dry skin, patches of fur falling out or a loss of mental sharpness it may be time to take them in and get checked for Hypothyroidism.
Eye Problems – Distichiasis and Cataracts
Does your Pomeranian have really long eyelashes? This could be contributing to them pawing at their eyes or squinting. When a Pomeranin has really long eyelashes, the eyelashes can be actually poking them in the eye and causing discomfort. Most often the eyelashes doing the poking can be removed through very simple electrolysis procedure and your furry baby will recover in no time.
Every Pomeranian that I have had, had cataracts to some degree. Our Mika before she died had developed Cataracts that made her unable to judge distances and sometimes prevented her from going down the stairs. Some other symptoms other than cloudy eyes, are redness or swelling on or around the eye. Cataracts can and most likely will lead to blindness. I recommend seeking a qualified Vet for treatment and possible surgery as soon as you recognize the symptoms. It is important that you find a Vet that has “real” experience with this issue and didn’t just take a class on it in college.
Skin and coat problems
Skin and coat problems is a really in-depth subject and I have many blog posts about it on Pommy Mommy. The two biggest problems or diseases are “black skin disease” and “alopecia”. There are many other skin related problems such as yeast infections and allergies that aren’t talked about. I will make sure that there are follow up posts about those subjects in the future.
If you feel that there is a health issue that we have not mentioned that should be in the Top 5 please leave a comment below.
For more information on your Pomeranian checkout my new book, “A Pommy Mommy’s Guide… to being owned by a Pomeranian“.