pomeranian health issues

15 Most Common Pomeranian Health Issues

When you are researching dog breeds one of the first things we often take into consideration is how healthy the dog breed is and what conditions are they prone to.

Pomeranians are very healthy dogs that can have long lives. As with any living creature, Pomeranians are prone to some health conditions. The first step to health is being aware of these conditions, knowing the symptoms, and how to prevent them if possible.

Do Pomeranians Have Bad Health Issues

Overall, as a breed, Pomeranians are very healthy dogs with very few serious health conditions to be concerned with.

This breed is known for living long healthy lives, with some living beyond the average lifespan.

As with every dog breed, there will be some health conditions that they are more prone to.

In this article, I provide the most common health concerns for Pomeranians.

What You Should Know About The Health Of Pomeranians

It’s important as a dog owner or potential dog owner to know everything you can about your breed’s health.

Many people are drawn to little happy lapdogs like Pomeranians but, are aware of the health conditions that could develop, or those they should try to prevent.

Knowing the early signs of a condition and knowing when to visit your vet is crucial for early detection and prevention.

Each health condition in the article is outlined with the early signs of what to look for.

What Health Issues Are Pomeranians Known For

  • Luxating Patella
  • Collapsed Trachea
  • Eye Conditions
  • Reverse Sneezing
  • Severe Hair Loss
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Teeth And Gum Issues
  • Obesity
  • Liver Shunts
  • Bacterial & Viral Infections
  • Parasites

1. Luxating Patella

A luxating Patella is one of the most common conditions in Pomeranians and other toy breeds.

Patellar Luxation is an inherited condition that affects the knee joints on the back legs.

Normally the patella slides up and down in a groove on the femur as the dog bends and straightens the joint.

When a dog experiences a luxating patella the patella slips out of the groove.

A luxating patella is a slipped kneecap.

The severity of a luxating patella can vary from a grade one where the patella easily slips in and out of place to a grade four where the patella is always out of place.

A grade four patella luxation will require surgery to repair.

How To Prevent Patella Luxation

Your vet will check your Pomeranian’s patella annually during a physical exam.

Your ver will be able to let you know if your dog has a luxating patella and will be able to monitor its progression.

If you notice your Pomeranian limping slightly from time to time or not putting any weight on one of its hind legs your dog is likely experiencing a luxating patella.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight, and providing your dog with high-quality food and exercise is important to help prevent a luxating patella and to lessen its progression.

Make sure that your dog dogs jump from high places adding extra stress and pressure onto their legs and joints.

Talk to your vet about possible supplements that may be helpful for your dog.

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2. Collapsed Tracheas

Collapsed Tracheas are another common condition that can affect small dog breeds including Pomeranians.

A collapsed trachea can become very serious and become life-threatening.

When a dog has a collapsed trachea the cartilage that is around the dog’s windpipe breaks down causing the windpipe to collapse on itself cutting off oxygen flow.

The two main causes of collapsed tracheas are tight collars and genetics.

Your Pomeranian may show signs of having trouble breathing, hacking, coughing, or wheezing.

If you notice any of these symptoms or signs it’s best to visit your vet.

Your vet can perform an X-ray to confirm if your dog has a Collapsed Trachea.

How To Prevent A Collapsed Trachea

The most important thing you can do to prevent a collapsed trachea is to never use a collar on a Pomeranian, always use a harness instead.

Also, be gentle with the harness and leash, Pomeranians are not the type of breed where you can tug on its leash.

If your Pomeranian’s condition is hereditary it is hard to prevent it.

You can make sure that your dog is getting enough exercise is fed high-quality food and receives annual checkups.

Your vet may be able to assist you with supplementation and personalized advice.

3. Eye Conditions

Pomeranians are prone to several eye conditions including cataracts and glaucoma.

A cataract is a cloudiness within the lens of the eye. If your Pomeranian has a cataract they may have partial or total vision loss.

Cataracts are very common in aging dogs but, can occur in the young as well.

Glaucoma is a condition that causes excessive pressure in the eye. This pressure eventually damages the eye causing blindness.

How To Prevent Eye Conditions In Pomeranians

The first sign of an eye issue is usually the appearance of spots or cloudiness, squinting, holding the lid shut, bumping into things, and nervousness about being touched near the eye.

Visiting your vet regularly is your best way to prevent and catch eye conditions early before they progress too far.

Catching a progressive eye condition like cataracts and glaucoma early is very important.

Your vet can often perform surgery and remove cataracts before they cause blindness if caught early.

4. Reverse Sneezing

Pomeranians often experience a condition called a pharyngeal gag reflex or reverse sneeze.

