Bernedoodles are big, loveable bundles of fluff and are a great addition to any family. Whether you have one and know the blessing they can be, or are considering getting one, it’s important to be aware of Bernedoodle health issues that may arise.
Bernedoodles bring so much to our lives, and we want to give them all the best including a healthy and long life filled with love. Some Bernedoodle health problems are preventable and some can be managed with proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, so knowing about these conditions can make all the difference.
Do Bernedoodles Have Health Issues?
Yes, Bernedoodle health problems do exist, and are something that you, as an owner or soon-to-be owner, should be aware of. All dog breeds have some health issues they’re more likely to get.
Designer breeds, such as the Bernedoodle, are thought to be healthier than their purebred relatives. This is because they have a more diverse gene pool, making them less likely to inherit hereditary conditions. Of course, with two parents who have different health concerns, it does mean the Bernedoodle has the potential to inherit health issues from either the Poodle or the Bernese Mountain Dog. As we’ll discuss, Bernese Mountain Dogs in particular can be susceptible to a wide range of health concerns.
As a responsible Bernedoodle owner, you want to ensure that your dog can always get the treatment that they need. Vet expenses can easily cost thousands of dollars, which can put a huge financial burden on families. To ensure your financial situation doesn’t get in the way of veterinary care, I strongly recommend investing in pet insurance. Pet insurance is affordable and covers up to 90% of veterinary expenses.
I recommend pet insurance because I personally use it. I have a policy with Healthy Paws—it’s easy to use, affordable, and gives me peace-of-mind that I won’t have to decide between medical care for my pet and paying my bills.
Bernedoodle Health Issues from the Bernese Mountain Dog Side
Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs are not known for being an especially healthy breed. These beautiful dogs are often plagued by an array of health issues. This often causes a relatively short lifespan ranging from 6-8 years.
Malignant Histiocytosis in Bernedoodles
Malignant Histiocytosis is rare in the dog world, but is overrepresented in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Because of its prevalence in only certain breeds, it’s thought to have hereditary links. This is a devastating disease which often leads to death within weeks to months of diagnosis. Palliative care is the only treatment option available for this highly aggressive form of cancer.
Degenerative Myelopathy in Bernedoodles
Another rare disease that plagues Bernese Mountain Dogs is degenerative myelopathy. This disease is characterized by progressive loss of muscle tone and increased weakness in the hind limbs of dogs. Currently, there are no treatment options available. Despite there being no treatment, this one of the more pricey Bernedoodle health issues, with just the diagnosis ranging from $2,000-$4,000.
Von Willebrand’s Disease in Bernedoodles
Von Willebrand is an inherited blood clotting disorder. There is one clotting factor missing, which can cause any bleeding to be excessive and prolonged. This is one of the Bernedoodle health problems that comes from both the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Poodle side of their DNA.
Luckily, this disorder can be screened for if a dog is to be bred, to prevent passing it along to its offspring. Regardless of our best efforts, this isn’t foolproof and a Bernedoodle could still inherit this disorder.
This condition isn’t curable, but there is treatment to help manage it. Von Willebrand’s disease can range from mild to severe, with the cost reflecting the severity. Treatment can range from $500 for a mild case to $3,000 for more severe cases.
Hip Dysplasia in Bernedoodles
Hip Dysplasia is another one of the Bernedoodle health problems that present in both the Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle genes, as it tends to be more common in larger breeds. The hip joint is a ball and socket, but with hip dysplasia, the joint doesn’t fit together quite right, causing friction in the joint. When left untreated, this can cause deterioration of that joint and loss of function.
The first line of treatment is surgery and, like most surgeries, tends to be rather expensive. Hip Dysplasia can cost up to $7,500 per hip. Of course, cost can vary depending on the dog’s condition, age, Bernedoodle size, and other Bernedoodle health issues present.
Heart Disease in Bernedoodles
While everyone says Bernedoodles have a big heart, Bernedoodles are also prone to heart disease. Heart disease is a general term that sums up any heart or blood vessel related issue. Some of these conditions are hereditary in nature, while others are acquired. Treatment costs can vary depending on the exact problem that was diagnosed.
Bernedoodle Health Problems from the Poodle Side
Thyroid Issues in Bernedoodles
Poodles are prone to hypothyroidism because their thyroid may not be making enough of the proper hormones. This can result in a dry skin or coat, hair loss, fearfulness, behavioral changes, or weight gain. The thyroid is a small organ yet it is so important because it controls the metabolism which is necessary to convert our food to energy!
There is treatment available, which generally consists of replacing the depleted thyroid hormone. The original diagnosis often costs between $50-$150, and monthly medication runs between $20-$50 a month.
Luxating Patella in Bernedoodles
Patellar luxation is a health concern for both Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs, meaning it can easily affect the Bernedoodle. In layman’s terms, a luxating patella is simply a dislocated knee. It’s exactly what it sounds like and requires prompt medical care. Surgery is almost always necessary and can cost up to $3,000. There are four stages of patellar luxation, with the worst being impossible to fully correct and leading to chronic pain.
