Cockapoos are one of the most adorable hybrid dog breeds out there. The offspring of a Cocker Spaniel and a Poodle, this dog has taken some of the best characteristics from each breed and made the whole world fall in love with them in the process. So, expect an affectionate dog with a lovely temperament who’s so intelligent that it makes training a breeze.
But that’s not all the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle passed down to their Cockapoo puppies, health issues usually seen in the Cockapoo’s parents can also be part of that inheritance. So, if you’re wondering which Cockapoo health problems to look out for, here are the hereditary issues that seem to affect these dogs the most.
Cockapoo health issues
Cockapoos may suffer from mobility issues due to their kneecaps becoming dislocated. This condition is known as a luxating patella and there are many small breeds prone to the condition. Limping and not being able to have a normal posture are both signs pet owners might notice early on. Luckily, despite how common this Cockapoo health problem is, many of these dogs can still lead relatively comfortable, normal lives.
In some cases, the vet will recommend surgery as the best course of action, while physiotherapy and medication are usually reserved for milder cases of luxating patella.
If the hip joints are not developing normally as the puppy is growing, the result may be a painful health problem for your Cockapoo known as hip dysplasia. This is another condition that may affect both the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle, which means their cute Cockapoo offspring could inherit the issue as well.
Pain, limping, stiffness or unwillingness to go for walks are the usual signs to watch out for. Pain relief and carefully-planned exercise routines can be of great help in alleviating some of these symptoms. But in more severe cases surgery may be recommended.
The Cockapoo’s floppy Cocker Spaniel ears offer a clue to another common Cockapoo health issue - ear infections. These are often the result of bacteria or ear mites reaching the ear and multiplying causing all sorts of problems for our canine friends. Owners can sometimes figure out there’s something wrong straight away as their pets will start shaking their head and try to scratch their ears to find relief from their discomfort.
Medication will be able to stop the infection, but a good way to prevent the Cockapoo’s ear problems is by regularly cleaning their ears, and it’s best to follow your vet’s instructions on how to do this effectively and safely.
Progressive retinal atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy is the name of a condition that leads to sight loss due to the deterioration of the cells that make up the retina. This is an inherited disease and unfortunately Cocker Spaniels seem prone to it which, in turn means this condition can be a Cockapoo health problem as well.
Unfortunately, this condition can lead to blindness, although blind dogs can cope very well as long as they’re not in pain.
Another vision problem that might affect Cockapoos due to their genetics are cataracts. The unusual cloudiness of the eye associated with cataracts gets worse over time, with vision becoming less and less clear until eventually it is completely lost.
Cataracts can be removed through surgery, but the vet will usually evaluate how well the dog is coping with the partial loss of sight before recommending this step.
A common Cockapoo health issue is glaucoma. This is caused by pressure in the eye as a result of fluid accumulating and being unable to drain due to a blockage. The retina and even the optic nerve can get damaged in the process, eventually leading to blindness if left untreated.
In order to stop the pressure from building up, emergency surgery should be expected in severe cases of glaucoma, with on-going treatment being prescribed to keep the pressure under control. Owners should also expect regular visits to the vet for eye examinations to make sure the condition doesn’t get worse over time.
Dog allergies can also affect the cute members of the Cockapoo breed. There are many things that can lead to an allergic reaction, from the food they eat to the substances they come into contact with or pollen and dust when it gets inhaled by the pooch. So, it’s worth keeping an eye on any unusual symptoms and contacting the vet for help when you notice them.
Although Cockapoos generally have lovely temperaments, there is a genetic condition that can affect this breed called rage syndrome. This is a serious behavioural problem where a dog will suddenly act very aggressively. If you suspect your dog may have this condition, it’s important to speak with your vet.
Next, find out more about one of the Cockapoo’s parents, the Cocker Spaniel and the common health problems these pups might experience in life, with some of them possibly being passed on to their offspring.