Pomeranian Health Problems
This is a list of the most common problems found in the breed. Remember, even the most conscientious breeder may have problems; however, since they are screening for many genetic problems, you have a better chance of having a healthy puppy. However; always remember pomeranians are living beings and as such evnironment and unknown things can happen.
Hypoglycemia can occur in young Poms. It is more common in the very small or very active puppies. Be sure that your breeder gives you complete instructions on how to determine if your puppy is starting to develop hypoglycemia. It is a problem that the puppy outgrows as they mature. Adult hypoglycemia is a serious metabolic disorder. Dogs who have this should not be bred.
Luxating patellas (knees that slip out of place) are the most common problem in the Pomeranian breed. The knees are graded according to the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals). Normal knees are, of course the most desirable, but Grades One and Two are more common and not unusual in toy breeds. Grades Three and Four may require surgery if causing pain, sometimes early on in the dog’s life. Checking as a puppy can be risky and should only be done by a vet. Higher grades a a puppy can indicate a issue, but depending on age, growth stage can affect this dramatically. Recommend unless sever pain to wait until the Pomeranian is over the age of 2 for full knee evaluation. Knees can be easily injured so limited jumping.
Collapsing trachea is a problem found in many Poms. If your pom makes a honking noise or sounds like he is coughing up a hairball, the problem may be his trachea. It can be diagnosed with a Xray and usually medication is prescribed to reduce coughing. This can be a life-threatening problem, so do not ignore it.
Coat Loss Problems
There is a coat loss problem in Poms called SHLS (Severe Hair Loss Syndrome). It is also known as Black Skin Disease. It occurs primarily in males. They may have profuse puppy coats with no guard hairs, which does not shed. When the puppy coat sheds, the coat does not grow back. Another version of the same condition happens at a later age, with a normal appearing coat that slowly starts to thin, starting at the back of the thighs and buttocks and moving up the back. Ask to see the parents of the dog you are buying.
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid) is common in the Pomeranian breed. If vet feels this is a possibility testing should be done as left untreated it leads to many other health problems. Treatment is daily medication that is inexpensive.
Heart problems can range from very slight to life threatening. Some are impossible to diagnose until a sudden death occurs.
Some Poms have idiopathic epilepsy. Idiopathic means that we don’t know what causes it. Liver problems, kidney problems, head trauma and other reasons may cause seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy typically occurs between 3-7 years of age and is thought to be inherited. Seizures can be very frightening to someone who has never seen one before and can manifest in many different ways. Look at the epilepsy website to gain a better understanding of the problem.
There have been little to know reports of eye problems in the Pomeranian breed.
Hip dysplasia does not tend to be a problem in Poms because of their lightweight.