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Common Bernedoodle Health Issues

By Mawoo Pets · 28 Feb · 8 mins read
Common Bernedoodle Health Issues

Caring for a Bernedoodle can be an exciting journey and also a considerable responsibility. To raise a happy and healthy Bernedoodle, it's important to understand the potential health issues inherent to this breed. While Bernedoodles are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain health issues inherited from their parent breeds: Bernese Mountain Dogs and Poodles. 

Common health issues in Bernedoodles include hip and elbow dysplasia, skin conditions, eye problems, and heart diseases. Armed with the right knowledge and proactive steps, you can ensure your furry friend leads a healthy life. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the health concerns that Bernedoodles face and early warning signs to look out for. Importantly, we’ll offer tips on how to ensure your Bernedoodle’s care, dietary plan, and exercise support his or her optimal health. 

So let's jump in!

Genetic & Hereditary Conditions in Bernedoodles

When it comes to understanding health issues in Bernedoodles, it's important to be knowledgeable about certain genetic and hereditary conditions that can affect this particular cross-breed. These conditions can be screened for in a genetic test by your Bernedoodle breeder or by ordering a canine DNA test yourself. 

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia 

Naturally active and full of energy, Bernedoodles love to exercise. But unfortunately, some can face the specter of Hip and Elbow Dysplasia - hereditary conditions that can lead to painful arthritis and muscular lameness.

One of the main contributors to the worsening of these conditions is obesity. Regular exercise and a balanced diet will help maintain your dog's weight and reduce the risk of dysplasia. It's crucial to keep an eye out for signs of limping or discomfort in your Bernedoodle, especially after a spirited play session, and see your vet if necessary.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) 

PRA is a hereditary condition that affects the eyes of Bernedoodles. This congenital illness, characterized by gradually worsening vision, can lead to cataracts, dialated pupils, or night blindness, and can unroll at any age (but is more common in elderly dogs). Don't miss your pooch's regular ophthalmologist visits, as early detection can make a significant difference in slowing the progression of the disease.

While PRA doesn't have a cure, dogs can live a long and happy life with it.  

Von Willebrand's Disease 

Bernedoodle are unfortunately susceptible to a genetic blood clotting disorder called Von Willebrand's Disease (VWD). If you observe uncontrolled bleeding, either after surgery or in minor accidents, this could be an indicator of VWD. Regular vet check-ups will help to ensure early detection and effective management of this disease. 

Common Health Issues in Bernedoodles

Obesity 

Like many dog breeds, Bernedoodles are susceptible to obesity, especially if overfed or underexercised. Obesity has knock-on effects including diabetes, heart disease, or worsening of hip and elbow dysplasia or arthritis. As an owner, you need to ensure your furry friend has a balanced diet and gets plenty of exercise. 

Skin Sensitivities & Allergies  

Skin conditions in Bernedoodles can range from allergies to more serious issues like skin cancer. Bernedoodles may experience allergies from their environment or certain foods. Symptoms to look out for include excessive scratching, redness, or discomfort. If your dog displays these, consult your vet to identify potential triggers and for appropriate treatment. 

Also, Bernedoodles have curly coats that can mat easily, and matting makes them more prone to skin infections Regular brushing and grooming can help prevent the accumulation of dirt and allergens in their coat that might cause skin irritations or infections. 

Bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) 

Some Bernedoodles may encounter gastrointestinal issues such as bloat or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), which can be life-threatening if left untreated This condition is most common in larger, deep-chested breeds like Bernedoodles. GDV occurs when the dog's stomach fills with gas and possibly twists. Symptoms include a swollen abdomen, restlessness, excessive drooling, and retching without vomitting. GDV is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Bladder and Kidney Stones 

Bernedoodles can be prone to urinary health issues, including bladder and kidney stones. This might result from a diet too high in certain minerals or lack of hydration. If your Bernedoodle shows signs of discomfort or distress while urinating, seek veterinary advice. 

