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Sheepadoodle Health Issues: 9 Common Sheepadoodle Health Problems to Look Out For!

sheepadoodle health issues

Sheepadoodle health issues are an important topic for both prospective and current owners of this breed. Whether you already have a Sheepadoodle or are about to get one, knowing the risks associated with certain conditions may help you plan for the future. We shouldn’t wait to do something until our Sheepadoodle’s health is already jeopardized, so let’s take a look at some common Sheepadoodle health problems, and what we can do to help prevent them! 

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Do Sheepadoodles Have Health Issues?

Yes, Sheepadoodle health problems do exist. In general, mixed breeds, such as the Sheepadoodle are considered to be healthier than their purebred parents. A more diverse gene pool associated with mixed breeds is attributed to fewer hereditary health conditions. However this doesn’t mean that Sheepadoodles are always in the clear when it comes to avoiding health concerns. Mixed breeds do run the risk of inheriting a health condition from either paren breed. Therefore, Poodle and Old English Sheepdog health issues can become Sheepadoodle health issues. 

This breed isn’t known for constantly developing health issues, but there are certain issues that Sheepadoodles are more prone to, including ear infections, joint issues, heart issues, and more. As a loving and responsible Sheepadoodle owner, we want to do everything we can to preserve our dog’s health, which includes taking preventative measures and recognizing early warning signs that something isn’t right.

Despite our best efforts, sometimes Sheepadoodles will develop health issues anyways, which is why it’s so important to have a quality pet insurance company to assist in paying for those expensive veterinary bills. This ensures your Sheepadoodle will get the best care, without breaking the bank. 

I recommend pet insurance because I personally use it. I chose to use Healthy Paws and love the peace of mind it gives me. With affordable prices and great service, it’s a win for me and my dog.

Sheepadoodle Health Issues from the Old English Sheepdog Side

Ear Infections in Sheepadoodles

The floppy ears of the Sheepadoodle are adorable, but they can cause some trouble. Ear infections can be caused by a number of things from moisture, to yeast, to inner ear hair growth, to allergies, and much more. Why are Sheepadoodles more prone to them? Mainly because their floppy ears. When a dog’s ear’s hang down, it blocks the airflow which allows moisture to get trapped, this helps facilitate the growth of bacteria or yeast, thus causing an infection.

Out of all Sheepadoodle health issues, this one is more affordable than most, costing between $100-$250. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the risk of developing an ear infection!

Entropion in Sheepadoodles

Entropion is common in both Old English Sheepdogs and Poodles, meaning this is one of the more high-risk Sheepadoodle health problems. Essentially, entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward. As you can imagine, this is a painful phenomenon. This tends to be considered to be an inherited trait. 

Surgery is almost always indicated to correct this, and many dogs may require more than one surgery. Typically, this surgery will run you between $500-$1,500. 

Atrial Septal Defect in Sheepadoodles

An atrial septal defect is essentially a hole in the heart. In this specific case, it affects the atrium which is vital to pumping blood to the lungs and the rest of the body.  If it doesn’t sound serious enough, let’s explain further. This malformation affects the blood getting to the lungs, meaning the blood isn’t picking up enough oxygen. So, there is an excess of non-oxygenated blood getting sent out to the body. Everything in the body needs oxygen to work! 

Fortunately, this condition tends to be asymptomatic for most dogs and they can go on to live relatively normal, long lives. While most dogs who develop this have small defects that don’t cause issues, some dogs can face severe consequences. 

Dogs typically don’t undergo any treatment for this until they begin to show symptoms. Those with small defects may not need treatment, while some may require medication. Those who are severely affected are treated with either medications, surgery, or a combination of the two.

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia in Sheepadoodles

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia is similar in nature to the atrial septal defect previously discussed. Basically, the heart isn’t formed quite right, so there are issues with circulation. This condition can cause heart failure. Similarly to atrial septal defect, the blood isn’t getting the amount of oxygen that it requires. There is no surgical treatment to solve this issue so it must be managed with medications, low sodium diets, and exercise restrictions.

Sheepadoodle Health Problems from the Poodle Side

Corneal Dystrophy in Sheepadoodles

Corneal dystrophy is a clouding of the cornea, which can lead to complete blindness, as it always affects both eyes. This is considered to be a genetic disease, although scientists are unsure of how it is passed on. 

Luckily, in Poodles, it’s more common to develop the slower progressing form of this disease. Unfortunately, this is one of the most brutal Sheepadoodle health issues. There is no treatment, the condition is relentlessly progressive, and can lead to blindness or the loss of an eye.

Sebaceous Adenitis in Sheepadoodles

Sebaceous adenitis is a common skin issue in Poodles, and we know that Poodle health problems have a chance of becoming Sheepadoodle health problems. This is a relatively affordable and easy condition to manage. Recurrent antimicrobial administration and regular shampooing is the main method of treatment, which generally costs between $30-$50. 