A reverse sneeze happens when air is suddenly and rapidly inhaled through the dog’s no

Pharyngeal gag reflex often occurs when the nasal airways are irritated or inflamed caused by irritants like dust.

It often sounds like your dog is trying to sneeze, and may even sound similar to a honk.

How To Prevent Reverse Sneezing

While it’s hard to prevent reverse sneezing there are a few things you can you if your dog begins to experience this condition.

A reverse sneeze is often not a life-threatening situation and shouldn’t require any extreme interventions.

If your dog starts to reverse sneeze you can bring him or her outside into the fresh air, blow into his or her face, and try to calm your dog down.

If you have noticed your dog regularly experiencing reverse sneezes it’s best to speak with your vet.

Your dog may be experiencing allergies or other health conditions.

5. Severe Hair Loss

Pomeranians are prone to experiencing severe hair loss known as Alopecia or Black Skin Disease.

Alopecia is a disorder that causes a dog’s fur to fall out and sometimes darken the pigment of its skin, giving it the name black skin disease.

At this time, it is believed that this condition is mostly cosmetic and doesn’t have any long-term negative effects on the dog’s life.

Experts believe that Alopecia may come from an inherited adrenal gland defect that causes hormone levels to become abnormal and affects the hormone receptors on the hair follicles.

How To Prevent Hair Loss In Pomeranians

Unfortunately, it is not possible to prevent alopecia in Pomeranians.

Being a cosmetic condition, it is often not recommended to treat the condition since treatments often have negative effects.

If you are noticing anything that seems abnormal with your Pomeranian skin or coat, always speak with your vet.

6. Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia can occur in very young puppies and in very small teacup-sized Pomeranians.

When a dog is experiencing hypoglycemia its body is struggling to control its blood sugar levels.

Hypoglycemia can occur when the dog is not receiving enough food, excessive exercise, and when a puppy is using more energy than it can handle.

This condition is very serious and becomes life-threatening very quickly.

A dog experiencing hypoglycemia will be lethargic, lack energy, and may cause seizures.

If a dog does not receive emergency care it may become comatose and pass away.

How To Prevent Hypoglycemia In Pomeranians

Since the majority of Pomeranians that become hypoglycemic are often very young the condition should be found and treated before the puppy goes to its forever home.

If you avoid getting an extremely small teacup Pomeranian you will also reduce your chances of experiencing hypoglycemia.

If for some reason you notice your dog acting lethargic and you suspect it could be hypoglycemia, bring your dog to the vet immediately and try to give your dog some sugar syrup like Karo syrup to help bring up the blood glucose levels.

7. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism happens when a dog has an underactive thyroid gland, not producing enough of the hormone called thyroxine.

The thyroid and its hormones help regulate the dog’s temperature and metabolism.

Some of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism include.

  • Weight Gain
  • Low Energy
  • Constipation
  • Dry Skin
  • Dry Fur
  • Thinning Fur
  • Infertility
  • Depression
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Skin bacterial infections
  • Feeling colder than normal

How To Prevent Hypothyroidism In Pomeranians

Hypothyroidism is usually caused by inflammation or shrinkage of the thyroid gland.

Your vet will need to do a physical examination and blood work to fully diagnose hypothyroidism.

If your dog is diagnosed with hypothyroidism your vet will most likely prescribe a thyroid medication called thyroxin that they will need to take for life.

Consider contacting a holistic veterinarian for a second opinion and possible alternatives to a lifetime of medication.

8. Cushing’s Disease

Cushing’s Disease is also known as Hyperadrenocorticism.

It is common for dogs that experience a lot of stress and anxiety to develop Cushing’s Disease.

The disease will end up resulting in high levels of cortisol.

Dogs with Cushing’s will also often have tumors.

Some of the most common symptoms that you may notice are.

  • Excessive Panting
  • Lethargy
  • Extreme Thirst
  • Pot Belly
  • Hair Loss
  • Increase In Appetite
  • Pot Belly
  • Thinning Skin
  • Bruising Easily
  • Obesity
  • Infertility
  • Reduction Of Muscle Mass

How To Prevent Cushing’s Disease In Pomeranians

Since Cushing’s Disease is connected to stress and anxiety it’s important to try to avoid ongoing stressful situations.

Pomeranians are prone to separation anxiety which can be very impactful on your dog’s life.

If you happen to have a dog that has a serious case of separation anxiety it’s best to speak with your vet or a dog behaviorist for help.

Your vet will be able to do some blood tests to confirm or rule out Cushing’s Disease.

Treatment can include medications and removal of any present tumors.

