Does Your Poodle Have Allergies?

Allergies are common in poodles, and dogs in general. An allergic reaction is an immune response to something in which the body is overly sensitive. Veterinarians see a lot of skin problems in dogs and cats. There are numerous conditions that cause problems with a dog or cat’s skin, but the most common is allergies.

A dog who is allergic to something will show it through skin problems and itching. It may seem logical that if a dog is allergic to something he inhales (atopy) like certain pollen grains, he will have a runny nose; if he is allergic to something he eats (food allergy), he may vomit; or if allergic to an insect bite (urticaria or hives), he may develop a swelling at the site of the bite.
In reality, your dog will seldom have these signs. Instead, he will have a mild to severe itching sensation over his body and maybe a chronic ear infection. In addition, allergic dogs will often chew on their feet until they are irritated and red (the feet are the only place dogs have sweat glands and these become inflamed with allergies). They may rub their faces on the carpet or couch, or scratch their sides and belly.
Signs Your Poodle May Have Allergies
Chewing on feet
Rubbing the face on the carpet
Itchy skin, biting and scratching the body
Recurrent ear infections
Hair loss
Open sores from biting and scratching
The skin lesions seen in an allergic dog are usually the result of him mutilating his skin through chewing and scratching. Sometimes there is hair loss, which can be patchy or inconsistent over the body leaving a mottled appearance. The skin itself may be dry and crusty, reddened, or oily depending on the dog. It is very common to get secondary bacterial infections of the skin due to these self-inflicted lesions.
Allergies are also, the most common underlying cause of ear problems in dogs. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy. Bacteria and yeast often “over grow” in the excessive wax and debris and they get ear infections.
My own poodle, Nyka has seasonal allergies. The allergies started when she was two years old. Mostly, she would get a mild rash on her belly and her ears would get red. Benedryl always took care of the problem. This year, she lost most of her tail. She was at the vet on Monday for her rabie shot and her tail was fine, three days later it was a raw bloody mess. A week later, her tail had to be amputated.
So did the rabie shot cause this? An allergic reaction to a vaccination usually causes facial swelling in a short time after the injection. I think it’s possible having an allergy in the first place and getting vaccinated on top of it caused the allergic reaction, but it could have been an insect bite or a small sore that got infected. I do know that in the future, I will be careful to make sure nothing else is going on.
Common Allergens
Trees
Grass
Weed pollens
Fabrics such as wool or nylon
Fabrics such as wool or nylon
Rubber and plastic materials
Foods and food additives such as individual meats, grains, or coloring
Milk products
House dust and dust mites
Flea bites
You poodle must be exposed to the allergen for some time before the allergy develops. Exceptions may occur such as an allergy to insect bites, which may develop after only a few exposures. Allergies usually start to develop between one and three years of age. They may start as late as age six or eight, but over 80% start earlier. To make matters worse, as the animal ages, it usually develops allergies to additional things and the response to any one allergen becomes more severe.

Illinois Dog Owners Urged to Vaccinate for Distemper

Numerous cases of canine distemper have been reported this spring in Illinois, leading the Illinois State Veterinary Association (ISVMA) to urge dog owners to be certain their animals have been vaccinated.

What Is Canine Distemper?

Canine distemper is a highly contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and often, the nervous systems of puppies and dogs. Distemper is caused by the Morbillivirus which is closely related to the human measles virus. The virus also infects wild foxes, wolves, coyotes, raccoons, skunks and ferrets.

All dogs are at risk but puppies younger than four months old and dogs that have not been vaccinated against canine distemper are at increased risk of acquiring the disease. Canine distemper virus in the dog can affect a wide range of organs including the skin, brain, eyes, intestinal and respiratory tracts.

How Is Canine Distemper Spread?

Puppies and dogs usually become infected through airborne exposure to the virus contained in respiratory secretions of an infected dog or wild animal. Outbreaks of distemper tend to be sporadic. Because canine distemper also affects wildlife populations, contact between wild canids and domestic dogs may facilitate spread of the virus.

Symptoms of Canine Distemper

There are many symptoms of Canine Distemper and may include:

Fever that may come and go (103F to 106F)
Loss of appetite
Depression
Cough
Nasal discharge
Vomiting
Diarrhea
Eye inflammation
Neurological Symptoms include:

Seizures
Muscle twitching
Deterioration of mental abilities
Loss of motor skills
Complete or partial paralysis
Increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as pain or touch
Pneumonia
A fever is often the initial symptom but may go unnoticed. Symptoms become more serious and noticeable as the disease progresses. Complications involving the eyes can also occur. Some complications of the eye can be serious enough to damage the optic nerve and cause the dog to go blind.

Encephalomyelitis, an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord is a complication that can develop.

Dogs who have recovered can also suffer chronic symptoms such as hardening of the foot and nose pads. Erosion of the teeth can occur if a puppy contracts the disease before its second teeth have erupted. The virus kills the cells that make tooth enamel.

How is Canine Distemper diagnosed and treated?

Veterinarians diagnose canine distemper on the basis of clinical appearance and laboratory tests. No specific drug is available that will kill the virus in infected dogs.

Treatment consists primarily of efforts to prevent secondary infections; control vomiting, diarrhea, or neurologic symptoms; and combat dehydration through administration of fluids. Ill dogs should be kept warm, receive good nursing care, and be separated from other dogs.

Canine Distemper is fatal in over fifty percent of adult dogs who contract the virus and eighty percent of puppies. Death occurs between 2 weeks and 3 months after infection. The main cause of death is from complications to the central nervous system. Many vets will recommend euthanasia when there are progressive incapacitating neurological symptoms.

