Like any other dog breed, the Pomeranian is a generally healthy breed that is prone to certain diseases and illnesses. Not all Pomeranians will develop these conditions; simply, their genetics give them better odds of doing so. If you buy your Pomeranian puppy from a breeder, do your research and make sure the breeder is legitimate and reputable. A trustworthy breeder will provide health clearances to you for your puppy’s parents. That paperwork shows that both parents have tested negative for certain inherited diseases and conditions. Look in particular for health clearances for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, and eye diseases.
Here are some common medical conditions that afflict the Pomeranian breed:
Legg-Perthes Disease is a disease of the hip joint that many toy breeds are prone to developing. This condition occurs when the blood supply to the top of the femur bone decreases; as a result, the head of the femur, which is connected to the pelvis, begins to fall apart. This disease makes an early appearance in a Pomeranian’s life, usually occurring between 4 and 6 months of age. Symptoms include atrophy of the leg muscle and limping. Surgery is the only successful means to treat this disease and ensure your puppy is pain-free.
Collapsed trachea is a common condition found in breeds who pull too hard against their collar while walking or running. Pomeranians often do this, causing the trachea to collapse. The most common symptom of a collapsed trachea is a chronic dry cough that sounds like a goose honk. This condition can be treated surgically or medically. If your Pomeranian strains at the collar while walking, switch to using a body harness to prevent the trachea from collapsing.
Allergies can affect some Pomeranians for a variety of reasons. Most allergies are caused by genetic, environmental, or food intolerances. If your Pomeranian is excessive itching, biting, or scratching at his ears, face, neck, sides, legs, paws, or stomach, he may be suffering from an allergic reaction. Speak with a veterinarian who can help diagnose the cause of the allergies and advise appropriate measures, such as a new diet, or medications to manage or stop the reactions altogether.
Eye problems are a common issue with Pomeranians. There is a wide range of eye illnesses and diseases that this breed can develop. The three most common are tear duct issues, cataracts, and dry eye, especially between the conjunctiva and the cornea). If you see any excessive tearing or redness in your Pom’s eyes, take him to the vet straight away. These problems usually impact young adult Pomeranians, and if not treated quickly, may cause blindness.
Dental problems may occur in Pomeranians, especially issues with gums and teeth. In particular, this breed is susceptible to early tooth loss. Carefully brush your Pomeranian’s teeth twice weekly and keep an eye out for loose teeth and buildup of tartar and plaque.
Patellar luxation, a dislocation of the knee cap, is a common injury that impacts Pomeranians. The kneecap (patella) is connected to the knee joint, generally a back leg, and when luxation occurs, the patella slides in and out of the joint socket, causing significant pain. With physical therapy and pain management, Pomeranians with patellar luxation can lead normal lives with this condition, though they may always show some sign of lameness or limping.