Major problems in small breed dogs

Small dogs are very sweet and cuddly, but they are also prone to certain health issues. Promoting a healthy lifestyle from the start is essential, so it’s important to feed this type of dog a quality diet designed to meet their specific needs. In addition, you should visit the veterinarian regularly and pay close attention to some of the health issues that are specific to these breeds.

Of course, just because some health problems are common to small dogs doesn’t mean that everyone has them. These five health problems are the ones that small breed dogs may suffer from the most.

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Sandra Garlo

toy poodle

tracheal collapse

The trachea consists of small cartilaginous rings with a thin tissue sheath forming the upper surface. Tracheal collapse is a chronic progressive condition in which the cartilage rings lose some of their stiffness and the upper tissue membrane begins to sag. This condition can make breathing difficult.

Most dogs that experience this are middle aged or older. The most common symptom of this problem is a dry, hacking cough, which is usually worse at night, with excitement, or if the collar is pulled on the animal’s neck. If your dog is coughing, it is important to take him to the veterinarian to determine if a collapsed trachea is the cause of the cough and to get advice on correcting the problem.

Dachshund coughs

Dachshund coughs

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dislocation of the patella

Patellar luxation, or displaced patella, is the most common orthopedic condition in small dogs and can even occur in puppies. While this problem is most commonly seen in small breeds, it can also be found in larger breeds. Some of the most commonly affected breeds are Miniature Poodles, Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Spitz.

If you notice your dog is limping or jumping, your veterinarian should evaluate the animal and recommend the best treatment, which can vary depending on the severity, and even in the most advanced cases, surgery is recommended.

Red spitz on the carpet

Red spitz on the carpet

Faizulin Sergey / iStock

mitral valve disease

One of the major health problems in small dogs occurs in the heart when what is known as mitral valve insufficiency or mitral regurgitation develops.

Many dogs with the disease do not even show symptoms, but puppies with severe mitral valve problems may be at risk for congestive heart failure, the symptoms of which include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, lack of appetite, exercise intolerance, and lethargy. and collapse.

Unfortunately, there are no preventative methods to help avoid this condition, but regular veterinary check-ups can help detect this problem and develop a treatment and care plan.

toy poodle

Toy poodle on the couch

Andor Buidoso/iStockphoto

dental disease

Good dental care is important for all dogs, but small breed dogs tend to be at a higher risk of developing dental problems due to crowded teeth. The first symptom of dental problems is usually bad breath, but tartar formation and reddening of the gums can also be seen. As dental disease progresses, this can cause pain, loose teeth, and the dog may have trouble eating.

It is very important to follow the rules of oral hygiene. There are a number of dog foods, treats, and toothpastes that can help keep your dog’s teeth clean.

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Sandra Garlo

Pomeranian dog


While it may be tempting to give your small dog lots of treats, it’s important to remember that doing so can lead to weight gain. Signs that your dog may be overweight include not being able to easily feel his ribs and losing an obvious waistline. Overweight dogs can also have mobility problems, and this extra weight puts them at risk for other diseases such as diabetes and arthritis.

Make sure you feed your dog the right amount of food, offering him a limited amount of treats, while also making sure you get daily exercise, which is very important.

If you think your pet is overweight, you should contact your veterinarian to help your pet get started on a proper weight loss plan.

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