5 Common Health Issues That Affect Small Dogs

Small dogs are absolutely wonderful. They are cute, cuddly and easy to care for. But they do have some health issues that you should be aware of before you adopt a small dog.

Patellar Luxation

This is a fancy term for a dislocated kneecap.  What happens is that the tendon holding the kneecap comes out of the groove in the thigh bone or femur and it causes a dog to limp or become lame.

While all small dogs are susceptible to this, the Boston terrier seems to be more prone to it. Ask your vet to show you how to manually put the kneecap back in place so you don’t have to go running to the vet every time it happens.


IVDD is also known as Intervertebral Disc Disease and it occurs when one or more of the discs in the spine come in contact with the spinal cord. Dogs like the dachshund are particularly prone to this disease which can manifest itself as mild irritation or even paralysis.


Small breeds like the miniature poodle tend to be affected by pancreatitis. This happens when the pancreas is inflamed and it leads to things like fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Doctors aren’t exactly sure what causes this but things like obesity, infection and even trauma can set it off.


This is an acronym for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome. Short nosed, flat face dog breeds like the Shih Tzu are the most susceptible. This syndrome involves upper airway issues in the nose and sinuses.


This is another health issue that attacks short nosed and flat faced dog breeds like French bulldogs, Cairn carriers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. That tissue that lines the inner eyelid is exposed when the eyelid rolls outward.

These medical issues cause discomfort in small breed dogs.  If you notice that your dog is suffering at all, take him to the vet right away.


Photo Credit:  istockphoto.com

Do you own small dogs?


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.