Nervous system problems can persist many weeks after the animal has recovered from all other symptoms of the infection. Some dogs appear to recover but may develop chronic or fatal nervous system problems.

Diagnosing & Treating Your Poodles Allergies

A diagnosis of an allergy and determination of exactly what the animal is allergic to can be made in two ways:
Allergy testing (intradermal (skin) or blood testing)
Eliminating things individually from the animal’s environment until the culprit is isolated (the method most often used when food allergies are suspected)

Sometimes it is not necessary to determine the exact allergen causing the problem. For example, a dog may start chewing his feet, scratching his sides, and rubbing his face on furniture every year for three weeks during the same month. These are often the signs of a seasonal allergy to something such as ragweed or tree pollen. In this case, your vet may choose either tablets and/or a single injection that will suppress the allergy for the 3-4 weeks necessary when that allergen is in the environment. After a short treatment period, the dog is back to normal until the following year when he or she will have the same problem.
Treating Allergies
Although allergies can’t be cured, they can be controlled by avoiding the allergens, treating the symptoms or desensitizing the dog. Fleas, food and some things that cause contact allergies may be avoidable, but with atopic allergies, avoidance is virtually impossible.
Avoidance is an important part of managing Atopy.
While it may be impossible to completely eliminate all of the offending irritants, many can be reduced with minimal effort. For avoidance therapy to have any benefit, the offending irritants must be identified through intradermal skin testing. Avoidance is rarely a complete treatment in itself, but is used with a combination with other treatments
Suggestions to avoid allergens such as dust mites, molds and pollens:
Keep pets out of room several hours when vacuuming
Use a plastic cover over dog’s bed
Wash bedding in very hot water
Avoid letting your poodle sleep on stuffed furniture
Avoid stuffed toys
Keep pets in uncarpeted rooms
Run air conditioner during hot weather
Keep pets out of basements
Keep pets indoors when the lawn is mowed
Avoid dusty pet foods
Use humidifiers, make sure you clean and disinfect humidifiers
Avoid large numbers of houseplants
Keep dogs out of fields
Keep grass cut short
Rinse dog off after periods in high grass and weeds
Keep pets indoors during periods of high pollen season
Topical Therapy: shampoos, rinses and topical anti-itch solutions.
Topical solutions containing hydrocortisone offers immediate, but short-term relief. Bathing atopic poodles weekly or twice a week with a hydrocortisone, hypoallergenic or oatmeal shampoo may help. Topical solutions containing hydrocortisone offer some relief in treating localized itching. Creams or salves are often used on the feet and between the toes and sprays are used on the abdomen or other areas with less hair. These products are very poorly absorbed into the bloodstream, and dogs tend to lick off these preparations.
Antihistamines
Most of the antihistamines used in veterinary medicine are antihistamines that were made for humans. Veterinary use for dogs is usually restricted to Benadryl (Diphenhydramine), Hydroxyzine and Chlorpheniramine.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial in the treatment of allergies in dogs and cats. Omega-3 fatty acids work in the skin to help reduce the amount and effects of histamine. Not every allergic pet responds to omega-3 fatty acids. Some pets show improvements, others have a complete cure, and others show no change after being on the omega-3 fatty acids. Most pets need to be on the omega-3 fatty acids daily for several weeks to months to notice significant improvement. Omega-3 fatty acids are very safe and have very few side effects. Other types of fatty acids (such as omega-6 fatty acids) can actually make some allergies worse. It is best to use the omega-3 fatty acid supplements in conjunction with a diet lower in fat.
Immunotherapy (Hypo-sensitization)
Your poodle must undergo intradermal skin testing prior to hypo-sensitization. After the allergens have been identified, a commercially prepared injection containing altered antigens is injected into the dog. A series of weekly or monthly shots are given. Your poodle then becomes de-sensitized to the offending allergens. Success is as high as 80% with this treatment plan. Treatment is time consuming and requires a dedicated owner and veterinarian.
Steroids For Scratching
Steroids are extremely effective for relieving severe itching and inflammation. The problem is that they can have many short and long-term side effects. Steroids come two forms, injectable and in tablet form and are usually reserved as one of the last lines of treatments because of the effects on the immune and endocrine system. The potential side effects associated with steroid use in dogs are numerous and include; increased water consumption, increased urination, increased appetite (weight gain), depression, hyperactivity, panting, and diarrhea.
Long-term steroid use has the risk of creating more permanent and severe damage. Some long term side effects include increased incidence of infections, poor hair coat and skin, immunosuppression, diabetes mellitus, adrenal suppression, and liver problems. Despite the potential side effects, steroids can be used effectively and safely, if a careful dosage schedule is followed.
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Allergic Reactions: Hives or Swollen Face