Ear Infections  

With their furry and droopy ears, Bernedoodle ears can become humid and clogged with foreign particles. This can in turn lead to bacterial proliferation and makes them susceptible to ear infections. A regular ear cleaning practice for your Bernedoodle can fix this prevalent health concern. 

Gum Disease & Dental Issues

Like many other breeds, Bernedoodles can be prone to gum disease and other dental issues. Regular brushing, using dental chews, and committing to routine dental checks can keep your Bernedoodle's oral health in check. Bad breath can often be the first sign of a problem ... so if it persists, it's time to pay the vet a visit. 

Recognizing Early Warning Signs of Health Issues 

Changes in Appetite or Drinking 

One of the first signs of health issues in your Bernedoodle is a sudden change in their eating or drinking habits. If your Bernedoodle is eating less, drinking excessively, or showing difficulties while chewing, it's time to pay a visit to your vet. 

Behavioral Shifts and Mood Changes 

One of the pros of Bernedoodles is their happy and playful behavior. And so behavioral shifts can be an early warning signal of underlying health conditions. Watch out for signs like excessive licking, lethargy, restlessness, aggression, or any other unusual behaviors. Understanding and responding to these behavioral cues can lead to early detection, management, and sometimes even prevention of chronic conditions. 

Physical Changes: Skin, Coat, Eyes, Ears, and Weight 

Physical changes could reveal a lot about your Bernedoodle's health. Loss of coat color and sheen, dry or red eyes, bad breath, swelling or rashes on skin the, abnormal discharge from the ears, or sudden and unexpected weight changes can all point to potential health issues. Regular home examinations accompanied by veterinary check-ups are crucial in identifying these signs.

Coughing, Sneezing, or Heavy Panting 

While coughing, sneezing, and panting are common dog behaviors, they can also be potential signs of health problems when they occur more frequently or intensely. Excessive panting, for example, can be a sign of heatstroke or respiratory issues, while repeated coughing might suggest heart disease or lung problems. 

Abnormal Stool 

You might find it unusual, but as a pet parent, monitoring their waste elimination could be crucial. Changes in the frequency, color, consistency, or presence of blood in your Bernedoodle's urine or stool could be a telltale sign of an underlying health issue. 

Preventive Care for Your Bernedoodle

Regular Health Check-Ups 

As mentione many times already, one of the best things you can do for your Bernedoodle is regular vet visits -- at least once a year, but ideally more. During these check-ups, your vet will carry out various preventative measures like vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick prevention. Also, they can identify early signs of health issues, which can then be treated promptly, often reducing the risk of more severe complications. 

Balanced Dietary Plan 

Providing a well-balanced diet is vital for your Bernedoodle. A diet rich in protein supports organ function and muscle development, while an appropriate amount of carbs provides energy. Vitamins and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, and dog-specific supplements support bone health and immune system efficiency. Avoid overfeeding and ensure your pet gets the necessary nutrients without excessive calories to prevent obesity. 

Exercise and Mental Stimulation 

Bernedoodles, being active and intelligent dogs, require regular exercise and mental stimulation. An inactive lifestyle could lead to several health issues including obesity and behavioural problems. Physical activities, such as playing fetch, going for walks, or agility training, can help maintain your Bernedoodle's optimum weight. Also, consider puzzle toys or obedience training for mental stimulation. 

Consistent, Thorough Grooming 

Regular brushing helps to prevent matting and distribute natural oils, promoting a healthy skin and coat for your Bernedoodle. Also, remember to keep your Bernedoodle's ears clean to prevent ear infections, a frequent resulting from their floppy ears. Lastly, incorporate dental care in your grooming routine, brushing your dog's teeth regularly to prevent dental diseases.

Conclusion

In conclusion, raising a happy Bernedoodle requires you to be vigilant and proactive about their health. By being aware of genetic conditions (like Hip and Elbow Dysplasia or Von Willebrand's Disease) and common health issues (like Obesity, Allergies, Bloat, Bladder, and Kidney Stones) you can detect problems early and seek treatment. 

Indeed, a healthy Bernedoodle is a happy Bernedoodle!

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