Whether you’re already a Cavapoo owner or you’re thinking about becoming one, you need to be aware of the possible health issues that Cavapoos can suffer from. After all, we want our dogs to live a long and happy life, so we need to be prepared for any ailment they might face!
A common health issue that Cavapoos can face is Patellar Luxation, which is otherwise known as a dislocated knee. Another common issue is Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, which is where the ball and socket joint comes apart.
These are both terrible injuries that can cause joint problems throughout the rest of your Cavapoos life. Today we’re looking more into the joint problems that Cavapoos can face, how to prevent them, and much more.
Why Do Dogs Suffer From Joint Problems?
There are many reasons for dogs to suffer from joint problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular reasons now.
1. They’re Inherited
One of the main reasons why Cavapoos suffer from joint problems is that they have inherited them from their parents.
The parent breeds of a Cavapoo are the Poodle and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Both of these breeds can suffer from both Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation.
Patellar Luxation is more common in smaller breeds, like Toy and Miniature Poodles. If your Cavapoo has been bred with either of these sizes of Poodle, you might find that they are at a higher risk of developing this ailment too.
Older Poodles can suffer from Hip Dysplasia, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniels can suffer from them at any age. This means that a Cavapoo is more likely to inherit this ailment at any age, too.
2. They’re Putting Too Much Pressure On Their Joints
Cavapoos are very active dogs, and bounding up and down the local dog park is bound to take its toll on their joints. But you can’t stop them from exercising, so what are you to do in this situation?
You could keep them on a leash and take them on low-impact exercise sessions, such as walking or swimming. This would be a good way to keep their energy levels down without risking putting too much stress on their joints.
Think about whether your Cavapoo really needs as much exercise as you’re giving them. Cavapoos need around 40 minutes of exercise every day, so if you’re giving them more than this, you might be putting too much pressure on their joints.
If, after 40 minutes of exercise, you still think your Cavapoo has excess to burn, try offering them mental stimulation instead. Cavapoos are highly intelligent and need constant stimulation to prevent boredom.
You might find that they needed mental exercise rather than physical exercise all along!
3. Previous Injury
The likelihood of a Cavapoo injuring their joints largely increases if they have had a joint injury in the past. The joints are full of ligaments and tendons, which can stretch as a result of injury.
While these often return back to their previous length as the injury heals, they might still be slightly lax in the future.
This means that your Cavapoo can injure their joints by putting less pressure on them than when they injured them the first time.
Another potential issue with previous joint injuries is that they open the door for other ailments, such as arthritis. Arthritis is inflammation of the joints, causing stiffness, pain, and discomfort.
Potential Joint Issues Cavapoos Can Suffer From
Any dog can suffer from any joint issue if they land on it poorly or put too much pressure on themselves. However, there are some joint issues that Cavapoos are more prone to. Let’s take a look at these now.
Patellar Luxation is a very common joint issue among dogs, particularly small breeds like the Cavapoo. The patellar is the kneecap, and luxation means that the bone has moved into an incorrect position. So, Patellar Luxation is essentially a dislocated kneecap.
The kneecap slides around the outside of the knee under their skin. The kneecap is a vital bone that keeps the two parts of the leg together. So, when the patellar moves from its rightful place, it can cause joint instability.
There are many causes of Patellar Luxation, including:
- Genetic predisposition
- Stress on the knee joints
- Pre-existing health issues.
Patellar Luxation varies in severity, so your Cavapoo might simply need a few weeks of rest, or they might need surgery to correct the ailment. Most dogs suffering from a luxating patella will need surgery, unfortunately, and this can cost between $1,500 and $3,000. This is why it is recommended to take out insurance for your pet as soon as possible.
After the surgery recovery time, some Cavapoos bounce back, but others might never heal completely. Common side effects after surgery include chronic pain and limping.
Legg Perthes Disease
Legg Perthes Disease is a genetic condition that is usually spotted before a dog’s first birthday. This disease is where the ball and socket joint doesn’t fit together correctly in the hip, which can prevent blood from flowing properly throughout the leg.
Without blood flowing to the leg, the tissue will begin to die. If left untreated, this can cause irreparable damage to the bone, joints, and muscles. If your dog has been suffering from Legg Perthes Disease for a while, you might notice symptoms of pain and a limp.
The best treatments for Legg Perthes Disease include medications and surgery. Surgery will cost between 1,000 and $3,000 alone, while medications will require an ongoing monthly cost.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints. It occurs when the cartilage within the joint becomes rough and damaged, meaning that the bones rub together instead of having a padded barrier.
The joint stiffens and swells as the bones rub against each other, making it very uncomfortable to use.
Arthritis can restrict your Cavapoo’s mobility and agility, which is a big thing for Cavapoos to lose. This once spritely dog might turn into a senior that cannot stand up without feeling pain!
Arthritis is much more common in senior dogs, but it can also affect younger dogs that have experienced a previous injury. Symptoms include chewing painful joints, limping, unwillingness to walk around, changes in behavior, and slowing down.
