Pomeranian Illnesses

Pomeranian dogs enjoy close relationships and brisk walks with their human companions.

Pomeranian dogs enjoy close relationships and brisk walks with their human companions.

The Pomeranian is a hardy little dog packed full of loyalty and spunk. That's why it is the choice of the discerning dog lover with a ken for a lap dog that also has plenty of energy. Being aware of a few ailments and their early-onset symptoms can keep this canine active.

Cushing's Disease

This condition is more common in older dogs than in younger canines. Most frequently it is caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, which controls the release of hormones including the stress-regulating hormone cortisol. When cortisol is out of balance in a dog, issues develop such as weight gain, hair loss, high blood pressure and frequent urination. Surgical removal of the pituitary tumor is an option. Other treatments include lifelong use of medication monitored by a veterinarian.

Seizures

There are numerous culprits for seizures in Pomeranians. Only a veterinarian can determine the exact cause. However, there are a couple of cautions owners can heed in an effort to avoid this neurological condition: The first is protecting the dog from head injury. Poms are small dogs, so they're more vulnerable than larger dogs. Being dropped by a child or falling off a bed easily results in a head injury. The second involves preventing hypoglycemia, the drop in blood sugar that can lead to a seizure. This is especially true again in the case of pups that may be denied regular feeding because new owners are busily showing the dogs off rather than adhering to strict and necessary feeding schedules.

Collapsed Trachea

While not necessarily an illness, the propensity to develop this condition in which the dog's trachea collapses upon itself is something owners should be watchful for its development. It is characterized by a chronic but dry cough that makes the dog sound more like a honking goose than a canine. In such a case the trachea has weakened and is collapsing upon itself, restricting airflow. The physiological cause is loss of strength in the cartilage of the trachea. This disorder often impacts smaller breeds such as Pomeranians and is exasperated by a dog pulling on its lead and collar, putting additional pressure on the neck region. Surgical options, while expensive, are available for treating the disorder.

Tooth Decay

Pomeranians just don't have very good teeth. Their puppy teeth don't always fall out naturally, thus requiring extraction. According to the Vet Info website, the enamel of their teeth isn't super sturdy and is highly suspectible to the plaque buildup. But like other dogs and animals in general, they can't brush them on their own. That's where their human companions must take up the slack by either doing the brushing for them or taking them to a canine hygienst specializing in doggie dental cleaning. Or both.

Slipped Kneecap

In veterinary terms, this condition is called patella luxation: the dog's kneecap is slipping out of its proper place in aligment with the rest of the dog's leg. While it also is technically more of a disorder than an illness, its potentially crippling effects can prevent the dog from getting an appropriate amoutn of exercise which in turn can increase the risk of obesity and diabetes. The condition begins as a minor annoyance increasing to a near crippling disorder requiring surgical intervention. A dog suffering from this disorder often extends his legs while walking or running in a temporary and ultimately unproductive effort an effort to force the kneecap back into its proper place. There is some debate in the veterinary community as to which stage of the condition's development warrants surgery, which is pricey. Some veterinarians argue that surgical intervention should be administered early on to prevent further damage. Others caution to wait as the condition's course varies from dog to dog.

 

About the Author

Amy M. Armstrong is a former community news journalist with more than 15 years of experience writing features and covering school districts. She has received more than 40 awards for excellence in journalism and photography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Washington State University. Armstrong grew up on a dairy farm in western Washington and wrote agricultural news while in college.

Photo Credits

  • cautious pomeranian image by John Sfondilias from Fotolia.com