Today we will discuss three important skeletal health issues that can affect any Cockapoo. The fact that these are issues your dog is prone to, does not mean he will get them. Many Cockapoos live long, robustly healthy lives, with few health issues. It pays to be both well-educated and vigilant, however. All of these problems are best treated when caught early.
#1 – Luxating Patella
Luxating Patella is a joint problem that occurs in some Cockapoos’ knee caps. It can affect one or both knee caps and most often requires surgery. Some owners who have had this happen to their dog said it was brought on from jumping from a high bed or to catch a toy. Others have said that it seems to have popped with very little warning, although they noticed him limping or favoring a leg after play. Luxating Patella can result from a birth defect also and there would be little you could do to avoid this happening in your Cockapoo’s later years.
When you buy from a breeder, try to ask about the health of the parent dogs and see if they have health records that would indicate any family history of Luxating Patella or any other serious issues. If adopting a Cockapoo, you may not get any health history, but you can take a few steps to help prevent this common health problem. Try to encourage your pooch not to jump from very high places and you can also put pet steps around your home to help them get around. Do not let your dog chase toys or play fetch longer than 20 minutes to a half hour at a time. If your Cockapoo seems to be overly fatigued or you see him limping, encourage rest and watch for improvement. You may need to have your dog checked at the veterinary office and they will recommend treatment. When in doubt, always consult your pets veterinarian.
#2 – Hip Dysplasia & Elbow Dysplasia
Another Cockapoo skeletal health ailment we will look at today is hip dysplasia. Although it is possible for a Cockapoo to get this, it certainly doen’t mean that your dog will. This is another problem affecting the joints of dogs and it happens when your Cockapoo’s thigh bone does not fit correctly into the hip joint, which can cause pain and limping in the back legs. This can be inherited, or a cause of environmental strain. Many believe that you can help prevent hip dysplasia by giving your dog glucosamine or feeding him treats or food containing the supplement Be sure to get it from a pet store or give a low dose, and you may also want to okay this with your pet’s veterinarian.
Hip dyplasia can be treated with anti inflammatory medications or, as a last resort, surgery. The veterinary surgeon will most likely opt to do hip modification or full hip replacement. These have a high rate of success and dogs undergoing this surgery can recover to live a full life afterward.
A less common, but similar joint issue can also include elbow dysplasia. This condition is painful for your dog, but less easy to diagnose. Many times it is diagnosed as hip problems and when recognized it would be treated in much the same way.
We also have a more in-depth article on hip dysplasia you can read.
#3 – Canine Arthritis
The final joint or skeletal issue that we will discuss today can affect your Cockapoo later in life. This is canine arthritis. This is more likely to affect larger breeds of dog, but can occur in any dog, especially if your pup had a serious injury or surgery sometime in his life. As is typical with arthritis in humans, arthritis in dogs is characterized by a breaking down of cartilage in the joints. It can be painful and may restrict movement. Treatment would include aspirin and / or supplements such as glucosamine. You would also want to restrict movement, to a degree dependent of the severity of the arthritis, to help your dog with painful joints.
Many dogs that have experienced any of these skeletal problems, have lived relatively pain free with treatment and care. Although the health of your dog can seem overwhelming at times, with proper care and regular vet visits, you can rest assured that you are doing your best to keep your Cockapoo by your side for years to come.