Papillons are normally a long-lived healthy toy breed of
dog. The usual life expectancy of a Papillon is somewhere between 12
16 years of age. Comparing Paps to many other breeds of dogs there are few
health concerns. Of course, when it comes to health & life of any
living creature nothing is totally 100% predictable. The following are
statements of our opinions and we make no claims of being experts in
health or genetics.
On each subject we have added an underlined hyperlink.
Each hyperlink takes you to a more in-depth web site that discusses the
particular health concern. We hope that this page will help educate you on the possible health risks that you may find in a Papillon.
This page has been copied and plagiarized on many Papillon websites.
Forevr Papillons Showpaps.com site is the original author of the page
comprised below. If for some reason your not willing to take the time to
write and create your own webpage would you please at least give us credit
on your site?
Neuroaxonal Dystrophy Disease( NAD )
- This is health concern just coming
forward recently in Papillons. Research and blood samples are currently
being submitted to find a genetic marker. ( NAD) A progressive disorder
where brain and spinal cord swelling occurs and deterioration continues. .
The puppy shows slight gradual signs the disease by 8 weeks of age and
usually by 19 weeks the puppy has to be euthanized. Signs of NAD are
wobbling head treamors later poor coordination, unable to use back legs,
inablity to eat on its own. It is believe to be autosomal
recessive. ( This maybe the same type of inheritance as Progressive
Retinal Atrophy - PRA ). In order to produce offspring with this disease
BOTH parents must carry the gene. NAD at this time is rare and very
few breeders that we know of have had affected puppies.
Luxation - common in all toy breeds of dogs.
In the active Papillon, luxation can be genetic or be caused by injury from
over use of the knee joint. Genetic luxation is usually found in young
dogs, the average age of diagnosis is 3 months to 12 months. We have
observed that sometimes a female Pap will show slight temporary luxation
during a heat cycle or in whelp. It is our opinion that in many
cases injury luxations is usually found in a healthy Adult Pap that either
bounces up and down on their back legs a great deal or works in some type
of performance that uses the knee often in jumping climbing, running. As
for all athletes (human or canine), there can be stress related
injuries and the knees are the common stress injury of the Pap. Knee's are
also called Stifles. For more
Petallar information we also suggest visiting the OFA
Retinal Atrophy - or "PRA" is late
onset (between 6-10 years of age) retinal degeneration. PRA affects
Papillons by the gradual loss of eyesight. An early sign of PRA is the
loss of night time vision that causes your dog to be more cautious in dim
light settings and finally leads up to running into objects that are out of place.
Dogs that have PRA can be diagnosed with an eye examination by a
Veterinary Ophthalmologist and also by ERG testing. Consult an ophthalmic veterinarian
for expert advice. Because of the large gene pool there are few known
cases of PRA in the United States and Canada. Some European countries,
with their smaller gene pools, are
more prone to find this eye abnormality.
- Since Papillons have
small mouths and their lips lay tight against the teeth and gums it is
very common for Papillons to need regular dental maintenance. Maintenance
includes regular brushing. We use a tiny infant's tooth brush. Baking soda
or doggy toothpaste is suggested to use along with the brush. In a pinch,
we have successfully used a tiny drop of human tooth paste in place of
baking soda. Purchasing of a tooth scaler to remove excess plague is a
good idea and an inexpensive investment. Annual dental cleaning performed by a
veterinarian is highly recommended. Tooth loss of dogs over the age of 4
is very common. The warning signs of gum disease are bad breath, red and
swollen gums, a yellow-brown crust of tartar around the gum line, and
pain or bleeding when you touch the gums or mouth. Providing bones and
hard kibble will assist in keeping plague build up at a minimum. Feeding
moist food is discouraged.
The incidence of this disease
in Papillons is still relatively low, but seems to be on the
increase. The Papillon Club of America is suggesting bile acid tests
on breeding dogs but this is not a requirement. There are two types of shunts.