Hives and a swollen face are typical are allergic reactions to drugs, chemicals, something eaten, or even sunlight. Facial swelling (angioedema) and hives (urticaria) generally develop within 20 minutes of being exposed to the allergen.
In hives, small bumps occur within the skin. The hair will often stand up over these swellings. Sometimes, they itch.
In angioedema, you will see swelling of the face, especially the muzzle and around the eyes. Sometimes, the swelling is so severe, the dog cannot open his eyes.
Most often, these types of allergic reactions are not life-threatening and will go away by themselves. Rarely, the swelling in angioedema can affect the throat and make breathing difficult. Antihistamines are generally the best treatment for angioedema and hives. If severe, steroids are sometimes given.
If your dog has hives or a swollen face, contact your veterinarian right away. A more severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, is life-threatening, and requires immediate veterinary attention.
Allergic Reaction to a Vaccine
If your poodle has ever had a reaction to a vaccine your veterinarian will probably administer an antihistamine prior to future vaccinations and have your dog remain in the office after the vaccination, in cause your pet has a reaction. In some cases, certain vaccines may be excluded from your dog’s vaccination regimen, or a different type of vaccine will be used.
If a dog has already had an allergic reaction to a vaccine or medication, be sure your current veterinarian knows and the information is placed in your dog’s medical record.
Allergic Reaction to a Insect Bite
If your dog has developed hives or a swollen face from an insect bite, you may want to discuss various options with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian may give you a prescription for an ‘epi-pen.’ An ‘epi-pen’ is a special syringe and needle filled with a single dose of epinephrine.
If your pet has an anaphylactic reaction or severe angioedema, inject the epinephrine using the ‘epi-pen’ and seek emergency veterinary assistance immediately. Be sure to take the ‘epi-pen’ with you on any trips or hikes.

Poodle Hereditary Health Problems

Toy, Miniature and Standard Poodles are healthy and long-lived animals. But as with any species or breed of animal, despite good care, health problems sometimes arise. Poodles suffer from a number of genetic diseases. 6sx5iwncgy Genetic diseases are inherited health conditions passed down through generations. Signs of an inherited disease may not appear until your poodle is 3 to 7 years old. Anyone who owns a poodle should be familiar with these diseases, so symptoms are recognized early.
Addison’s Disease
Auto immune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)
Cushing’s Disease
Hip Dysplasia
Hypothyroidism
Idiopathic Epilepsy
Juvenile Renal Disease (JRD)
Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP)
Patella Sub-luxation
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
Genetic Eye Diseases
Addison’s Disease
A disorder caused by a deficiency in adrenocortical hormones. It occurs in all three poodle sizes but is most commonly seen in Standard females, 4 to 7 years of age. Symptoms include lethargy, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, eating poorly, anorexia and general physical deterioration. Symptoms will worsen under stress.
Left untreated, Addison’s Disease is deadly. But once diagnosed the dog can be treated with daily or monthly medication to replace the hormones that the adrenal glands can’t produce. A poodle that continues to take these hormones can live a long life, though he’ll always be extra sensitive to stress.
Auto immune Hemolytic Anemia (AIHA)
A blood disease in which the body’s own immune system destroys red blood cells. This destruction happens when antibodies stick to the red blood cells and the immune system attacks those antibodies.
AIHA is a life-threatening disease, because without red blood cells, tissues aren’t able to receive necessary oxygen. It may be triggered by toxins, cancers, drugs, a blood parasite, virus or even vaccinations, but exactly why it happens is not understood.
Symptoms of AIHA include weakness, lethargy, pale gums, unusually dark urine, and yellow-tinged whites of the eye.
Cushing’s Disease
Cushing’s Disease (canine hyperadrenocorticism) is a syndrome in which the body is producing too much cortisone. The cause is most often a small tumor in the pituitary gland, located in the brain. The symptoms of Cushing’s Disease include: excessive consumption of water, increases frequency of urination, a ravenous appetite, hair loss, haircoat changes, and lethargy. Cushing’s Disease typically affects middle-age to older dogs. There are several treatment options available.
Hip Dysplasia
A condition in which the head of the femur fits improperly into the hip joint socket, causing pain and lameness. Pain killers and/or surgery are the usual treatments. Being a large dog, the Standard Poodle is more likely to suffer from Hip Dysplasia, though it can affect Miniatures and Toys.
Symptoms include decreased activity, stiffness, lameness, a swaggering gait, muscle wasting in thighs, unwillingness to jump or stand on the hind legs and soreness after lying down. It is important to keep your poodles weight to a healthy low level to help alleviate pressure on the hips.
Hypothyroidism
Low thyroid function is the most common endocrine problem in dogs. Auto immune thyroiditis, in which the thyroid is destroyed by the body’s immune system, is genetic and is seen in all three varieties of poodles.
It can lead to weight gain (without an increase in eating), a coarse, brittle coat that falls out, thickening and discoloration of the skin, lethargy, obesity, mental slowness and irregular heart rhythm.
Hypothyroidism is fairly easily treated with medication that supplies the hormone that the body cannot make. The medication is given twice daily for the rest of the dogs life.
Idiopathic Epilepsy
A neurological disorder marked by recurring seizures, abnormal discharges of electrical impulses by nerve cells in the brain. As in humans, it is controlled with drugs. Since these drugs can have long-term side affects, your veterinarian may first monitor your poodle to make sure the seizures are regular and severe enough to warrant treatment.
If your poodle has a seizure that lasts longer than 5 to 10 minutes, or has 3 or more seizures in a single day, seek veterinary help immediately.
Juvenile Renal Disease (JRD)
Chronic kidney failure is typically a disease of older dogs – their kidneys simply wear out. But dogs with JRD lose kidney function very early, often when they are less than a year old. JRD is an inherited condition seen in Standard Poodles.
Signs of Juvenile Renal Disease include increased thirst, urination, leaking urine and weight loss. Because of increased urination, puppies with JRD are hard to house train.
There is no cure – the kidneys will inevitably fail. But the earlier is caught, the more there is that can be done to slow the decline.
Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP)
A painful hip disease in which the cap of the femur bone in the hip suffers a loss of blood supply. This leads to deterioration of the femoral head and eventually it no longer fits properly in the socket. This is painful and the dog becomes lame on that leg.
Dogs start showing early symptoms of LCP – limping, favoring one leg, or walking with a strange gait – when they are under a year old. Anti-inflammatory drugs and/or surgery are the usual treatments.
Patella Sub-luxation
Slipped kneecap, a condition in which the patella (located at the joint of the hind leg) slides in and out of the groove where it is normally held in place by ligaments. It can occur in one or both knees and can show up in Toy and Miniature puppies as young as 8 weeks, though the problem can occur later in life.
A poodle with luxating patella will stand funny appearing bow-legged. He may cry out because of the pain and straighten his leg in an effort to put it back in place or he may hold it up. He may walk with a hitch in his gait. Depending on the severity of the luxation and the age of the dog, surgery may be required.
Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)
A chronic skin disorder that affects all three sizes of Poodles-most common in the Standard Poodle, resulting in abnormal, inflamed, or absence of, sebaceous glands. Symptoms may include excessive dandruff, scaling, darkened skin, thickened skin, a silvery scaling of the skin, a musty, unpleasant odor, and hair loss.
SA can show up when the poodle as young as 18 months or as old as 9 years. Diagnosing SA is done with a skin biopsy. Statistic show that as many as 50 percent of all Standard Poodles are carriers or affected. There is no cure. Therapeutic baths and antibiotics for secondary skin infections are the recommended treatments.
Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)
A disorder that involves a tendency to bleed easily, is caused by a deficiency in the von Willebrand factor, a protein found in the blood plasma. You should suspect vWD if your dog has excessive and prolonged bleeding after injury or surgery, has visible blood in his urine or is bleeding from the nose or gums.
Often a poodle with vWD has only mild symptoms and can lead very normal lives. You’ll have to be especially careful your poodle doesn’t get injured. Take care when trimming your poodles toenails and inform your groomer about the condition. Poodle-proofing your house by padding any sharp corners and any other hazards can help prevent injury.
See also: Genetic Eye Diseases of the Poodle

