How Much Do You Know About Poodles? Read and Find Out

brown standard poodle

Physical Characteristics of Poodles

Temperament: intelligent, lively and eager to please

Bred for: Retrieving through water

Three Sizes

Standard – over 15 inches and 45 to 70 pounds 

Miniature – 12 to 20 pounds 

Toy – less than 10 inches and about 5 to 7 pounds 

Average Lifespan: 10-14 years

Classification: ACK: Non-sporting UKC: companion 

Energy level: high

Exercise requirements:  >40 minutes/day

Need for attention: high

Tendency to snore: low

Tendency to drool: low

Tendency to bark: moderate

Tendency to dig: low

Coat type: long, curly wiry, and dense

Coat color: any solid color including white, black, gray, blue, silver, brown and apricot

Overall grooming needs: high

Conformation: dolichocephalic (long face), floppy ears

Standard Poodle
Standard Poodle
black miniature poodle
Miniature Poodle
Toy Poodle
Toy Poodle

History of the Poodle

There are several theories regarding the history of the Poodle. Some believe that the Poodle was developed through cross breeding of European water dogs while others believe the ancestors of the Poodle were North African Barbets or Asian herding dogs. Despite which theory is correct, the Poodle has been around for quite some time. Ancient Egyptian and Roman artifacts recovered depicted illustrations of poodle-like dogs herding and retrieving game and game nets. While there is proof that poodle-like dogs from over two thousand years ago, the development of the present day Poodle is known to have started in German in the 1800s. While the Poodle originated in Germany, it was further developed and perfected in France. The word Poodle was derived from the German word “pudel” meaning puddle or splash and in France they are called “caniches” meaning duck dog. The Poodle was first used for hunting and water retrieving. Poodles were quick to become known for their intelligence and ease of training and began being used for many different purposes, including show dog competitions, herding, dog sports, performing tricks in the circus, guiding the blind and assisting police. The Poodle is one of the oldest breeds used for hunting waterfowl. 

There are three different sizes of Poodles: standard, miniature and toy. The Standard Poodle was developed followed by the miniature and toy sizes. The Poodle is believed to be bred to be smaller in size for the Parisian bourgeoise, the French middle class that developed at the time of the French Revolution. The miniature and toy breeds were bred with the smallest poodles in a litter and not with another small dog breed. The Standard Poodle was used for duck hunting and water retrieving while the Miniature Poodle was used for searching for truffles and the Toy Poodle served as a companion dog for the middle-upper class. Gypsies would dress up Poodles and have them perform tricks during circus acts and the wealthy class would clip, dye and decorate their companion Poodles. There is little information known about how and when Poodles arrived in the United States, but the American Kennel Club (AKC) registered the first Poodle in 1886. The popularity of Poodles rose in the United States around the 1950s and soon after they became one of the most popular breeds and have remained so ever since. 

Poodle jumping in the lake

Personality Traits of Poodles

The Poodle is known for its intelligence and trainability. They are one of the most intelligent breeds and are said to astound owners with their cleverness and personability. They excel at dog sports, including running, obedience, agility and hunting courses. While Poodles have an elegant and fashionable appearance, they were bred to be working dogs and need constant physical and mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive habits. They are a lively, curious and active breed who thrive on attention and are always up for a challenge. They are very athletic and exceptional jumpers. While Poodles look elegant and reserved, they are quite goofy, love to play and always want to be around their humans. Some owners and breeders feel that Miniature and Toy Poodles are a bit more high strung compared to Standard Poodles, but that’s their perspective, not fact. 

Poodle jumping

It’s important that Poodles are trained and socialized from an early age to decrease the likelihood of undesirable traits, such as a standoffish behavior around strangers or other dogs. Overall, Poodles are considered a very friendly breed. They are typically good with kids, strangers and other animals. They are protective of their family and home. They are likely to bark and alert their owners of strangers. Poodles are great family dogs and do well with children. Infants and children should never be left unsupervised around animals because accidents happen that may result in either a hurt child or hurt animal. A dog may accidentally hurt a child while playing if they happen to knock them over and a child may accidentally hurt an animal by pulling on their ears or tail. It’s important to teach children from a young age to be gentle and respectful with animals. A Poodle raised with other pets or had many opportunities to interact with them, such as at dog parks or training classes are much more likely to be pet-friendly and accepting of new pets in the home. 

