An Overview Of Doodle Health Issues and Diseases

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    There’s nothing more upsetting than seeing your beloved pooch suffer from a number of distressing health problems throughout their life. 

    While Doodles (mixed breeds that are a cross between a Poodle and a second breed of dog) are generally healthier and less prone to the majority of canine health issues, there are still some concerns that are worth taking note of. 

    With this in mind, our guide will take a detailed look at some of the common health issues you should be aware of as a Doodle owner.

    This includes all of the main health problems that Poodles, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, Maltipoos, Cavapoos, and Aussiedoodles may be susceptible to throughout their life. 

    We’ll also look to answer some of the frequently asked questions to provide you with further important information.

    Health Issues For Poodles 

    To properly understand the diseases that all Doodles are susceptible to, it’s essential to first cover the common Poodle health issues.

    Since they’re the parent pups to all types of Doodle, the health of Poodles inevitably has a significant determining factor. 

    Listed below are eight of the most prevalent health issues that Poodles are prone to throughout their life.

    Hip Dysplasia – this is a common hereditary disease that has a detrimental effect on the functionality and strength of a Poodle’s hip (or elbow) joints. It  typically results in limb weakness, difficulty when walking, and a constant struggle to rise up. 

    Addison’s Disease – of all the health concerns in standard Poodles, this is by far the most common. It affects a Poodle’s ability to produce sufficient hormones in the adrenal gland, in particular the stress hormone cortisol. 

    Epilepsy – another common health issue amongst Poodles, and one which can lead to seizures. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing and confusion. If in the event a Poodle experiences a seizure, it’s a good idea to note down all the symptoms you see as this can help determine the severity of the Epilepsy. 

    Patellar Luxation – this health issue causes a dislocating kneecap and leads to severe pain and limping. The problem most commonly occurs in Miniature and Toy Poodles. 

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) – in addition to other eye diseases like cataracts, PRA is a hereditary disease that can become progressively worse with age. These eye problems sometimes lead to blindness. 

    Bloating And Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) – this can be a life threatening disease. It causes the stomach of a Poodle to twist and trap air inside, so if your Poodle is experiencing severe bloating, it’s important to contact the vet as soon as possible. 

    Von Willebrand’s Disease (VWD) – this is another hereditary disease and causes issues with blood clotting. It can also cause extreme blood loss even from the smallest of wounds. 

    Thyroid Issues – in particular hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism which both affect the production of thyroid hormones – responsible for regulating metabolism. 

    Health Issues For Labradoodles 

    Cross between a Poodle and a Labrador Retriever, the Labradoodle is mainly susceptible to health problems inherited from its parent breeds.

    The average life expectancy of a Labradoodle is between 12-15 years, with the longest-living Poodle and Labrador both living until 27 years. 

    With this in mind, so long as you provide your Labradoodle with sufficient exercise, good nutrition, and effective weight management, they have the potential to live a long, happy, and healthy life. 

    Just keep in mind that Labradors, the parent breed of Labradoodles, are at risk to a number of joint diseases such as hip and elbow dysplasia, as well as other diseases like cancer, obesity, bloat, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

    As a result, these health concerns are prevalent amongst Labradoodles too.

    While cancer can sometimes be prevented with a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle, it can also be caused by a range of hereditary or hormonal issues. 

    Heath Issues For Goldendoodles 

    As was the case with the Labradoodle, a Goldendoodle’s health is mainly determined by the health of its parents – the Golden Retriever and Poodle. 

    Golden Retrievers typically tend to suffer from hereditary hip and elbow dysplasia, thyroid issues, and a range of eye problems. Other common health concerns include cancer, skin issues, and heart disease – in particular subvalvular aortic stenosis. 

    Due to the fact that the Goldendoodle is a mixed hybrid breed, they tend to experience less health issues than their parent breeds. Despite this, they are known to be prone to Addison’s disease – a condition caused by the limited hormone production from the adrenal gland. 

    If some of the more severe health issues such as cancer, Addison’s disease, or heart problems are left untreated, they could well develop to the point where they become life threatening.

    Therefore, it’s essential to take your pooch to the vet regularly for check-ups to catch anything problematic as early as possible. 

    The most effective way to prevent your Goldendoodle from developing cancer or anything similarly problematic is to avoid overfeeding them and provide them with plenty of regular exercise.

    It’s also a good idea to limit their exposure to smoke, blaring sunshine, and other harmful substances such as pesticides. 

    The life expectancy of a Goldendoodle is anywhere from 10 to 15 years. It’s worth noting that smaller-sized Goldendoodles can often have a slightly longer lifespan. 

    Health Issues For Bernedoodles 

    Bernedoodles are a mix of the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle. Like many other large breeds of dog, the Bernese Mountain Dog is often susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia.

    Other common issues include von Willebrand’s Disease, bloat, and eye disease.