Genetic Eye Diseases

Progressive Retinal Atrophy
PRA is a family of possibly up to 30 related, yet different diseases in which the retina gradually deteriorates, eventually causing blindness in all affected dogs. PRA typically shows up as night blindness when the poodle is 3 to 5 years old. His pupils will stay dilated and the eyes will shine. The dog will gradually become completely blind.
If your poodle has PRA, keep lights on for him or use night-lights to help with the night blindness. After his vision is gone, take care not to change th layout of furniture or leave obstacles in his path. If you keep his environment consistent and use toys with bells or squeakers, you may notice little change in your poodle’s demeanor, even after he has lost his sight.
Progressive Iris Atrophy
Like PRA, this is a progressive type disease that causes the iris to shrivel and die resulting in blindness.
Juvenile Cataracts
Cataracts that are inherited are called Juvenile Cataracts. Cataracts cause the lens of the eyes to cloud over, blocking light to the retina and affecting the vision. Severe cases lead to blindness.
If you see signs of vision impairment in your poodle ( bumping into things, hesitancy to jump onto or off furniture) or the characteristic bluish white cloudiness over the eye, take him to the veterinarian. If your poodles cataracts are inherited, they might be able to be removed surgically.
A cataract can also occur secondary to another condition, like diabetes, so it’s important to catch them early and address any other related conditions.
Epiphora (Excessive Tearing)
All sizes of Poodles are prone to epiphora. This is often obvious by the stains that are seen starting from the inside corner of the eyes and running down the face. Epiphora can happen on its own or be the result of distichiasis (extra row of eyelashes) or entropion (eyelashes become tucked under the eyelid and irritate the eyeball). If your Poodle suddenly develops this condition, it is best to have him or her checked out by your veterinarian to rule out these disorders, corneal ulcerations or some type of eye trauma. Miniature and Toy Poodles sometimes have an absence of the opening at the lacrimal canal (tear duct). This condition is called nasolacrimal puncta atresia.