Two kids hugging a poodle

Grooming Requirements

Poodles are known for their luxurious coats. There are specific haircuts that Poodles competing in competitions are required to have. There is a clip that keeps thick areas of hair over the chest and joints while the rest of the body is bare.The reason for this is to keep them warm while working in cold water. The working clip consists of a short coat with pom poms on the head and tail. The corded coat consists of tight curls that look like dreadlocks. A Poodle’s hair is naturally curly and is only wavy/straight if it’s vigorously brushed. Poodles are considered good dogs for individuals with allergies because their hair doesn’t routinely shed, instead it mats together. It’s important to perform regular clipping and brushing to avoid painful mats from forming. 

A Poodle requires extensive grooming to keep their coat in good condition. It’s important to desensitize Poodles to have their ears, tail and paws touched at an early age so they are not reactive while grooming. To do this, frequently touch those areas and reinforce that it’s okay with praise and/or treats. Anyone who plans on bringing a Poodle home should be prepared to spend time and money to meet their high grooming requirements. They should be brushed daily to prevent mats which form very quickly because instead of shedding, their hair clumps together with other loose hairs and forms into mats. At minimum, brushing, clipping and bathing should be performed every three to six weeks. This will keep the coat in good condition and free of mats and tangles. Many owners choose to take their Poodle in for professional grooming, although you could learn to do it home. 

Poodles often have tear staining under their eyes from the excessive tearing. There is a reddish brown pigment called porphyrin in the tears, which stains the hair brown. It’s most noticeable in dogs with white coats. Excessive tearing may be due to a blocked duct or allergies, however it may just be normal tear production in your dog. To remove build up of staining, use a dampened cloth with warm water and gently wipe around the eyes. 

Take this time to briefly scan their body for signs of inflammation and infection. Examine their skin for redness, dryness, lesions, etc. Look inside their ears for discharge, excessive wax, redness, scabs, etc. Nails should be trimmed as needed. If you hear a clicking sound on the floor, it’s a sign that it’s time to cut their nails. Ears should be cleaned with a pH balanced ear cleaning solution once a month or as recommended by your veterinarian. Also, their teeth should be brushed regularly, at minimum three times per week to prevent periodontal disease. 

White poodle with tear staining

Fun Facts About Poodles

Poodles Competed in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race

John Suter’s Standard Poodle sled team competed in the Iditarod Dog Sled Race in 1988. It’s a 1,150 mile race through the Arctic tundra of Alaska. While Poodles will never stand down from a challenge, their physical attributes were not intended for harsh snowy conditions they had to endure. They were removed from the race because of injuries, matted hair and cold paws. This event led to a new rule stating that only Northern breeds, such as the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky are allowed to race in the competition to protect the welfare of breeds not built for the extreme temperatures. 

poodle in the snow

Poodles Are Loved By Celebrity Icons

Iconic legend, Elvis Presley, was a huge fan of Poodles. He adopted a Poodle and named him Champagne. He was also known to give Poodles to important women in his life. Other famous Poodle owners include Elizabeth Taylor, Jackie Kennedy, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, Katharine Hepburn, and Walt Disney.

Elvis Presley
Marilyn Monroe

Poodles are Often Cross-Bred with Other Popular Breeds, Including...

Golden Retriever + Poodle = Goldendoodle
Labrador Retriever + Poodle = Labradoodle
Bernese Mountain Dog + Poodle = Bernedoodle
Cocker Spaniel + Poodle = Cockapoo
Maltese + Poodle = Maltipoo
Schnauzer + Poodle = Schnoodle
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel + Poodle = Cavapoo
Shih Tzu + Poodle = Shihpoo
Yorkshire Terrier + Poodle = Yorkipoo

Health Condition in Poodles

Before breeding, Poodles should receive health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that the eyes are normal.

Addison's Disease (Hypoadrenocorticism)

Hypo – meaning decreased | Adreno –  meaning adrenal glands | Corticism – cortisol 

Addison’s disease is an endocrine disorder that results in a glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid deficiency. There are two different forms of Addison’s disease which are primary hypoadrenocorticism and secondary hypoadrenocorticism or atypical Addison’s disease. Primary hypoadrenocorticism is the most common form and is caused by a progressive immune mediated destruction of the adrenal cortex. Secondary hypoadrenocorticism is caused by a lesion in the pituitary gland that results in a decrease of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (the hormone that signals the adrenal glands to release cortisol). 

