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Pipers Prancing Poodles diseases

Diseases and other health concerns for poodles

These are the diseases that can affect miniature poodles and other sizes of poodles ( I have added which sizes are affected by each disease to better inform you). Buying a quality poodle from a reputable breeder who has tested for disease and has clear/normal/goods in results will save you pain, grief, trips to the vet & money.

PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy

can affect toy and miniature breeds

PRA - Description : Gradual deterioration of the retina of the eye leading to blindness. To varying degrees, nearly every breed is susceptible to some form of PRA. The disease attacks the retinal tissue in the back of the eye. The retina is where specialized cells called photoreceptor's convert light into chemical signals, then transmit these impulses to the brain. Photoreceptor's called “rods” gather dim light, amplifying it into nerve impulses. Bright light causes other photoreceptor's called “cones” (these terms describe the shapes of the cells) to shift into gear.

We do Optigen and CERF tests to make sure our dogs do not carry this disease. We want an Optigen Pattern of A (clear) , B (potential carrier) and should be bred to an pattern A.

Hip Dysplasia

can affect toy, miniature and standard

Strenuous exercise before the bones are grown can cause many bone problems, including hip dysplasia , although thankfully, there are very few Standard Poodles who suffer with this disorder. A very young puppy being constantly pushed into the sitting position may suffer damage, or one that is allowed to run up and down stairs many times a day. If a puppy bunny-hops, this is usually a sign of stress on rear joints. It is essential to restrict exercise to a minimum where bunny-hopping is evident until the dog has grown, and still sometimes after that. Older dogs with joint problems should only have very short, quiet walks.

Bad rearing and feeding probably is responsible for most bone problems. At this moment in time there does not seem to be a definite inheritance factor, as two dogs, X-ray cleared, can throw a dog with hip dysplasia, and vice verse. However, some conscientious breeders advocate X-raying.

OFA ( is where X-rays are sent to get a certificate of Excellent, Good or Fair (dogs with any other results should never be bred). If a fair is being bred, it should always be bred with an Excellent or Good.

Leg-Calve-Perthes Disease

can affect toy and miniature

Leg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP) is a disorder of hip joint conformation occurring in both humans and dogs. In dogs, it is most often seen in the miniature and toy breeds between the ages of 4 months to a year. LCP results when the blood supply to the femoral head is interrupted resulting in avascular necrosis, or the death of the bone cells. Followed by a period of revascularization, the femoral head is subject to remodeling and/or collapse creating an irregular fit in the antebellum, or socket. This process of bone cells dying and fracturing followed by new bone growth and remodeling of the femoral head and neck, can lead to stiffness and pain. LCP is believed to be an inherited disease, although the mode of inheritance is not known. Because there is a genetic component, it is recommended that dogs affected with LCP not be used in breeding programs.

This is another certificate provided by that says the dog is clear or normal.

Von Willebrands

can affect toy, miniature and standard

This is the most common bleeding disorder in animals. Unfortunately it is an inherited disease. Signs to watch for are recurrent bleeding: gastrointestinal: urinary tract: nose bleeds: lameness(bleeding from the joints): prolonged bleeding in season: blood blisters. Thankfully, diagnosis is by a simple blood test. Vigilant breeders have their Standard Poodles tested for this disease before breeding from a dog or bitch.

We use to do our VWD testing,the results we want to see here are Cleared/normal.


Some puppies will have quite watery eyes during the teething period (up to six months). For a white this can be most distressing, because a brown mark will stain the face where the tears overflow. Keep this wiped dry as often as possible. Also the weather, particularly wind, can cause eyes to water. Keep the eyes clean and , once the head has finished growing, the problem should right itself. If it does not come right after the dog is about 13 months, get the eye checked. Excess watering, or luid, is produced by conjunctivitis. this eye infection will need to be professionally treated. Do try to keep the eyes clean.


can affect toy, miniature & standard


can affect toys, miniatures and standards

Seizures in dogs can be caused by a variety of factors. A common cause of seizures in all varieties of Poodles (as well as 25 or 30 other breeds) is "idiopathic epilepsy." Idiopathic epilepsy generally is inherited, and it can result in either mild or severe seizures. Sometimes, seizures involve episodes of unusual behavior, such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding in the bathroom. Although seizures can be frightening to watch, the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy generally is very good. Importantly, however, many other factors can cause seizures in dogs besides idiopathic epilepsy. Causes include a variety of metabolic disorders (such as liver disorders), infectious diseases that affect the brain (such as distemper), tumors, exposure to poisons, severe head injuries, and more. The prognosis for seizures due to these other disorders varies depending on the particular disorder and how early it is diagnosed. Thus, when a dog begins to have seizures, it is very important for the dog to receive a thorough diagnostic work-up to determine the cause.

Addison's, Bloat & Sebaceous adenitis

For everyone who is researching and has read about these diseases, These are only traits and diseases found only the Standard poodles. These are not found in toys and miniatures. Researchers are constantly studying these and other diseases every day to better understand them to find a test & cure for them. Miniatures where once highly affected by PRA and a large percent of them developed it due to lack of a test to determine whether a dog was affected, a carrier or clear from it. Many breeders ended up spaying or neutering their dogs and placing them in homes and had stopped breeding or switched to Standards or Toys. Now in the last 5 years the test have become a life-saver to the breed. Ethical breeders now test and make sure they are breeding non-affected dogs.

There are no 100% guarantees that even a genetically tested dogs offspring will be free from all defects or diseases. However with testing we greatly reduce the chances.

Want to learn more? You can find diseases affecting toys, miniatures and standard poodles at or statistics at

These health problems have all been quoted off of, or out of the "The Complete Standard Poodle" book by Eileen Geeson. This is a great book for anyone looking into purchasing a Standard Poodle (I bred standards before miniatures),or even if you already own one. Highly informative in all areas, raising, training etc.

If your thinking about buying a dog, do your homework and make sure you are not purchasing it from a Puppy Mill (pet stores normally buy from them) or a backyard breeder. Again, You get what you pay for. I can not guarantee 100% that my puppies or dogs will never acquire any of these disorders or others, No breeder can or should. But this odds are slim to none. I include a 3yr health contract, and buy my breeding dogs from thoroughly tested lines as well as do my own testing.

Please read our Puppymill/backyard breeder page and Reputable Breeder page.

Thank you for taking the time to inform and educate yourself with these pages.