Canine Blastomycosis

Blastomycosis is a serious systemic fungal disease that primarily infects dogs and people. While there have been reported cases in a variety of animals including cats and horses, they are relatively rare. Dogs are 10 times more likely to develop the disease than people are. A big factor in determining which dogs get infected is directly related to their lifestyle and where they live.
Risk factors include living or spending time near water, disturbing the soil during excavation, construction, or gardening. Dogs that dig increase their risk, hunting dogs and hounds are infected much more frequently than house pets and younger dogs are more commonly infected, with the highest prevalence seen in 2-year-old dogs. But any dog can contract blastomycosis.
Blastomycosis is caused by a microscopic fungus that lives in sandy soil in close proximity to water and periodically releases invisible spores into the air, which dogs, other animals and people can inhale. Conditions must be perfect for the fungus to survive. The fungus occurs more frequently in the fall around wetlands and waterways, but it can occur in urban and suburban areas, too. The spores can travel in the wind for at least half a mile.
Blastomycosis cannot be transmitted from an infected animal to a healthy animal or from an animal to a person, it can only be acquired from inhaling the spores in the soil.
Blasto can be found in the Upper Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern states, and in the Ohio, Missouri and Mississippi River valley and parts of Quebec, Manitoba, and Ontario. Blastomycosis is often found in small pockets instead of being widespread. It is believed that the range of blastomycosis continues to grow.I have seen several cases of Blastomycosis in Central IL where I live by the Vermillion River.
Symptoms Of Blastomycosis
Infection occurs from the dog inhaling the spores that are found in the soil. Blasto can infect multiple organs and produce various symptoms. At body temperature, the spores turn into yeasts and infects the lungs. Once Blastomycosis establishes itself in the lungs, it then enters into the bloodstream, blasto will spread to the skin, bones, joints, lymph nodes, kidneys, eyes or brain. Dogs show symptoms within a few weeks to a few months after inhaling spores.
Symptoms include:
Loss of appetite
Weight loss
Persistant fever
Cough
Shortness of breath
Open sores or lumps that drain blood or pus
Blood in urine
Pain in a limb or joints, lameness
Cloudy, bulging, or red painful eyes
Enlarged lymph glands
Seizures or other signs of brain infection
Up to 85% of dogs with blastomycosis have lung lesions and an accompanying dry, harsh cough. Forty percent of dogs with blastomycosis have eye lesions including uveitis, retinal detachment, and hemorrhaging into the eye. Skin lesions that are ulcerated and draining are found in 20 to 40% of the infected dogs. Bone involvement and resulting lameness is present in about 30% of infected dogs.
Treatment for Blastomycosis
Relatively few animals are exposed and infected with blastomycosis, but those that are require treatment. There are several treatment options. The most common treatment is the oral administration of the antifungal drug Itraconazole. This drug usually needs to be given daily for 60 to 90 days. It is a human drug and can be very expensive, particularly for a large dog, but it is currently the safest and most effective way to treat blastomycosis.
For dogs that can not tolerate or do not respond to Itraconazole, the injectable drug Amphotericin B can also be used. This drug is given intravenously several times a week. Because it is more toxic than Itraconazole, it is administered under close veterinary observation.
Ketoconazole (Nizoral) is occasionally used in milder cases where cost is a strong consideration. It is not as effective and is slightly more toxic than Itraconazole, and therefore, is not usually the first choice in treatments.
Most animals will have severe appetite loss and must be encouraged to eat or be force fed the first 7-14 days. Blastomycosis can be rapidly fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly. Even with proper treatment, many dogs do not recover from the infection and relapses can occur.
Prognosis
Prognosis for any animal diagnosed with blastomycosis is guarded to good. Approximately 50% to 75% of affected dogs recover when treated with itraconazole or an amphotericin-ketoconazole combination. The two most important prognostic indicators are brain involvement and severity of lung disease.
Prognosis is poor for dogs with brain involvement, but some can be successfully treated. Approximately 50% of the dogs with severe lung disease die from pulmonary failure, but if the dog survives the first 7 to 10 days of therapy, the prognosis improves.
Eyes that are severely affected may not respond well to the treatment because the medication does not penetrate eyes very well. Significantly affected eyes may require enucleation (removal of the eyeball).
Relapses occur in approximately 20% of animals that survive treatment. Relapse after apparently successful treatment typically occurs in the first 6 months but can occur up to 15 months post-treatment. Recurrence of disease is treated with another 60 to 90 day regimen of ITZ. Recurrence usually occurs due to reactivation of a residual site of infection. Retreatment has an 80% or greater chance of producing a cure.
Can Blastomycosis Be Prevented?
There is currently no vaccine available to protect against blastomycosis. Because of the isolated distribution pattern of blastomycosis, it is difficult to determine where the source of most infections come from, and therefore, avoidance is almost impossible.
Awareness of the disease and its symptoms is the best defense against Blasto.
Limiting the amount of time a dog spends in the woods, particularly near water sources may reduce the incidence.
Avoid taking your dog to known blasto areas, places with disturbed areas of moist soil and prevent digging.
Recognizing the symptoms, and seeking prompt veterinary attention are the best ways to deal with this disease.
The information for this article was obtained from The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. and VeterinaryPartner.com

Ten Visual Signs Your Poodle Has Allergies

Dogs don’t react to allergies the way humans dog. While we may raise a racket by sneezing, hacking and constantly clearing our throat, our poodles usually suffer in silence. When pets inhale, come in contact with or ingest something they’re sensitive to, they begin to itch or rub excessively. The itching or rubbing changes the skin’s surface and can allow for an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast.
Here are the top 10 visual signs that your poodle may have allergies:
Excessive licking, itching or head shaking.
Odor (ears or generalized)
Ear discharge
Inflamed, bleeding or copper-stained paws
Hair loss
Circular crusting lesions
Red pimples
Oily or greasy skin
Thickened, leathery skin
Scaly or red skin
Because there are so many potential causes for skin and ear allergies and because they usually require life-long management, it is best to see your vet.

Poodle Health Care

Poodle Health Care

As a breed the poodle is long-lived and most remain healthy all their lives, but it is a good idea to become familiar with the most common health conditions your poodle might face. Along with good nutrition and exercise, it is important to monitor your poodles health and pay close attention to how he’s feeling. Our health category will help you learn which preventive measures are appropriate for your poodle.

Why Dental Care Is Important For Your Poodle

Why Dental Care Is Important For Your Poodle

The American Veterinary Dental Society estimates that 80% of all dogs over the age of 3 have tooth decay and gum disease.

Gum disease is caused by poor dental hygiene. Food particles and bacteria remain in the dogs mouth and plaque forms on the teeth. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that covers the teeth. Plaque can be removed by brushing your dogs teeth. Plaque deposits can turn into tarter in about 3 to 5 days.

The continued build-up of tartar both above and below the gum line eventually leads to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, is a very common infectious disease caused by bacteria that make up plaque. This results in inflammation of the structures that support the teeth and gum tissue.

Periodontal disease can lead to serious health problems. The infection can travel through the blood stream and damage the heart, liver or kidneys.