    If you’re looking for a Bernedoodle, it’s highly recommended to go through a reputable breeder.

    This is because they usually screen their breeding stock for many of the common and most severe conditions in order to increase the chances of healthy offspring. 

    Bernedoodles can also suffer from a range of less common health problems. These include heart disease, epilepsy, and thyroid issues. 

    In terms of their average life expectancy, it’s believed to be around 12-15 years. However, since the Bernedoodle is a relatively new breed, this is far from conclusive.

    Similar to the Goldendoodle, smaller Bernedoodles can often exceed the average lifespan. 

    Health Issues For Maltipoos 

    Maltipoos are a hybrid cross of the Maltese and the Poodle. While at risk of significantly fewer health problems than their two parent breeds, Maltipoos are still prone to some concerning health conditions. 

    The most common being White Shaker Syndrome. This condition leads to tremors all over the body, as well as a lack of coordination. It’s usually experienced when a dog is six months to three years old. 

    Some of the other health issues which Maltipoos suffer from include epilepsy, portosystemic shunt (PSS), patellar luxation, legg calve perthes disease, and retinal atrophy. 

    The average lifespan of a Maltipoo is between 10-15 years. As is the case with all breeds, this is determined by a number of factors, including exercise routine, diet, and overall health. 

    Health Issues For Cavapoos 

    Cavapoos are a cross breed of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. Like all Doodle breeds, Cavapoos can be at risk to a number of health issues

    Perhaps the most common is mitral valve disease, a heart defect which causes a backflow of blood through the heart. Some of the symptoms to look out for include a heart murmur, exercise intolerance, and a loss of consciousness. 

    Cavapoos are also at risk to patellar luxation which is a common joint issue, prevalent mainly in smaller dog breeds. While cases of luxating patellas range in severity, the vast majority of the time surgery is required to rectify the problem.  

    In terms of their average life expectancy, Cavapoos tend to live for a period of 12-15 years. 

    Health Issues For Aussiedoodles

    Cross between an Australian Shepherd and a Poodle, the Aussiedoodle may develop a number of health problems due to the influence of either parent.  

    The most common problems they can inherit from their Australian Shepherd parent are hip and elbow dysplasia, and eye diseases such as PRA, cataracts, and Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA). 

    Furthermore, Aussiedoodles are also susceptible to drug sensitivity, as well as other health issues like cancer, canine epilepsy, thyroid issues, and autoimmune disease. 

    Compared to the majority of other Doodles, Aussiedoodles have a shorter average life expectancy of around 10-12 years. 

    Frequently Asked Questions 

    Are Doodle Dogs Healthy? 

    Yes on the whole, Doodle dogs are healthy. All Doodles are mixed breeds, so the recessive genes that hold the health problems are often buried.

    In general, they’re considerably healthier and more resilient than their purebred counterparts, meaning a more enjoyable quality of life and fewer trips to the veterinarian. 

    Do Double Doodles Suffer From Health Issues?

    Considering the fact that all three of the Double Doodle’s parental breeds can be susceptible to a range of joint issues, it’s beneficial to make sure that your Double Doodle is eating food that includes glucosamine.

    Furthermore, because of the Poodle DNA, they’re also at risk of developing digestive problems in middle age: hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and pancreatitis. 

    What’s Better, A Goldendoodle Or A Labradoodle?

    The answer to this question all depends on what type of your dog you’re looking for to suit your specific needs.

    If you want a hunting or working dog, a Labradoodle may be the better choice due to its larger size and impressive levels of energy. 

    On the other hand, Goldendoodles are excellent for therapy dog work as a result of their sociable and lively personalities. Whichever Doodle you choose, it’ll be sure to bring plenty of love to your family. 

    Do Mixed Breed Dogs Live For Longer?

    For dogs of all sizes, mixed breed dogs tend to live for marginally longer than purebred pooches.

    Studies have shown that a mixed breed dog lives for approximately 14.45 years on average, whereas a purebred is a little lower at 14.14 years. 

    How Can You Prevent Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

    The only really effective way to prevent hereditary hip dysplasia in dogs is to stop breeding from dogs that carry the condition. Breeders can screen their breeding dogs to make sure that they have healthy hips before the mating process begins.

    If you decide to go ahead and choose a breed that’s prone to hip dysplasia, you should at the very least ask the breeder about hip scores.

    Can You Reverse Hip Dysplasia In Dogs?

    Unfortunately, there’s no cure for hip dysplasia at the moment. There are some basic treatments that can help to relieve the pain and prevent further damage in puppies. These treatments are to maintain a healthy diet and to provide a consistent exercise routine. 


    We all want our dogs to be happy and healthy and whilst we can’t predict the future, we can arm ourselves with knowledge so that we know what potential issues could affect their health in the future. It is also recommended that you seek out a good pet insurance so that you are covered, should the worst occur.

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