Unfortunately hypoadrenocorticism is known in the veterinary field as the “great pretender” because of generalized irregular clinical symptoms. Clinical symptoms may include: vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia and lethargy. As the progression of the disease worsens, a life threatening “Addisonian crisis” may occur. Clinical symptoms of an Addisonian crisis are cardiac arrhythmias, such as bradycardia (slowed heart rate) and cardiac arrest, severe dehydration, shock, lethargy, collapse and seizures. 

Bradycardia on EKG
Bradycardia on EKG


Blood work

  • In primary hypoadrenocorticism, electrolyte abnormalities will be present on lab results. Hyperkalemia (elevated levels of potassium) and hyponatremia (low levels of sodium) are a common finding. Hyperkalemia causes cardiac conduction suppression. 

Baseline Cortisol Test 

  1.  <2mcg/dL is highly indicative of Addison’s disease
  2. 2-5 mcg/dL is questionable 
  3. >5-8mcg/dL is able to rule out Addison’s disease

ACTH Stimulation Test 

  • Administer a synthetic form of ACTH intravenously (into the bloodstream) and evaluate what the adrenal glands do in response. In a healthy pet, cortisol levels should increase. In pets with Addison’s disease, a post administration sample of cortisol will remain below 5mcg/dL.
Red - Adrenal Glands Blue - Kidneys
Red - Adrenal Glands | Blue - Kidneys

The maintenance treatment of Addison’s disease requires administration of glucocorticoids and possibly of mineralocorticoids too. Two commonly utilized oral medications for glucocorticoid supplementation are prednisone and hydrocortisone. For mineralocorticoid supplementation, an IM injection (into the muscle) of desoxycorticosterone pivalate  (DOCP-percorten-V) can be given about once a month or the oral medication fludrocortisone acetate (Florinef) can be given twice a day. This oral medication is both a glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid. 

In terms of treating an Addisonian crisis, the goal of the veterinary professionals is to manage the current life threatening symptoms they are presented with. If the patient is in hypovolemic shock (liquid volume depletion), aggressive intravenous fluid therapy will be initiated. If the patient is experiencing electrolyte imbalances, such as severe hyperkalemia (which affects the heart), insulin/dextrose, sodium bicarbonate, calcium gluconate or sodium chloride will be administered. An immediate source of glucocorticoids may be administered, such as dexamethasone or dexamethasone sodium phosphate as they are fast acting and don’t interfere with ACTH stimulation. 

IV fluid bag
IV Fluids

Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)

Hyper- meaning increased | Adreno –  meaning adrenal glands | Corticism – cortisol 

Cushing’s disease is an endocrine disorder caused by an increase of cortisol secretion from the adrenal glands. Cortisol serves an important purpose as it regulates a lot of body processes. It regulates metabolism and the immune response, as well as providing glucose, an immediate energy source to fuel the body’s “fight or flight” response or “survival mode” when in danger.  In a healthy pet, stress will trigger the brain to release a series of hormones that instruct the adrenal glands to release cortisol. Once blood cortisol concentrations reach a certain level, cortisol applies negative feedback to the brain to stop the release of these hormones restoring balance. Cushing’s disease is the result of a disturbance in the cycle. The most common cause of disruption is from the development of a microadenoma in the pituitary gland, however it can also be caused by an adrenal tumor or the long term, frequent administration of steroids. 

Treatment greatly depends on the cause. The pituitary dependent form is treated with oral medications, including the preferred medication mitotane (Lysodren) or trilostane (Vetoryl). The preferred, most effective method of treating the adrenal dependent form is surgical removal of the defective adrenal gland. For iatrogenic cases, tapering doses of steroids is typically effective.

Symptoms include: polyuria/polydipsia (increased urination + thirst), increased hunger, symmetrical alopecia (hair loss) – especially around the sides of chest or abdomen, panting, pendulous abdomen, calcinosis cutis – buildup of salt deposits in the skin causing red raised lesions, lethargy, anorexia, circling, ataxia (impaired coordination/balance), and seizures.

