Papillons are known to occasionally suffer from some health conditions. These conditions might be genetic or viral in nature, but regardless of their causes, owners should be aware of them in order to know what is it that they need to do in order to prevent them or recognize their early symptoms. Conditions listed here are just the most common ones, for a full list you might want to consult your vet.
One of the more common causes of distress in Papillons are dental problems. They have small teeth and fragile root structure which makes their teeth and gums rather vulnerable to a number of issues. They have been often known to suffer from gingivitis, which is far more serious in dogs with smaller teeth, as it is far more likely for them to lose their teeth to this condition than a larger dog would be. Tartar quickly accumulates in their mouth and can cause a number of health problems. These problems don’t have to specifically be related to the mouth, as bad mouth fauna can cause problems with a number of organs. This is why it is of vital importance that you maintain a high level of oral hygiene in your Papillon, brush his teeth as often as you can, and every once in a while take him to a professional in the field. You should also provide some chew toys to your dog, as they can help with the accumulation of tartar.
One of the most common genetic disorders in Papillons is patellar luxation. This is caused by the ligaments that are not able to properly support and hold the dog’s kneecap in place. This causes the kneecap to dislocate every once in a while. The severity of the condition might vary to great extent. It might only occur occasionally and the dog might be able to bring the kneecap back in its place just by stretching his legs, or it can happen quite often and leave your dog completely unable to walk. If you notice that your dog is limping and, generally having trouble with walking, contact your vet. Surgical solutions for this condition are available.
Most dog breeds are often afflicted by different eye conditions. Papillons can occasionally suffer from one such condition known as progressive retinal atrophy. As the name implies, this condition is characterized by the progressive deterioration of the dog’s retinas. It most commonly develops in dogs that are between 4 and 8 years old, and can cause complete blindness. It first manifests itself through the dog’s inability to see in dimly lit areas.
Papillons can also occasionally suffer from different types of liver shunts. This condition can have a number of symptoms – the dog might seem depressed, fatigued and lacking in appetite. He might have problems with balance or often be found pushing his head against solid objects, or even experience seizures. This condition could also negatively influence his weight gain and cause frequent vomiting. If you notice these symptoms call your vet immediately as the condition can present a significant danger to your dog’s health, or even life.