Gum Disease Can Be Prevented

Brush your poodle’s teeth daily
Provide a crunchy diet
Give your poodle dental treats and chew toys
Regular veterinary dental exams, once or twice a year
February is Pet Dental Health month. I am trying to start brushing my dog’s teeth every day from now on. So far, I have brushed their teeth 5 out of the last 7 days (it’s a start). I encourage you to join me and let me know how it goes.

Poodle Grooming Requirements

Poodle Grooming Requirements

MiaGood grooming is important for all dogs, but it is absolutely essential for the poodle. Poodles must be brushed, bathed and clipped regularly because if they are not, they become quite matted. The poodle has hair that is more like our own than a dogs. The poodles curly hair never stops growing and even grows inside their ears and on the bottom of their paws. It is said, the poodle is non-shedding. The truth is they do shed; only the hair does not fall out, it stays in the hair coat. This is what causes matting and matting can cause skin problems.

When a poodle is groomed regularly, they are less likely to suffer from mats, tangles, skin problems, ear infections, overgrown nails or parasite infestation. So, not only does regular grooming keep your poodle looking good, it also provides health benefits. A poodle should be brushed and combed several times a week, with a full clipping every six to eight weeks.

The poodles extensive grooming requirements make the poodle one of the most expensive breeds to own. Poodle grooming is time-consuming and requires patience and skill. To save on the expense, some owners learn to groom their poodles at home. Even if you take your poodle to a professional dog groomer, there are still some grooming tasks that have to be done at home such as:

Brushing and Combing – Your poodle should be brushed and combed at least three times a week. Correctly using the right brush and comb keeps the skin clean and healthy and makes your poodle less susceptible to disease and external parasites.
Bathing Your Poodle – How often should you bathe your poodle? Whenever she needs it. As long as you use a correctly ph balanced shampoo, you can bathe your poodle as often as necessary.
Ear Care – Check your poodles ears at least once a month. Remove excess hair that is growing in the ear canal and clean the ears. Ears that become heavy with hair are prone to infection.
Eye Care – Check your poodles eyes daily and remove any debris that has collected on the inside corners with a moistened cotton ball. Daily attention to the eyes and the hair under them is the best way to control staining.
Dental Care – Periodontal disease is the most common canine health problem.. Brushing your poodles teeth on a regular basis is the best way to prevent dental problems.
Nail Clipping – Keep your poodle’s nails short enough that she can stand and walk comfortably. If your poodle has fast-growing nails you may have to trim them yourself.
Anal Glands – A regular check of the anal glands and expressing them if full, should be a part of the poodles grooming routine. Toy Poodles in particular, are more likely to have problems with their anal glands than bigger poodles.

Poodle Eye Care

Poodle Eye Care

Your poodle’s eyes should be checked daily. Because the eyes are fragile organs, neglect of minor irritations can lead to serious problems. Regular inspection of the eyes can help you notice potentially dangerous conditions at an early stage. Any irritation that does not clear up in 24 hours or causes your poodle to squint should be reported to your veterinarian immediately.

It is normal to find a little matter on the inside corners of the eyes from time to time. This can be removed by moistening a cotton ball with warm water and gently wiping at the eye corners. Be careful NOT to rub over the eyes with cotton; the fibers could scratch them.

The easiest way to flush out any foreign matter or loose hair is with a canine eye wash. An eyewash also help to clean the eyes and treat minor irritations. Raise your poodle’s head, gently open the lower lid and drop the fluid into the eye. Use a dry cotton ball to absorb the excess moisture from the eye corners.

Tear Stains

Daily attention to the eyes and the hair under them is the best way to control staining. White and light colored poodles, especially Toy Poodles, sometimes have stained hair under the eyes, which is caused by a discharge from the tear ducts. The discharge often makes the hair an unsightly reddish-brown and creates the effect of dark circles under the eyes. Excessive tearing can lead to skin irritation and infection.

The stained hair should be removed with clippers. After the hair has been trimmed, a daily program of cleansing the area with water or a Tear Stain Remover should help prevent further staining. Be cautious when using a product or home remedy for tear stains. These products should only be used on the stained hair and should not be used in the eyes.

Excessive tearing can be caused by many factors: heredity, allergy, improper diet, conjunctivitis, infection of the tear ducts, even from teething. Your veterinarian may be able to determine the cause and control it.

How To Brush Your Poodle’s Teeth

How To Brush Your Poodle’s Teeth

Brushing your Poodle’s teeth on a daily basis will help prevent dental disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is reversible. Periodontal disease is irreversible and can lead to damage of the heart, liver and kidneys.

Get in the habit of checking your poodle’s mouth and brushing her teeth every day. Choose a time that will be convenient and become a part of your poodle’s daily routine.

When brushing your poodle’s teeth, use a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Human toothpaste is not made to be swallowed and can cause stomach upset. Toothpastes made for dogs come in different flavors and are more appealing to your dog. Canine toothpaste is enzymatic so it works when it touches the teeth -the brushing action isn’t as important as it is with humans.

This video explains why dental care is so important and gives a good demonstration of how to brush a dogs teeth.



When you first introduce your poodle to having her teeth brushed, start by offering a taste of the toothpaste on your finger. The next time, offer a taste and then run your finger along the gum line of the upper teeth. Repeat the process with the tooth brush.

If your poodle won’t let you brush all her teeth, concentrate on the outside of the back upper teeth. This is the most important area in preventing periodontal disease.

At some point, your poodle will need a professional cleaning performed by a veterinarian. A Toy Poodle can require a veterinary dental twice a year and a Standard Poodle once a year.