Shunts can occur inside the liver, in which case they are referred to as
intravascular shunts and outside the liver, in which case they are extrahepatic shunts. All of the shunts are portosystemic shunts. Portosystemic
shunts include poor weight gain, sensitivity to sedatives (especially
diazepam), depression, head pressing (pushing the head against a solid
object), seizures, weakness, salivation, vomiting, poor appetite,
increased drinking and urinating, balance problems and frequent urinary
tract disease or early onset of bladder stones. If the signs of problems
increase dramatically after eating this is a strong supportive sign of a
include porto-caval shunts which are one of the most common types of
extrahepatic shunts. There are several ways that blood can by-pass the
liver and empty directly into the systemic circulation, though. The
advantage to the surgeon of an extra-hepatic shunt is that there is
usually a place to surgically obstruct the shunt and re-route the blood
flow to the liver which is where it belongs. Extra-hepatic shunts are
easier to repair due to this.
are more difficult to repair because the shunt is hidden inside the liver
where it is not easy for the surgeon to work. There are surgical
procedures for fixing them, though. These are costly procedures and are
probably done primarily at veterinary teaching hospitals associated with
veterinary colleges. The success rate for surgery for intrahepatic shunts
is less than for extrahepatic shunts.
If surgical repair is not an option due to the expense
it is possible to manage many dogs with portosystemic liver shunts
medically with reasonably good success. A low protein diet combined with
administration of lactulose and/or neomycin can help to relieve the
symptoms associated with liver shunts.
- Any breed of dogs that are anesthetized are
under the risk of having problems while anesthesia is being used. As veterinary medicine improves so do the rate of dog
reviving from being under anesthesia. Isoflurane gas is the anesthesia of
choice for many Papillons. There are some new types of anesthesia on the market,
and while their costs are rather expensive, they are well worth the peace of mind. Consult
with your veterinarian when making surgery plans. If they do not use
Isoflurane or some other reasonable safe anesthesia, then seeking a second
opinion may be advisable.
- The thyroid gland is a small gland located in
the neck. It very important role in regulating the body's rate of
or what "speed" the body is running. Occasionally a middle aged
Papillon will have a thyroid gland that is UNDERACTIVE, causing a slow
metabolism. This is hypothyroid. A Hypothyroid Pap are often obese and gain weight even on a
restricted diet. They may sleep more and have reduced stamina. They seek
out warm places to nap and have an overall reduced tolerance to the cold
weather and often have dry, skin and a dull coat. Hypothyroidism isnít
life threatening, but it does diminish quality of life. By consulting a
veterinarian about Thyroid concerns they will take blood and perform a
thyroid panel. If your dog is diagnosed, the disorder is relatively easy
to treat with medication.
- Toy breed puppies are prone to hypoglycemia at
young ages because of liver glucose storage/utilization problems. Most
often you will see a puppy experience symptoms of Hypoglycemia after
playing hard and lack of a full tummy. We also call hypoglycemia, in
laymen's terms, "Going Down on Sugar". If you find your Papillon
puppy is slightly trembling, lacking in energy, gums colored white, or eyes a bit
glassy looking, your dog could be experiencing some problems with
Hypoglycemia. Our immediate treatment is a small amount of Nutracal in the
mouth. If you do not have Nutracal, mix honey, Karo syrup, or sugar with
water. Slowly syringe the mixture, about 3cc's or about 3 teaspoonfuls, into
the puppies mouth making sure they swallow. Wrap the puppy in a blanket,
and keep quiet for about 1 hour. A heating pad on low setting can help the
puppy feel warmer. When your puppy's gums start to look
pinker and it starts to move around normally, put them in a quite place
like a dog crate and offer them their favorite food, kibble or treat. If
no response is made to treatment, immediately take the dog to the vet.
- Somewhat rare. This condition
is possibly linked to Papillons which carry a Piebald gene. The genes affect the
amount and distribution of white areas on the body. Deafness can be
described as (1) congenital or late onset, (2) hereditary or acquired, and (3)
conductive or sensor neural. Congenital deafness is affected by a Piebald
gene. That makes the mismark or almost all white Papillon being a suspect
of higher incidence because it is an extension of the piebald gene. The
mechanism of inheritance is not known, and not only mismarks have been affected
by deafness. Unilateral (one ear) and bilateral (both ears) deafness has
been diagnosed in Papillons. Not enough Papillons are routinely tested to
compile reliable statistics about deafness.