9. Heart Disease

Heart Disease is very common in many dog breeds.

Some heart diseases are characterized by structural abnormalities,

Pomeranians are prone to one structural abnormality in particular called patent ductus arterioles.

Before birth the puppy’s ductus arteriosus closes but, in some puppies, it doesn’t result in an abnormal blood flow.

These puppies will need to have their hearts surgically repaired as soon as possible or they may not survive the first year of life.

Other heart conditions can develop later in life and are generally connected to lifestyle.

How To Prevent Heart Disease In Pomeranians

Some heart diseases can not be prevented since it has developed before birth.

Heart disease that develops later in life, that is connected to lifestyle can often be prevented or reversed with a great diet, exercise, and lifestyle.

If you are concerned about heart disease in your Pomeranian, it’s best to speak with your vet.

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10. Epilepsy

Pomeranians can experience seizures and epilepsy.

Your dog can have an isolated seizure or an ongoing condition.

Some of the causes of seizures and epilepsy are.

  • Head Injuries
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Water On The Brain

How To Prevent Seizures In Pomeranians

Pomeranians are small and are often wiggly and bold.

Your Pomeranian may wiggle out of your hands or jump off of a surface that is too high and hit their heads.

Being diligent and trying to avoid a traumatic injury is important.

If your dog experiences any seizure activity, seek emergency vet care immediately following the seizure.

Do not move your dog and let other animals near it while it’s having a seizure.

11. Teeth And Gum Issues

Just like humans, Pomeranians are vulnerable to periodontal disease and gingivitis.

If Pomeranians do not receive proper dental care these conditions can lead to loss of teeth and serious infections that could become life-threatening.

How To Prevent Dental Conditions In Pomeranians

Brushing your dog’s teeth daily with a soft-bristled brush and canine toothpaste will help the prevention of plaque and tartar buildup.

Provide plenty of toys for your dog to chew on.

Bringing your dog in for a dental exam at least once a year will also make sure that your dog’s dental health is the best it can be.

12. Obesity

Obesity can lead to many health conditions and ultimately a shorter life for your dog.

The impacts of being obese are significant and often lead to arthritis, chronic kidney disease, bladder/urinary tract disease, liver disease, low thyroid hormone production, diabetes, heart failure, high blood pressure, and cancer.

Keeping your dog at a healthy weight is extremely important to its overall health and well-being.

How To Prevent Obesity In Pomeranians

Making sure that your dog is fed the right amount of food and making sure that it is high-quality food is one of the most important things you can do to combat obesity.

Providing plenty of opportunities for play and exercise will also help.

13. Liver Shunts

The liver does an incredible job of filtering the body’s blood and storing sugar.

If a dog has a liver shunt, it will have a blockage that impairs the blood flow.

Liver shunts are developed before a puppy is born and won’t be found until after the puppy is born and doesn’t thrive.

Symptoms of a liver shunt include.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

This condition can become serious and life-threatening if it’s not treated.

How To Prevent Liver Shunts in Pomeranians

Since a liver shunt is an abnormality that is developed during the gestation period it is impossible to prevent.

14. Bacterial And Viral Infections

Pomeranians just like other dogs are vulnerable to both bacterial and viral infections.

Some common viruses and infections include rabies, distemper, canine influenza, and norovirusus.

How To Prevent Bacterial And Viral Infections In Pomeranians

Many vaccines and medications are available to help prevent your dog from contracting common viruses.

Some other ways to reduce your dog’s risk are to keep him or her healthy and make sure they are only around clean environments.

Be careful around dog parks where other dogs are leaving waste.

15. Parasites

Dogs can pick up a variety of parasites including heartworms, hookworms, ringworms, fleas, ticks, lice, and mites.

Parasites can cause a variety of health issues like anemia, gastrointestinal upset, extreme weight loss, and blindness.

How To Prevent Your Pomeranian From Getting Parasites

There is a wide variety of preventative medications that can be used to help aid in avoiding parasites in the first place.

Monitoring your dog for anything that seems abnormal and routine vet checkups is an easy way to be ahead of any potential health issues.

Maintaining a clean environment for your dog is also a way to reduce the transmission.

Final Thoughts

Luckily, the majority of Pomeranians will be perfectly healthy and maintain their health during a long and happy life.

There are things that you can do to aid in your dog’s health and help prevent any future health condition down the road.

Feeding your dog the right amount of high-quality food and providing plenty of exercise and mental stimulation is the best place to start.

We also can’t forget routine vet visits and a lot of love and affection.

33 Things To Know Before Getting A Pomeranian (plus quiz)

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