Anal Gland Care
by SUE VICKERS on JANUARY 10, 2010
Dogs have two anal glands. These sac-like structures are located just under the skin on each side of the rectum. Normally, the glands secrete a watery, brownish fluid that empties into the rectum during defecation. Occasionally, the fluid is not expelled completely and the sacs become clogged. The pressure causes irritation, which the dog tries to relieve by scooting across the floor on his hindquarters, or by constantly licking and biting at the base of the tail.

Though the signs can vary from dog to dog, common signs of impacted anal glands are:

scooting on the rear end
licking the area around the anal glands
reluctance in defecating, resembling constipation
discomfort when the area is touched
Impaction seems to be more common in Toy Poodles and other small breeds, than larger dogs. A regular check of the anal glands and expressing them if full, should be a part of the poodles grooming routine.

When the anal glands become clogged, they must be emptied by squeezing them to discharge the fluid inside. Expressing the anal glands is not a pleasant job, but it must be done to prevent further infection and serious medical problems.

How To Empty The Anal Glands



The best time to take care of the anal glands is right before you bathe your poodle.

If you are not going to bathe your Poodle and there is a pungent odor after you expressed the glands, moisten a cloth with warm water and a little shampoo, and then clean and rinse the skin and hair; otherwise the odor will remain.

Stand your Poodle on a firm surface, and hold up the tail with one hand. The anal glands are located at the 5 o’clock and 7 o’clock position, you will feel the glands as small firm nodules.
Cover the anus with a paper towel or wipe, as the accumulation may spurt out when the glands are emptied. Hold the wipe in your free hand and place it over the anal opening.
Place your thumb on one side of the anus and your index finger on the other, underneath and slightly behind the glands, then squeeze in an upward and outward motion.
The anal gland secretion can be any color from yellow to brown, ranging from watery to paste like, with a foul odor. The presence of pus or blood indicates that an infection is present. Infected anal glands require antibiotic treatment from your veterinarian.

If you can feel an accumulation and cannot expel it, you should call your veterinarian; because the glands can become abscessed and rupture.




Clipping Your Poodle’s Nails
by SUE VICKERS on JANUARY 14, 2010
A professional groomer will trim your poodle’s nails during the grooming session, but because these visits occur every 6 weeks or so, you’ll need to clip your poodle’s nails at home. How often your Poodle needs her nails trimmed varies with the dog. It is best to keep the nails clipped so they do not touch the ground when your poodle is standing.

With my dogs, Cleo and Piper’s toenails grow fast and need their nails clipped weekly. Nyka needs her nails trimmed once every two weeks.

It is important to keep your poodle’s nails short. Over grown nails that touch the ground, put pressure on the base of the nail and can be painful. In an aging dog, long nails can distort the paw and intensify the pain of arthritis. Walking may become so difficult, the dog appears lame.

Long nails can also get caught on things and be torn off, which is extremely painful for the dog and often requires veterinary attention.

To clip your dogs nails at home you will need:

Nail Clippers – There are different types and sizes of nail clippers available. Guillotine style clippers and scissor style clippers are the two most popular models. Small or medium-size clippers work well for Toy and Miniature Poodles, large or heavy-duty are better suited for Standard Poodles.
Styptic Powder – It is a good idea to have styptic powder, in case you clip too close and the nail bleeds.
Nail File or Emery Board – To smooth down rough edges. An electric pet nail grinder is another option.
About The Nail Quick

In the center of each toenail is the blood and nerve supply for the nail, called the quick. With white nails you can see the pink color of the quick. For dark nails you can shine a flash light behind the nail to locate the quick. Trim the nail as close to quick as possible without cutting into it because it will bleed and cause pain for your poodle.

The best way to avoid cutting into the quick is to trim the nails often. As the outside of the nail grows, the quick grows along with it. When the nails are trimmed frequently, the quick tends to recede. The more often you trim the nails, the farther back the quick recedes.

How To Cut Your Poodle’s Nails



Hold the paw firmly in one hand. Place your thumb on top of the foot and fingers underneath to spread the toes.
With your other hand, clip the nails, one at a time. If you are unsure, snip off a little at a time. If you do cut into the quick and bleeding occurs, apply a dab of styptic powder to the nail with gentle pressure until the bleeding stops.
Remove any sharp edges with a few swipes of a nail file or emery board.
Another options for keeping your poodle’s nails short is to use an electric nail grinder, which uses a rotating sandpaper bit. The video below is a demonstration of the Dremel Pet Grinder.



Whatever method you use, nail trims need to be part of your weekly grooming routine to keep your poodle’s feet in good shape. Nail clipping may be one of your poodle’s least favorite aspects of grooming, but it’s necessary. When the nails are neglected, the quick grows too long and it is very difficult to shorten the nails without severing the quicks.

Grooming Your Poodle

Grooming Your Poodle

Good grooming is important for all dogs, but it is absolutely essential for poodles. Their virtually non-shedding, curly hair never stops growing. In order to keep the poodles coat from becoming a matted mess, you must comb and brush her several times a week and have her clipped every six to eight weeks. Even if you like the “natural” look of a poodle-no shaved areas-you must keep up with her coat.


How To Brush Your Poodle’s Teeth
by SUE VICKERS on FEBRUARY 8, 2010
Brushing your Poodle’s teeth on a daily basis will help prevent dental disease, Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is reversible. Periodontal disease is irreversible and can lead to damage of the heart, liver and kidneys.

Get in the habit of checking your poodle’s mouth and brushing her teeth every day. Choose a time that will be convenient and become a part of your poodle’s daily routine.

