Although healthier than many purebred dogs, the Cavoodle is susceptible to some medical conditions and illnesses that an owner should know about. Should you purchase a Cavoodle puppy from a breeder, do some research and be sure the breeder is reputable. A reliable and honest breeder will have the puppy’s best interests in mind and should have all health clearances for the puppy and his parents on hand for your inspection. That paperwork proves that the sire and dam have been tested for and cleared of serious, genetic diseases.
As a hybrid dog, they are less likely to develop genetic illnesses; however, it is still possible for a Cavoodle to suffer from any of the following conditions during her life:
Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease that often begins when the Cavoodle is a puppy, but surfaces after the dog is an adult. With hip dysplasia, the dog’s thigh bone does not fit correctly into the hip joint. After years of walking and running, a Cavoodle with hip dysplasia will develop any of the following symptoms: hind end weakness, limping, lameness, and reluctance or difficulty getting up and down stairs or in and out of a car. A Cavoodle with hip dysplasia is likely to develop degenerative joint disease and osteoarthritis, two conditions that will negatively impact your dog’s quality of life. Hip dysplasia can be managed with weight management programs, dietary supplements, corticosteroids, pain medication, physical therapy, and non-impact exercise such as swimming.
Epilepsyimpacts some Cavoodles who genetically take after the Miniature Poodle side of their heritage. Cavoodles with epilepsy typically have what is called idiopathic epilepsy, meaning there is no known cause of this condition in the dog. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder wherein abnormal electrical activity occurs in the brain. The seizures range from mild to severe and grand mal events. As frightening as it is to witness your dog having a seizure, this lifelong condition can be managed by your veterinarian through prescribed medications.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited disease of the retina where the rod cells in the retina are programmed to die off. This condition is a painless process that co-occurs in both of the Cavoodle’s eyes. The rod cells are responsible for night vision in dogs, and many Cavoodles who develop this disease lose their night vision early on in the disease’s progress throughout the eyes. As PRA advances, all light levels in the dog’s eyes are impacted, and if within a year of the disease’s progression the Cavoodle is not on a specific antioxidant supplementation daily, he will become blind. There is no cure for PDA, but proper supplementation can boost the health of the retina and delay blindness.
Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease is a genetic condition that a Cavoodle can inherit from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel side of his family. Mitral valve disease is a serious and progressive heart condition caused by the deterioration of at least one heart valve. Most Cavoodles with this disease will show signs of it by 10 years of age. This disease can severely impact a Cavoodle’s quality of life as it causes respiratory difficulties and extreme discomfort due to chronic coughing and breathlessness. Eventually, a Cavoodle with mitral valve disease will die of heart failure.