Sebaceous Adenitis in Bernedoodles
The Poodle is the quintessential sebaceous adenitis patient. This is a disease that targets the glands of the skin which secrete oils and help in immune function. This disease causes inflammation and eventually the destruction of these glands. This can lead to scaly skin and matted fur. While this disease is confined to just affecting the skin, it is still serious and can be rather uncomfortable for your dog. Medicated shampoos are generally recommended and can cost anywhere in the ballpark of $30-$50.
Bloat in Bernedoodles
Bloat, also known as Gastric Torsion or Gastric Dilation Volvulus, is a medical emergency and one of the most serious Bernedoodle health problems. This condition causes the stomach to twist, trapping air, fluid, and food within the stomach. This results in a dangerously high pressure within the stomach, causing it to expand. This expansion gets so bad that the stomach pushes on other body parts, restricting blood flow to heart, stomach, and lungs, causing necrosis of those organs.
This disease can cause death within hours. When you act fast, emergency veterinary care can be lifesaving. When caught early enough, surgery costing up to $7,500 can fix this issue.
Are Bernedoodle Health Issues Common?
Bernedoodle health issues do exist, but they’re considered healthier than either of their purebred parents. Although they may be less at risk, Bernedoodle health problems should be taken seriously, and you should know what you can do to prevent them!
No two Bernedoodles are exactly alike. This is because of DNA. This means that some Bernedoodles may have more health issues than others just because of their genetic makeup.
While Bernedoodles are considered healthier than the Bernese Mountain Dog or Poodle, they do still have plenty of health concerns that they’re prone to developing. Thankfully, there are some things you can do as an owner, to help prevent some of these conditions from developing and to help keep your puppy as healthy and happy as can be.
How to Protect Your Pet from Bernedoodle Health Problems
Choose a Reputable Bernedoodle Breeder
The first step in ensuring a healthy dog is that you find a reputable Bernedoodle breeder. You shouldn’t just choose the first breeder that pops up, but you should research thoroughly to find a quality, ethical breeder and avoid puppy mills or backyard breeders. This isn’t simply an ethical concern—you greatly increase the risk of your puppy developing hereditary conditions by supporting bad quality breeders.
Invest in Pet Insurance
If you noticed the staggering prices in the description of the Bernedoodle health issues listed above, you were probably a little shocked! Veterinary bills can be staggering, and for some families, impossible to afford. Pet insurance is a perfect compromise to get your dog necessary medical care without breaking the bank. Pet insurance can cover up to 90% of your dog’s medical expenses! This means you’ll never have to stress about the choice between your pet and your wallet.
There are a lot of pet insurance companies out there, but I prefer Healthy Paws. I personally use them as they are the industry leader and have earned a great reputation amongst doodle owners over the years.
Free Bonus: Download our Pet Insurance Checklist to learn the 10 essential questions you MUST ask before buying pet insurance!
Screen for Hereditary Disease Risks with a DNA Kit
While we can’t predict the future, a simple, mail-in DNA test from Embark is the next best thing. It screens your dog for 190+ genetic health conditions and tells you which your Bernedoodle is more at risk for. Needless to say, this can be extremely worthwhile information! It’ll help you and your veterinarian keep an eye out for symptoms to catch them early on or take preventative measures to hopefully avoid the problems altogether!
Not only does Embark inform you of potential genetic Bernedoodle health problems, but it also can look at your dog’s ancestry and sometimes can even find their fur-relatives!
Embark Breed + Health Kit
Proper Diet & Exercise Can Prevent Bernedoodle Health Issues
This one goes without saying, but diet and exercise are a big part of your Bernedood’s overall health. Proper diet and exercise can prevent obesity, which is a contributing factor in many Bernedoodle health issues. For example, being overweight or obese will increase your Bernedoodle’s chances of developing hip dysplasia. This is a simple and easy way to prevent multiple Bernedoodle health problems.
If you’re not sure if your dog is getting enough action, the Fi GPS Smart Collar is a great way to track their activity. It tracks their steps and keeps tabs on their location. This means that worrying about lost dogs could be a thing of the past—even if your pup gets loose you’ll be notified and able to find them without minutes! For more information, check out our Fi collar review and experiment!
Fi GPS Smart Collar for Dogs
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Don’t Overlook Oral Hygiene to Prevent Bernedoodle Health Problems
In addition to diet and exercise, oral hygiene should be a routine part of your Bernedoodle’s life. Although it’s often overlooked, tooth and gum care can play a vital role in your Bernedoodle’s overall health. Better oral hygiene correlates to a decreased risk of endocarditis and systemic inflammation.
The best thing to do is simply prevent anything from developing! This may add a few minutes to your Bernedoodle’s routine, but it’s totally worth it! A regular oral hygiene regimen, including frequent teeth brushing can help prevent a multitude of Bernedoodle health issues!
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