10 Common Health Problems of Pomeranians
Miniaturized decedents of larger Arctic Spitz type breeds, such as American Eskimo Dog and Samoyed, Pomeranians are lively, intelligent, proud and darn cute! Once hard-working dogs, but now considered “lap dogs,” these frisky, little powder puffs are happiest when pampered and kept busy.
If not obedience trained or inappropriately treated, they can become excessive barkers and nippers. Pomeranians need serious socialization with new people, experiences and other animals. Be patient. They can be difficult to house train!
Also, be prepared for a lot of shedding!
Many Pom owners tend to see their minute canine companions more as an accessory than a pet. That is a mistake! Don’t carry your Pom around like a purse…put them down and make them walk!
The typical expected lifespan of a healthy Pomeranian is 12-16 years. With proper training and medical attention, these 3-7 pound bundles of energy and fluff, will provide you with countless hours of entertainment with their clownish and endearing behaviors.
Common health problems associated with Pomeranians are:
Orthopedic Problems – Because of their small size and delicate bones, they are prone to broken bones and dislocations; particularly Luxating Patella, which is the dislocation of the knee. Be careful when small children handle them. Only allow it, when the child is sitting on the floor!
Hypothyroidism – Low thyroid hormone production. Watch for lethargy, unexplained weight gain, hair loss, and hypothermia.
Severe Hairless Syndrome (SHS) – Coat loss. Black Skin Disease – more common in males.
Collapsed Trachea – Due to the loss of rigidity in the tracheal rings, the trachea closes up. Several toy breeds, including Poms, are susceptible to developing serious breathing problems from a collapsed trachea. Watch for honking and gagging sounds. Obesity is also a common factor. If left untreated, collapsed trachea can be fatal.
Patent Ductus Arterious – Congenital heart and lung disorder. If left untreated, it can be fatal.
Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar. Often found in young, small and very active dogs. Most puppies can outgrow it. It is a serious metabolic disorder in older dogs, especially seniors. Watch for blank stares, shivering, listlessness, and convulsions. Keep Karo syrup handy. Rub it on the gums, under the tongue and on the roof of your dog’s mouth. Or, using an eyedropper or syringe give them Gatorade or Pedialyte. Cover your pet with a towel or blanket and get them to the nearest veterinarian for a warmed dextrose IV.
Kidney Disease – Failure in kidney functions. Watch for increased, decreased or lack of urination, excessive water consumption, blood in urine, decreased appetite, ulcers in mouth, weight loss, lethargy, and lack of luster in coat. Needs immediate attention by your veterinarian.
Seizure Disorder – Idiopathic epilepsy commonly occurs in dogs 3-7 years of age. Signs to watch for pre- seizure are restlessness, excessive need for attention, whining, excessive salivation, or hiding. Contact your veterinarian.
Eye Problems – Glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) are common eye problems with Pomeranians. Watch for night blindness. If left untreated, blindness may occur. Distichiasis is an ingrown eyelash that can tear your Poms cornea, causing scaring and vision loss. Endotropion is when the bottom eyelid rolls inward, causing tears of the cornea. Both can be surgically corrected.
Dental Problems – Pomeranians have extremely small mouths that often cause overcrowding of teeth. To prevent problems, clean their teeth daily and arrange for annual professional dental checkups with your veterinarian.
Bottom line: With proper training and regular medical/dental attention these miniature foxy looking creatures can be an ideal and extremely affectionate pet; that brings you many years of pleasure.