10 Common Pomeranian Health Problems

Miniaturized descendants of larger breeds of the Arctic Spitz type, such as the American Eskimo Dog and Samoyed, Pomeranians are lively, intelligent, proud, and oh-so-cute! Once hard-working dogs, but now considered “lap dogs,” these playful little puffs of dust are happiest when pampered and kept busy.

If they are not trained in obedience or are treated inappropriately, they can become excessive barkers and biters. Pomeranians need serious socialization with new people, experiences, and other animals. Be patient. They can be difficult to train at home!

Also, be prepared for a lot of shedding!

Many Pom owners tend to view their diminutive canine companions more as an accessory than a pet. That is an error! Don’t carry your Pom like a bag… put it down and make it walk!

The typical expected life expectancy of a healthy Pomeranian is 12 to 16 years. With proper training and medical care, these 3- to 7-pound packs of fluff and power will provide you with countless hours of entertainment with their endearing, comical behaviors.

Common health problems associated with Pomeranians are:

Orthopedic problems: Due to their small size and delicate bones, they are prone to fractures and dislocations; particularly Luxating Patella, which is dislocation of the knee. Be careful when small children handle them. Only allow it when the child is sitting on the floor!

Hypothyroidism: low production of thyroid hormone. Watch for lethargy, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, and hypothermia.

Severe Hairless Syndrome (SHS) – Hair loss. Black skin disease: more common in men.

Collapsed trachea: Due to loss of rigidity in the tracheal rings, the trachea closes. Several breeds of toys, including Pom Poms, are susceptible to developing serious respiratory problems due to a collapsed windpipe. Listen for honking and retching sounds. Obesity is also a common factor. If left untreated, a collapsed windpipe can be fatal.

Patent ductus arteriosus: congenital heart and lung disorder. If left untreated, it can be fatal.

Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar. It is often found in young, small, and very active dogs. Most puppies can outgrow it. It is a serious metabolic disorder in older dogs, especially older adults. Watch for blank stars, chills, listlessness, and seizures. Have Karo syrup handy. Rub it on your dog’s gums, under the tongue and on the roof of the mouth. Or, using an eye dropper or syringe, give them Gatorade or Pedialyte. Cover your pet with a towel or blanket and take him to the nearest veterinarian for warmed IV dextrose.

Kidney Disease – Insufficiency in kidney functions. Watch for increased, decreased, or no urination, excessive water intake, blood in the urine, decreased appetite, mouth sores, weight loss, lethargy, and dull coat. He needs immediate attention from your vet.

Seizure Disorder: Idiopathic epilepsy commonly occurs in dogs 3 to 7 years of age. Signs to look out for in detecting a prior seizure are restlessness, excessive need for attention, whining, excessive salivation, or hiding. Contact your vet.

Eye Problems: Glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are common eye problems in Pomeranians. Be on the lookout for night blindness. If left untreated, blindness can occur. Distichiasis is an ingrown eyelash that can tear Poms’ cornea, causing scarring and vision loss. Esotropion is when the lower eyelid rolls inward, causing tears in the cornea. Both can be corrected surgically.

Dental problems: Pomeranians have extremely small mouths which often cause crowding of the teeth. To avoid problems, clean his teeth daily and schedule yearly professional dental checkups with your vet.

Bottom line: With proper training and regular medical/dental care, these crafty-looking miniature creatures can make an ideal and extremely affectionate pet; that brings you many years of pleasure.

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