Behavioral deafness detection with young puppies in the home is
difficult, as the deaf young cue off the behavior of their littermates.
Often deafness is not noticed until the puppies are separated from their
littermates. A puppy that does not awaken in response to a loud noise is
almost certainly bilaterally deaf, but the unilaterally deaf cannot be
detected with any reliability. As a consequence, behavioral hearing
assessment of animals in the clinic or home is of limited
reliability. If deafness is suspected a "BAER" Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response
(electro diagnostic) test should be given by a qualified veterinarian.
is talked about by Papillon breeders, though we hear of very few dogs
diagnosed as Epileptic. Epilepsy is a chronic condition
characterized by recurrent seizures. Although seizures are always abnormal
events, not all seizures in dogs are caused by canine epilepsy. Epilepsy
is a disorder of the brain where abnormal electrical activity triggers
further uncoordinated nerve transmission. This uncoordinated and haphazard
nerve tissue activity scrambles messages to the muscles of your dog's body
and the coordinated use of the muscles is then inhibited. Because there
are many causes of chronic recurrent seizures in dogs, canine epilepsy is
not a specific disease or even a single syndrome, but rather a diverse
category of disorders. Canine Epilepsy is broadly divided into idiopathic
and symptomatic disorders. Idiopathic Epilepsy, also called primary
epilepsy, means that there is no identifiable brain abnormality, other than
seizures. Symptomatic epilepsy (also called secondary epilepsy) is
seizures that are the consequence of an identifiable lesion or other
specific cause. Most dogs with idiopathic epilepsy suffer their first
seizure between the ages of one and five years of age. A genetic basis for
idiopathic epilepsy is strongly suspected in several breeds. At this time
the Papillon does not have high incidence for suspicion.
- disease is rare in Papillons and we know
of only an occasional case. L.C.P. is a disorder of the blood supply to
the femoral head, the "ball" of the hip joint. It usually occurs
in miniature and toy breeds of dogs between the ages of four months and a
year of age in its classic form but sometimes occurs as a traumatic
problem in older dogs or bigger breeds. It causes death of the bone which
leads to arthritis of the hip. Since hip dysplasia also causes hip
problems the conditions could be confused, although clinically evident hip
dysplasia is not a major problem in dogs of this size. It is usually
possible to rule in or rule out femoral head necrosis through radiographic
(X-ray) examination. Femoral head necrosis is a painful process and may be
a cause of subtle lameness to total lameness affecting one or both rear
legs. Some dogs are able to recover on their own with just rest and pain
relief but many dogs require surgical removal of the femoral head (femoral
head ostectomy) for good long term pain relief. This can be done on both
sides, if necessary, in the small dogs who have this problem.
Reverse Sneezing -
Reverse sneezing, or hurfing, is when the
trachea goes into a spasm. This seems to occur when a Pap has become over
excited, sniffed up pollen or dust or swallowed a treat and their throat
is dry. People have thought the gagging nose they make is the
dog choking. Some people have diagnosed this as kennel cough.
The inhaling snoring snorting noise has also been called a "backward
sneeze." There is no cure for this and no preventative. When this occurs,
the owner should gently massage the throat encourage the dog to swallow
and stay calm. Covering the nose in an attempt to get the dog to breathe
through his/her mouth helps sometimes. In severe cases putting your finger
down their mouth and making them swallow can remedy the hurfing. We have
found that placing a treat in your hand and allowing the Pap to nibble on
it really helps. If your dog reverse sneezes this is not usually a
sign that they have a soft palette or a soft trachea.
Papillon Related Articles take a look at these pages at the Papillon Club
of America's Website
Take a look at the PCA Papillon health
PCA Genetics Page -
PCA Eduation Page -
Questions about Papillons?
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