When brushing your poodle’s teeth, use a soft-bristled pet toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs. Human toothpaste is not made to be swallowed and can cause stomach upset. Toothpastes made for dogs come in different flavors and are more appealing to your dog. Canine toothpaste is enzymatic so it works when it touches the teeth -the brushing action isn’t as important as it is with humans.

This video explains why dental care is so important and gives a good demonstration of how to brush a dogs teeth.



When you first introduce your poodle to having her teeth brushed, start by offering a taste of the toothpaste on your finger. The next time, offer a taste and then run your finger along the gum line of the upper teeth. Repeat the process with the tooth brush.

If your poodle won’t let you brush all her teeth, concentrate on the outside of the back upper teeth. This is the most important area in preventing periodontal disease.

At some point, your poodle will need a professional cleaning performed by a veterinarian. A Toy Poodle can require a veterinary dental twice a year and a Standard Poodle once a year.


Clipping Your Poodle’s Nails
by SUE VICKERS on JANUARY 14, 2010
A professional groomer will trim your poodle’s nails during the grooming session, but because these visits occur every 6 weeks or so, you’ll need to clip your poodle’s nails at home. How often your Poodle needs her nails trimmed varies with the dog. It is best to keep the nails clipped so they do not touch the ground when your poodle is standing.

With my dogs, Cleo and Piper’s toenails grow fast and need their nails clipped weekly. Nyka needs her nails trimmed once every two weeks.

It is important to keep your poodle’s nails short. Over grown nails that touch the ground, put pressure on the base of the nail and can be painful. In an aging dog, long nails can distort the paw and intensify the pain of arthritis. Walking may become so difficult, the dog appears lame.

Long nails can also get caught on things and be torn off, which is extremely painful for the dog and often requires veterinary attention.

To clip your dogs nails at home you will need:

Nail Clippers – There are different types and sizes of nail clippers available. Guillotine style clippers and scissor style clippers are the two most popular models. Small or medium-size clippers work well for Toy and Miniature Poodles, large or heavy-duty are better suited for Standard Poodles.
Styptic Powder – It is a good idea to have styptic powder, in case you clip too close and the nail bleeds.
Nail File or Emery Board – To smooth down rough edges. An electric pet nail grinder is another option.
About The Nail Quick

In the center of each toenail is the blood and nerve supply for the nail, called the quick. With white nails you can see the pink color of the quick. For dark nails you can shine a flash light behind the nail to locate the quick. Trim the nail as close to quick as possible without cutting into it because it will bleed and cause pain for your poodle.

The best way to avoid cutting into the quick is to trim the nails often. As the outside of the nail grows, the quick grows along with it. When the nails are trimmed frequently, the quick tends to recede. The more often you trim the nails, the farther back the quick recedes.

How To Cut Your Poodle’s Nails



Hold the paw firmly in one hand. Place your thumb on top of the foot and fingers underneath to spread the toes.
With your other hand, clip the nails, one at a time. If you are unsure, snip off a little at a time. If you do cut into the quick and bleeding occurs, apply a dab of styptic powder to the nail with gentle pressure until the bleeding stops.
Remove any sharp edges with a few swipes of a nail file or emery board.
Another options for keeping your poodle’s nails short is to use an electric nail grinder, which uses a rotating sandpaper bit. The video below is a demonstration of the Dremel Pet Grinder.



Whatever method you use, nail trims need to be part of your weekly grooming routine to keep your poodle’s feet in good shape. Nail clipping may be one of your poodle’s least favorite aspects of grooming, but it’s necessary. When the nails are neglected, the quick grows too long and it is very difficult to shorten the nails without severing the quicks.





Buy Your Poodle Puppy From A Reputable Breeder

If you are going to buy a poodle puppy, and you want to make sure your puppy will be of good health and sound temperament, you should buy her from a reputable breeder. Finding a reputable breeder may take a little work and you may have to wait longer to get a puppy but the search is well worth the time and effort.
A reputable breeder is a person who breeds dogs out of love for the breed and is extremely knowledgeable about the breed. Reputable breeders get health clearances on all the dogs they breed and immediately stop breeding dogs they discover are carriers of inherited diseases.
When a good breeder has a litter, the puppies become the focus of the breeders life. A responsible breeder will know each puppy as an individual, ask you many questions and help you choose the right puppy for your family and lifestyle.
A reputable breeder will answer any questions you may have and be proud to show you their entire kennel. A good breeder will be happy to give you copies of health certificates from the appropriate registries.
Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA)
Provides x-ray evaluation and holds information on seven diseases that commonly affect poodles, including hip dysplasia and Von Willebrand’s disease.
Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF)
Registers dogs that are certified by board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists to be free of hereditary eye diseases.
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC)
Certifies poodles that have received health certificates for a set of diseases recommended by The Poodle Club of America.
The Poodle Health Registry (PHR)
A non-profit association that provides a centralized online database containing all available information about veterinarian-documented health problems in poodles.
Avoid Unethical Breeders That Mass Produce Dogs For Profit
Often referred to as "Puppy Mills", breeding stock are often overcrowded and over bred without adequate health care, nutrition and exercise. Oblivious to any temperament and genetic health problems the parent dogs may carry, unethical breeders churn out carelessly bred puppies to make money.
Most pet stores get puppies from commercial breeders. Puppies are usually taken away from their mother too early and transported in less than ideal conditions. Unless the puppy is sold right away, they languish in a cage. Isolated, without the human companionship and mental stimulation they need. Puppies bought under these conditions are likely to develop emotional issues and life-long health problems.