Click here to learn more 

Food and water bowl
Increased Thirst and Hunger
Calcinosis Cutis
Calcinosis Cutis
Poodle with alopecia

Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Gastric dilatation, more commonly known as bloat can progress to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV). Large, deep-chested dogs are most at risk, although it can occur in small breeds too. Gastric dilation (bloat) occurs when the stomach distends and fills with gas. In some cases, the distended gas-filled stomach twists, not only preventing outflow of fluid and food from the stomach, but also cutting off circulation to the heart, stomach and spleen. A dog with GDV will die without emergency surgery. Timing is crucial, the longer the volvulus is present, the poorer the prognosis due to tissue damage. Surgery is required to return the stomach to the normal position, remove any dead (necrotic) tissue and prevent recurrence. Typically, gastric decompression, IV fluids help stabilize the patient in preparation for anesthesia. Following stabilization, a gastropexy is typically performed to return the stomach to its correct position as well as tacking the stomach to the abdominal wall to prevent recurrence. Mortality rate ranges between 15 to 38% depending on severity of damage. Symptoms include: unable to sit or lie down, nervous pacing, unproductive retching, round distended abdomen, whining, difficulty breathing, increased salivation (hypersalivation), rapid heart rate and restlessness. Large breed dogs with a high incidence of GDV are recommended to eat frequent small meals throughout the day. Additionally, tacking procedures are performed for higher risk dogs as a preventive measure. 

Dog with bloat on radiograph
Radiograph of GDV

Idiopathic Epilepsy

Poodles are at an increased risk of developing idiopathic epilepsy, a disorder that causes seizures. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown, but certain breeds are genetically predisposed. A seizure results when a sudden change of electrical activity occurs in the brain. It’s most likely to occur at times of excitement or while falling asleep and waking up. It cannot be cured but is managed with anticonvulsant medication. Symptoms or signs of the onset of a seizure include: uncontrollable repetitive jerky movements, stiffening, muscle twitching, loss of consciousness, drooling, tongue chewing/bleeding from trauma, foaming at the mouth, involuntary urinating and defecating. Cluster seizures or acute repetitive seizures may occur. It’s important to seek immediate medical treatment if your dog has never had a seizure before or is experiencing clusters of seizures with regaining consciousness. A veterinarian will rule out other medical conditions that can cause seizures, such as toxicities, organ failure and brain tumors.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a common multifactorial joint disease that results in an abnormal development of the hip joint resulting in a loose fit between the head of the femur and the pelvic socket, known as joint laxity. This developmental abnormality causes progressive degenerative changes to the joint. Clinical symptoms range from mild to severe with some dogs exhibiting little to no signs and others being severely affected from a young age. Symptoms include: reduced range of motion, stiffness, pain, lameness, limping or “bunny-hopping”, difficulty or reluctance to rise, jump, walk, run or climb up stairs. 

Hip dysplasia is diagnosed based on x-rays, clinical symptoms and history. There are medical and surgical treatment options available. Early treatment of hip dysplasia involves dietary changes and supplements for joint health, weight management and physical therapy. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to help control chronic pain. Surgery is often recommended in moderate to severe cases of hip dysplasia. There are a couple different types of surgeries performed to correct hip dysplasia, however, the two most common are hip replacement surgery and a femoral head osteotomy (FHO). A total hip replacement surgery involves removing and replacing the ball and socket with implants. A femoral head osteotomy is an effective salvage surgery that removes the head of the femur and the socket remains empty. With time, scar tissue forms between the socket and the femur which provides cushioning. 

Normal hip joints on radiograph
Normal Hip Joints
Bilateral hip dysplasia on radiograph
Bilateral Hip Dysplasia
Artificial Hip Replacement on Radiograph
Artificial Hip Replacement

The American Kennel Club (AKC) requires screening tests for genetic diseases common to a breed. Screening for both hip and elbow dysplasia are mandatory for Poodles. Responsible breeders not registered with the AKC will still perform health screening tests. If choosing to buy from a breeder, I would highly recommend asking them whether or not the parents of the litter were screened for hereditary diseases. Hip dysplasia screening tests are evaluated by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIP). A veterinarian will perform radiographs in-house which will then be sent out for evaluation. PennHIPP is currently not recognized by the AKC. I have provided specific details regarding each test below for you to compare and contrast.


Verification certification required? Yes

Anesthesia required? Yes

Cost to client: $200-$400

Earliest age of evaluation (for certified results): 16 weeks

Radiographs required? 3

Scoring system: Quantitative (Calculated Distraction Index 0-1 – 0 is the best, evaluated by trained professionals)

Recognized by the AKC: No

Year founded: 1993


Verification certification required? No

Anesthesia required? No

Cost to client: $35 + radiograph, veterinarian fees

Earliest age of evaluation (for certified results): 2 years

Radiographs required? 1

Scoring system: 7 point system from excellent to severe, based on evaluation of three independent radiologists 

Recognized by the AKC: Yes 

Year founded: 1966


Hypothyroidism is an endocrine disorder that results in a decreased production of thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism. It’s most commonly caused in dogs from an immune mediated process that causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is most often diagnosed in middle-aged dogs. It cannot be cured, but can be controlled with daily medication, specifically levothyroxine. 

