There’s no denying the cuteness factor of the Mini Goldendoodle. The outgoing and friendly Mini Goldendoodles are blessed with the desirable traits of the Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle, including a friendly attitude and a lovely, huggable coat.
Like all dogs, Mini Goldendoodles are prone to some health issues, most of which are inherited. Below are 8 Mini Goldendoodle health issues you need to know, plus advice and tips that will empower you to help your precious puppy stay healthy and happy!
The 8 Mini Goldendoodle Health Issues
1. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Although less common in the Mini Goldendoodle, hip and elbow dysplasia can be an issue for some dogs. The Golden Retriever’s genes are to blame in most cases, and larger dog breeds suffer from elbow and hip dysplasia more often than smaller breeds.
Hip and elbow dysplasia is when the hip or elbow joints don’t develop correctly and start to break down prematurely as a dog ages, which can cause inflammation, pain, and a notable limp. Both elbow and hip dysplasia are progressive issues that, unfortunately, will worsen with time. Your veterinarian can give you the best advice on what to do, which may include supplements, physical therapy, and, in severe cases, surgery.
2. Ear Infections
Many Mini Goldendoodles are born with long, floppy, and fluffy ears, which are admittedly attractive and endearing. Those long ears, however, are also a haven for germs, bacteria, mites, and other microbes that can cause ear infections and a great deal of pain for your Mini Doodle.
You must check your Mini Goldendoodle’s ears regularly to prevent the onset of ear infections and other issues. Checking their ears also ensures that minor ear issues don’t become severe.
If you see any redness or swelling in your Mini Goldendoodle’s ear, take them to the vet as soon as possible. Veterinarians also recommended drying your Mini’s ears thoroughly after a bath or after they’ve been swimming. Since bacteria and germs can’t survive on a dry surface, dry ears are your dog’s best defense against them.
Golden Retrievers are prone to hypothyroidism, a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t make enough of the hormones your dog’s body needs to stay healthy and function optimally.
When a Mini Goldendoodle inherits this condition, their hormone levels drop significantly, causing their fur to fall out, their weight to increase, and their activity level to plummet. If this starts happening, you must get veterinary help and treatment. It’s important to note that Mini Goldendoodles diagnosed with hypothyroidism will need to be treated for the rest of their lives.
4. Von Willebrand’s Disease
This health issue is somewhat complicated and involves a glycoprotein called the Von Willebrand Factor. The glycoprotein helps blood to clot in dogs and other mammals, which stops a cut or wound from bleeding when your puppy gets injured.
A Mini Goldendoodle with Von Willebrand’s Disease will not have the Von Willebrand factor and, if they get cut or injured, will bleed profusely and take a long time to stop bleeding. Some will have noses or gums that bleed more than normal and bruise easily.
You should know that Von Willebrand’s Disease is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in the canine world. The good news is that, with treatment, which usually involves blood transfusions, most Mini Goldendoodles will live as long as dogs without the disease.
5. Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, or PRA, causes dogs like the Mini Goldendoodle to slowly but surely lose their eyesight. Inherited from their Golden Retriever parent, PRA has no cure or treatment. The disease affects the rods, cones, and retina of a dog’s eyes, causing them to break down faster than usual. In most PRA cases, a Mini Goldendoodle will first lose their night vision as the rods die and then lose their overall vision as the cones die. This is considered true PRA and usually causes total blindness by age 8.
Mini Goldendoodles that lose their rods first will suffer from a condition called achromatopsia, which is also referred to as “day blindness.” The good news is that many dogs learn to adapt to being blind and still lead full lives.
Although not as common as in humans, dogs like the Mini Goldendoodle often suffer from allergies, usually to food, plants, animals, or insects, and sometimes a combination. Allergies have several types and a wide range of signs, from constant scratching to vomiting and diarrhea.
No matter the type of allergy, it’s imperative that you get veterinary help to determine a course of action. Different allergies require different treatments, so testing will undoubtedly be needed to determine which allergy is causing your Mini Goldendoodle’s misery. Most Mini Goldendoodles can be successfully treated for their allergies and live fulfilling lives.
7. Gastric Dilation and Valvulus
Dogs with deeper chests, like Mini Goldendoodles, often suffer from Gastric Dilation and Volvulus or GDV. GDV occurs when your dog’s stomach fills and expands with gas. This causes the stomach to twist, which causes the entrance to the stomach and exit from the stomach to become blocked.
When the entrance and exit to the stomach are blocked, food can’t pass through, which is a severe and life-threatening issue. Some signs of gastric dilation and volvulus include gagging, constant stretching, and excessive drooling. If you see them, you should take your Mini Goldendoodle to the vet immediately since their condition can go downhill quickly.
Once treated, vets recommend feeding your Mini Goldendoodle smaller, more frequent meals. Also, your Mini should be calm and relaxed for about an hour before and after eating, with no activity or exercise.
8. Degenerative Myelopathy
Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an inherited neurological disorder that affects Mini Goldendoodles and other breeds from about 8 years of age and older. The disorder affects your dog’s spinal cord. Over time, DM causes loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness, and a loss of muscle control.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for DM, but physical therapy has been used to prevent the disorder from becoming severe. Sadly, after about 12 months, most dogs affected by DM will lose the ability to walk.
What Is Hybrid Vigor?
All of this talk about the health issues your Mini Goldendoodle is prone to might make you think the breed is unhealthy, but nothing could be further from the truth. When bred by a reputable and caring breeder, Mini Goldendoodles have relatively few congenital issues and are typically healthy, long-lived canines.
One reason for their good health is hybrid vigor. Hybrid vigor occurs when you crossbreed two breeds, and by doing so, some undesirable traits are reduced in the offspring. However, more studies must be performed to confirm how much hybrid vigor affects breeding.
The biggest takeaway from this article should be that Mini Goldendoodles are relatively healthy dogs, especially when you adopt from a reputable breeder who knows what to look for (and breed out) of their dogs.
However, knowing the health issues above and the signs they display can empower you to help your Mini Goldendoodle live a longer, healthier life. You’ll now know which signs to look for and, more importantly, when to call your veterinarian for help or advice.
Featured Image Credit: LouisWorld1, Shutterstock