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If you are an owner of a small dog, the perks are many; you can walk your dog around without much tiredness, you can cuddle with it, you can talk them to more places, and you can easily bathe and feed them. Small dogs, with their cuteness and amiable nature, become your best friend at home who play and run around with you. It is also said that small dogs live longer than bigger dogs.
However, sometimes the cons of having a small dog overpowers the pros. Small dogs are susceptible to several health issues that can daunt you as a pet owner. Some dogs like French Bulldog, Lhasa Apsos, Boston Terriers, and Pekingese are cuddly and cute, but face some daunting health issues that pet owners need to be aware of.
Health Issues Facing Small Dogs
As a pet owner with a small dog, you should understand the following health issues that your little pooch may suffer:
- Patellar Luxation Patellar Luxation occurs when the dog’s patella (kneecap) dislocated from the femur, which is the normal anatomic position of the kneecap. Small dogs are more prone to this condition than big dogs. The typical symptoms include prolonged lameness and abnormal hindlimb movement. However, the symptoms vary greatly depending on the persistence and severity of the condition.
- Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) This condition occurs when the cushions located between each vertebra comes into contact with the spinal chord. The condition leads to a range of clinical symptoms such as pain to compression of the spinal chord, leading to discomfort, paralysis and nerve damage. The breeds such as the Beagle, Dachshund, the Shih Tzu, and the Basset Hound are more susceptible to the condition.
- Pancreatitis Although common in big dogs, pancreatitis affects small dogs also due to a number of reasons such as metabolic disorders, obesity, trauma and infection. The typical symptoms include fever, vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Small dogs like the Miniature Poodle are affected mostly by the disease.
- Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is characterized by a rapid drop in blood sugar, often triggered by stress, and common in small breeds of 6 to 12 weeks of age. Hypoglycemia is caused by over-metabolization of glucose in the liver, and include lethargy and weakness, imbalance, and tremors as prominent symptoms. In severe cases, the dog may slip into a fatal coma.
- Ectropion Ectropion is another common abnormality affecting flat-faced, short-nose dogs such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Cairn Terriers, and the French Bulldogs. In ectropion, the margin of the dog’s eyelid rolls outward, exposing palpebral conjunctiva, a tissue lining is the inner eyelids. The dog develops a resistance to dust and suffers from watery eyes and irritations.