Symptoms include: weight gain without a change in appetite, lethargy, poor coat condition, excessive shedding, darkening of the skin, cold intolerance/heat seeking behavior (sitting near fire-place, wanting under the blankets, etc.)

Dog looking away from ball on the couch
Lack of interest in exercise
Poodle sitting by the fireplace
Heat seeking behavior/ cold intolerance
White poodle laying down

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is when the patella (kneecap), which sits inside the femoral groove shifts out of place. The patellar ligament is an extension of the quadriceps femoris tendon, which connects the patella to the tibia (shin bone). It’s a fibrous tissue that maintains proper placement of the patella and assists in bending of the joint. The patella is located within the femoral groove. Some dogs, typically small breeds are genetically predisposed to this condition while others are at an increased risk due to a bowlegged conformation. In these dogs, the patellar ligament is not centered in the middle of the tibia (shin bone). The force applied from muscle contraction pulls the patella out of place. Repetitive movement eventually wears down the groove and the patella dislocates. Patellar luxation is graded based on severity. Mild forms may be an incidental finding on routine physical examination where moderate to severe forms may cause sporadic or constant limping or lameness. The severity of the condition will determine treatment. Moderate to severe forms are typically corrected with surgery as patellar luxation increases the risk of developing a cranial cruciate ligament tear and arthritis. 

Luxating Patella in Dogs diagram

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy is a hereditary eye condition that causes progressive vision loss due to destruction of the photoreceptor cells, rods and cones, within the retina. While there is currently no cure or treatment for PRA, it is a non-painful eye condition. Signs of PRA are all related to vision loss, including bumping into objects, walking slower than usual, hesitating to jump on furniture, etc. Complete vision loss typically occurs over a period of a couple years. Animals rely on their other senses much more than humans do and are typically able to adapt much quicker to being blind. 

anatomy of the eye

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

Optic nerve hypoplasia is caused by the underdevelopment of the optic nerve. The optic nerve is very important because it transmits information from the eye to the brain. Without a fully functional optic nerve, the dog will be partially or completely blind. In this condition, the optic nerve is small with fewer axons connecting to the brain. The condition is rare but is a known inherited disease in miniature poodles. It can occur in one eye or both. The dog will be blind if both eyes are affected. Dogs may also have deformed eyes, reduced retinal vasculature, glaucoma and other vision issues. If only one eye is affected, the condition may never be detected. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the condition. Dogs with this optic nerve hypoplasia should not be bred.

Image of a normal optic nerve
Normal Optic Nerve
Image of optic nerve hypoplasia
Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

"The diagnosis of ONH is typically made by the appearance of small/pale optic nerve during a dilated eye exam. It is difficult to predict visual acuity potential based on the optic nerve appearance."

American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus

Von Willebrand Disease

Von Willebrand disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in humans and dogs. It is caused by a deficiency in platelets. The deficiency is caused by defective or deficient von Willebrand factor (vWF), a factor that is involved in platelet (type of blood cell) adhesion at a wound site. Platelets help form clots to seal injured blood vessels.

The prevalence is between 10%-70% in Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Miniature Schnauzers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Shetland Sheepdogs, Basset Hounds, Scottish Terriers, Standard Poodles and Standard Manchester Terriers.

Von Willebrand disease is suspected when the dog experiences prolonged bleeding along with normal platelet counts. The dog is usually asymptomatic unless it experiences trauma or surgery. The disease may be discovered when a dog is spayed or neutered. Females that just gave birth may experience abnormal prolonged bleeding.

Diagram of platelet formation
Platelet Development

A buccal mucosal screening time is a test used to diagnose the condition. Bleeding should stop within 4 minutes in a healthy dog. Prolonged bleeding during the test signals that the dog may have von Willebrand disease. A laboratory blood test to determine the amount of vWF in the blood is required to officially diagnose the disease. Some medications can decrease platelets which could exacerbate the effects of von Willebrand disease. Studies have been mostly conducted in humans, but research has been applied to dogs. The following medications have been associated with a decrease in platelet production:

  • Ampicillin/Amoxicillin
  • Certain antihistamines
  • Certain antacid medications
  • Estrogens
  • Heparin
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin), meloxicam (Metacam®), carprofen (Rimadyl®), and deracoxib (Deramaxx®)
  • Penicillin
  • Phenothiazine tranquilizers
  • Sulfa-based antibiotics
  • Theophylline

Your veterinarian will decide whether the benefits of any of these medications override the potential risks associated with Von Willebrand disease. Stress can increase the risk of prolonged bleeding, therefore, it is important to help your dog live a stress free life.