There is no cure for arthritis, so preventative measures are important. Feed your dog a healthy diet and give them enough exercise throughout the day. Treatments to make this condition more manageable include lifestyle changes and supplements.
Dysplasia can affect either the elbow or hip joint of your Cavapoo. It causes damage to the surface-level cartilage along the joint, which can then lead to arthritis. Dysplasia is a genetic condition that your Cavapoo could inherit from either parent.
Dysplasia starts when the joint doesn’t develop properly, so it’s possible that your Cavapoo might have had this before they were even born. The cause of this abnormality is unknown, but the longer it is left untreated, the worse the symptoms will get.
This is because when a dog suffers from Dysplasia, it’ll often shift the majority of its weight onto its good limbs. This can not only cause the Dysplasia to remain in the wrong place and therefore get worse, but it can also damage the joints of the good legs.
The treatment of Dysplasia varies for each dog. Some will be able to manage this condition with a controlled exercise routine, while others might need surgery. Hydrotherapy can be very beneficial in managing symptoms, too.
Your dog will need routine monitoring with a vet, and you’ll often be prescribed painkillers to give your dog. If you need to go the surgery route, your dog might need a complete hip replacement. This can cost around $4,500 per joint.
How Can You Prevent Joint Problems In Cavapoos?
Joint pain is incredibly debilitating, especially to the active Cavapoo. Plus, treatment can be costly and stressful for both you and your pet. So, the best way to avoid this in the future is to take the necessary steps to prevent joint problems.
Here are four ways that you can hopefully prevent joint problems in your Cavapoo.
1. Look Out For Injuries (And Get Treatment Quickly!)
Joint injuries shouldn’t be too difficult to spot when you’re looking for them. Your dog might be slower than usual, limping, or unwilling to stand up. They might be exhibiting clear signs of pain, such as whining, over-grooming, and changes in behavior.
Cavapoos are very active dogs, so slowing down is an obvious issue for them. Get them seen by a vet as soon as you suspect an injury to get treatment underway as quickly as possible. The quicker a joint injury is fixed, the less likely your dog is to suffer from long-term effects.
2. Change Your Environment To Make It More Joint-Friendly
Many owners overlook the fact that dogs can injure themselves anywhere. Even doing the most mundane things, like jumping off a couch, can put unnecessary pressure on the joints. This could then potentially lead to long-lasting joint damage.
Consider buying ramps or stairs for your dog to get up and down from the couch, your bed, and anywhere else they like to rest. You can also buy a ramp to help them get into the car, or you could lift them up instead of making them jump.
If you have lots of stairs, consider installing a stair gate that you can close to prevent your dog from jumping up and down the stairs all day, as this can put lots of pressure on their joints.
3. Feed Your Dog An Appropriate Diet
Puppies should not be fed adult food as it can make them gain too much weight too quickly and put unnecessary pressure on their joints. Cavapoos are also notorious for gaining weight quickly, making them strong contenders for being overweight. This can also add stress to their joints.
Make sure you’re feeding your Cavapoo the correct amount of food for their body weight. You can ask your vet to check their weight at their yearly routine checkups, then use this number to make sure they’re not eating too much food.
There are also a number of joint supplements that you can add to your Cavapoos food, including Cosequin, Glyco-Flex, or Dasuquin.
To find out more about dog nutrition, check out our guide to essential dietary tips for dogs.
4. Keep Your Dog Moving
Many joint problems are only exacerbated when the dog stops moving. This is particularly difficult to manage as it’s often the joint problem that makes the dog want to stop moving in the first place. It’s a tough cycle to break, which is why they’ll need your help!
Without exercise, your dog will be more prone to gaining weight, which can make joint issues worse. Exercise also helps the joints by producing natural lubrication to them as they start to work, so exercise is important even on a damaged joint.
Exercise can also help your Cavapoo feel better in themselves, which is great for morale as your dog recovers from a joint issue. Keeping moving ensures that their joint pain doesn’t turn into a bigger problem later in life.
And there we have it – yes, Cavapoos can suffer from joint problems. This is the same as any dog!
Cavapoos might be more prone to developing joint problems, like Arthritis and Patellar Luxation, thanks to them being genetically inherited from their Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel parents.
Cavapoos can also suffer from joint problems due to a previous injury or too much strain on them. These dogs love to exercise, so they might be at a higher risk of injuring their joints due to their higher energy levels.
Cavapoos are prone to Patellar Luxation, Legg Perthes Disease, Arthritis, and Joint Dysplasia.
To prevent joint problems in Cavapoos, make sure you’re feeding your dog a healthy and balanced diet and giving them the right amount of exercise. Keep them moving and agile, but avoid anything that can cause injuries. Make your house more dog-friendly with stair gates and steps up to the couch.
As with anything health-related, if you’re unsure of how to help your Cavapoo with joint issues, talk to a professional vet about your options.
To learn more about your Cavapoo’s health and well-being, read our blog post, How to Keep Your Cavapoo Healthy.