Health & Welfare

Contact us for information about the Poodle Breed, acquiring a new puppy through reputable breeders who test for Hereditary disease, advice on rearing, feeding, grooming, showing a poodle, etc.

Affiliated with the Irish Kennel Club, the Poodle Club of Ireland does NOT encourage mix breeding of the poodle with any other breed. The Poodle breed already has all the wonderful qualities to make that special pet.




Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA Progressive Retinal Atrophy DNA test you can usually get this done with Terry Grimes at UCD Veterinary collage in Clonskeagh Dublin 14, you should contact UCD directly to arrange an appointment as Terry is not always there

DNA test from an OFA (Orthopaedic Foundation for Animals) approved laboratory Eye Exam by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist (results registered with OFA, CERF (canine eye registration foundation) or BVA in the UK)

There are several different forms of PRA which differ in the age of onset and rate of progression of the disease. Some breeds get it very early on in life, others later.

Usually the photoreceptors in the retinas develop after birth around 2 months. The retinas of dogs with PRA either have arrested development (retinal dysplasia) or early degeneration of the photoreceptors. Retinal dysplastic dogs are usually affected within two months of birth and may be completely blind by one year. Dogs with retinal degeneration are affected from one year to eight years of age and the symptoms progress slowly.

PRA worsens over time. The affected animal experiences night blindness initially because the rods are affected first. The condition progresses to failed daytime vision.

Patellar Luxation

Because of the strong genetic relationships, it is not recommended that a dog with Patellar luxation be used for breeding.

What is a normal knee and its action? The patella is the bone we usually called the knee cap. There is a groove in the end of the femur (another bone in the upper leg) which allows the patella to move up and down freely when the knee joint is straight or bent. the patella guides the action of the quadriceps muscle in the lower leg. The patella also protects the knee joint.

Looking at the lower front portion of the femur (the thigh bone) in a normal dog, you will notice two bony ridges that form a deep groove in which the patella is supposed to slide up and down. These structures limit the patella’s movement to one restricted place, and in so doing, control the activity of the quadriceps muscle. The entire system is constantly lubricated by joint fluid. It works so that there is total freedom of motion

What happens when the patellar luxates: In some dogs, because of malformation or an accident, the ridges forming the patella groove are not prominent, and not deep enough groove is created. In a dog with shallow grooves, the patellar will luxate (pop out of the groove) sideways, or towards the inside. This causes the leg to lock up and the dog is left limping or trying to straighten the leg.

When the patella luxates from the groove of the femur, it usually cannot return to its normal position until the quadriceps muscle relaxes and increases in length. This explains why the affected dog may be forced to hold his leg up for a few minutes or so after the initial incident. While the muscles are contracted and the patella is luxated from its correct position, the joint is held in the flexed or bent position. The yap you may hear from your dog is in fact from the pain caused by the knee cap sliding across the bony ridges of the femur. Once out of position, the animal feels no discomfort and continues his activity.


Same requirements as Toy Poodles with the addition of:

Hip Dysplasia

 OFA, OVC or Penn HIP Evaluation.

It is difficult to get Penn HIP Evaluation in Ireland at the moment, although there were some vets in the west of Ireland doing this kind of hip score a few years back, a little bit of research and you may find a vet that still does them, it believed to be very accurate as it is done by computer and not the human eye.

There is a new DNA test for Miniature Poodle Dwarfism ( Preliminary research suggests that about 10 percent of Minis carry the mutation that causes this disease and that it is not limited to a few bloodlines, in the states, no research has been done in Ireland to the best of my knowledge and I don’t believe there has been cases of it reported here to date, thankfully.


Hip Dysplasia:

OFA, OVC or Penn HIP Evaluation Eye Exam by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist (results registered with OFA or CERF) Health Elective (one of the following tests):

Thyroid Evaluation

Sebaceous Adenitis (SA)

Evaluation from an approved dermatopathologist For Standard Poodles

To date there is no positive test to determine if you dog will carry SA, when the test is carried out the results may be negative, that is not to say your dog will not get it in the future. As the gene that affects the dog has not been recognised to date.

Neonatal Encephalopathy with Seizures (NEWS)

This will only effect puppies if both parents carry the gene, in that case the whole litter will be lost and there is nothing that can be done, if however, a dog that is being used at stud has NE and the bitch who will be whelping the pups does not carry the gene, the pups will be fine, but some may carry the gene, this is one of those important tests to avoid this possibly happening, to see if the parents are carriers or not

vonWillebrand’s Disease (vWD)

Von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) is a blood disease caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand Factor (vWF), an adhesive glycoprotein in the blood required for normal platelet binding (i.e., clotting) at the sites of small blood vessel injuries. In addition, vWF is a carrier protein for coagulation Factor VIII (necessary for blood to clot). A lack of vWF impairs platelet stickiness and clumping. Like haemophilia in humans, this condition can lead to excessive bleeding following an injury, due to the lack of clotting.

 VWF is an autosomal (non-sex-linked) trait, which both males and females express and transmit genetically and with equal frequency. The expression pattern of the severe forms (Types 2 and 3 vWD) is recessive while the milder form (Type 1 vWD) appears to be recessive or incompletely dominant. This is the most common hereditary blood clotting disorder in dogs.


We hope that this information is of value to you in the future, if you are planning a litter, and please remember that The Poodle Club of Ireland is here to help with your questions, if we can in any way related to your poodle.



Your standard poodle runs the risk of bloat which is also known as GDV (Gastric Dialatation-Volvulus) . Sometimes called overfeeding or overeating syndrome. Basically when the dog has eaten, food and or gas stretches the stomach several times  its normal size and the stomach sometimes twists causing a blockage and cutting off blood supply, the reason for this is not yet know, some people think it is exercise after eating and others think it is because the dog has eaten too fast and has gulped down large amount of air with their food, either way it is something that has to be dealt with immediately or it will result in death of your dog, The extended stomach can be seen by the owner, (thus the name bloat) your dog will have abdominal  pain, vomiting and generally restless, sometime drooling.  The only action you must take is immediate veterinary assistance, in most cases it is a matter or surgery, returning the stomach to it proper position and possibly attaching it internally with stitches to the abdominal cavity.

Or your dog may have gastric dilation and not full on Bloat and in this case it may be possible to treat by inserting a tube into the stomach and releasing the gas or fluid.

Some ways that have been suggested in helping your dog to avoid Bloat are to feed them twice or indeed three times a day, smaller amounts. Do not exercise your dog immediately after eating and if possible teach you dog from a puppy, not to rush its food. 


Should you be considering purchasing a poodle and have any questions about health issues, please feel free to contact the Poodle Club of Ireland for more information.

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