BMBT Lancet
BMBT Lancet
Performing a BMBT
Performing a BMBT

If a hemorrhage is occurring or a surgical procedure needs to be performed, the best treatment is administration of a blood product called cryoprecipitate, which is rich in von Willebrand factor. Administration of cryoprecipitate improves bleeding time for about 4 hours post administration.

It’s not necessarily required to have a healthy dog tested for the condition. However, it is important for breeders to have dogs tested before they breed to reduce the incidence of the condition.  

Sebaceous Adenitis

Oils are secreted by glands called sebaceous glands located at the base of a hair follicle. Sebaceous adenitis occurs when cells attack the glands resulting in inflammation and eventually leads to the destruction of the gland. This results in alopecia (hair loss) because oil is required for the hair health and growth. Oil is a natural moisturizer for the skin and is important for the health of your dog’s skin. Sebaceous adenitis presents as lesions characterized by alopecia and scales. The head, pinnae, forehead, face, tail and back are the most commonly affected areas.The condition is not usually itchy unless there is a secondary bacterial infection. 

Sebaceous adenitis will also develop differently depending on your dog’s coat type. For example, white dandruff tends to be present on dogs with shorter hair around their head and ear region. Clumps of white dandruff attached to a group of hairs is more noticeable on dogs with long hair. The coat of dogs affected by Sebaceous adenitis will appear dull, dry and brittle. The condition will eventually affect all the sebaceous glands. 

The cause of sebaceous adenitis is unknown, however, there is a genetic component to the disease because certain breeds are predisposed (Standard Poodles, Akitas, Samoyeds, Viszlas, Havanese, Springer Spaniels, and Lhasa Apsos). In Poodles, the disease is recessive. 

To diagnose sebaceous adenitis, a biopsy is required. Treatment is most effective when there are still functional sebaceous glands present in the biopsy. Treatment includes topical creams/ointments/shampoos, oral medications, and/or oral supplements. Topical therapy is usually the first step in the treatment process. Oral cyclosporine is the most effective treatment of sebaceous adenitis in combination with topical therapy. Cyclosporine suppresses inflammation of the sebaceous glands. Mineral oil, mineral bath oil or propylene glycol (sometimes mixed with cyclosporine) can be mixed with water and sprayed on your dog’s coat to help soften the scales. Other treatments such as Vitamin A supplementation and synthetic retinoids are also available and are effective in some cases. Omega 3 fatty acid supplementation aids in oil production can be helpful when used in combination with primary treatment.

Dog with hair loss and secondary skin infection
Hair loss and a secondary skin infection
Sebaceous gland
Sebaceous gland


Legg- Calve-Perthes is the spontaneous degeneration of the head of the femur (femoral head) which results in collapse of the hip and eventually arthritis. The cause of the disease is not well understood. It may be caused by reduced blood flow as a result of clots in blood vessels. This results in weakened bones and scar tissue begins to form leading to arthritis. The condition is common in dogs under 20 lbs and onset of symptoms typically begin at around 4 months to 1 year of age. 

Symptoms include lameness, atrophy (breakdown) of the thigh muscle, and pain with hind limb manipulation. The dog will begin to limp and eventually put no weight on the affected limb. The condition rarely affects two hips. Sometimes the dog will suddenly develop lameness.

Legg-Calve-Perthes is diagnosed using x-rays. Since the condition is progressive, multiple x-rays over an extended period of time will be required to definitively diagnose the disease.

 Treatment involves physical therapy, pain medication, weight management, and in severe cases, surgery. There are two types of surgery: femoral head ostectomy (FHO) and total hip replacement (THR). FHO involves removing the femoral head and allowing scar tissue to form creating a false joint. THR removes the femoral head replacing it with artificial implants. Studies have shown that each procedure has similar outcomes, therefore, FHO is attempted first because the cost of the procedure is significantly lower than THR.

The dog will require on-going physical therapy and medication no matter which treatment is chosen. Pain medication will be required after the surgery. Chondroprotective agents, such as  glucosamine may also be prescribed to protect cartilage and improve joint function.

White dog under anesthesia, prepping for surgery
Orthopedic surgery is required in severe cases

Poodle Rescues in the United States

Meet ATC Pet Talk's Poodle and Poodle Cross-Breed Friends

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