Sebaceous adenitis is a disease where the glands that secrete oils to moisture the skin and coat become inflamed and eventually destroyed. This often presents as a whitish scaling of the skin and waxy matted hair. This can progress to hair loss and lesions on the skin. These lesions can become infected.

Addison’s Disease in Sheepadoodles

Hypoadrenocorticism, also known as Addison’s Disease, isn’t an especially common disorder, but it does tend to affect Poodles more than other breeds. This condition affects the outer layer of the adrenal gland, essentially it is destroyed. Although it’s a small gland, it can affect the body in multiple ways from regulating the metabolism, to supporting the immune system, and more! 

This condition tends to be silent until it reaches the point of a crisis. Addison’s crisis is an emergency situation which requires rapid veterinary attention. It’s summed up by low blood pressure, low blood sugar, and an increase of potassium to dangerous levels. 

The initial diagnosis often costs more than the treatment. A diagnosis, which entails multiple tests, can range between $500-$1,500. That being said, the typical treatment method is medication, which usually falls between $50-$200 a month. 

Hip Dysplasia in Sheepadoodles

Hip dysplasia is a common orthopedic issue in larger breeds, including the Poodle, Old English Sheepdog, and the Sheepadoodle. This is an inherited condition that causes the hip joint to be built improperly. Long term, this leads to friction and deterioration of the joint, which is just as painful as it sounds, and can even lead to a loss of mobility. 

The most common treatment option for hip dysplasia is corrective surgery. Hip dysplasia commonly affects both hips, which can be pricey, ranging from $7,000-$12,000. Other methods focus more on pain management, weight management, and supplements.

Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in Sheepadoodles

This is another eye condition that can affect Sheepadoodles. Poodles are at high risk for developing optic nerve hypoplasia. The optic nerves are the part of the eye which is responsible for vision, it connects to the brain for interpretation of images. This condition ranges in severity of vision loss and can affect one or both eyes. The eyes may become malformed, or they may look completely normal. Unfortunately there is no treatment for this condition. 

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Are Sheepadoodle Health Issues Common?

Sheepadoodle health problems do exist, but Sheepadoodles aren’t known for being a very sickly breed. There are so many factors that go into account when looking at Sheepadoodle health issues, from age, to individual DNA, to Sheepadoodle size, to breeding practices, and more. Therefore, it’s really impossible to predict what health issues, if any, your Sheepadoodle will develop. 

Some Sheepadoodle health issues will arise unexpectedly, but for some others, there are steps you can take to mitigate the chances of your dog having them. Practicing some proactive measures may help prolong your Sheepadoodles life

How to Protect Your Pet from Sheepadoodle Health Problems

Do Your Due Diligence When Selecting a Sheepadoodle Breeder

A reputable breeder is an essential part of prolonging your Sheepadoodle’s health. This is part of the puppy buying process that shouldn’t be rushed, but rather researched thoroughly. Puppy mills, backyard breeders, and pet stores aren’t just unethical, but they can also contribute to a large number of Sheepadoodle health problems in the puppies they produce.

A responsible Sheepadoodle breeder will screen the parents for genetic conditions, which will reduce the odds of them getting passed on. This can include a lot of the Sheepadoodle health issues mentioned previously, such as corneal dystrophy or hip dysplasia. Spending more on a reliable and ethical breeder may save you thousands in vet bills down the road. Essentially, with a reputable breeder, the chances of your Sheepadoodle puppy inheriting diseases decreases. 

Of course, adopting a Sheepadoodle from a rescue or shelter is always another option. However, since they are a more rare, “designer” breed, they may be hard to find.

Purchase Pet Insurance

Vet bills can be a huge expense, easily costing thousands of dollars for just a single accident or illness! That’s the main reason why pet insurance has become so popular over the past few years. While we would like to hope that our Sheepadoodles will live a long, healthy life, that’s not always the case.

Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses can arise at any time, even when we don’t have the funds to pay for it. The great thing about pet insurance is that it can cover up to 90% of vet bills! While a $1,000 vet bill may be hard to finance, a $100 vet bill is less of a burden. This offers some reassurance and peace of mind that your dog will always have the best care possible….without breaking the bank.

Today, there are more and more companies offering pet insurance. I personally use Healthy Paws and would recommend it as it’s affordable, but also offers great coverage.

Check for Hereditary Disease Risks with a DNA Kit

Embark requires a small saliva sample to be sent through the mail and in return they’ll look at your dog’s genetic makeup and determine which genetic health issues your Sheepadoodle may be at risk for. They test for over 190 health conditions! Why is this important? It can help you and your veterinarian know what to look out for in the future, and it can help you know what preventative measures you should be taking! 

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Healthy Diet & Exercise Habits Can Prevent Sheepadoodle Health Issues

It may seem obvious, but diet and exercise is an important part of preventing Sheepadoodle health problems. Too many treats and not enough exercise is a recipe for obesity and weight gain. Obesity is a comorbidity in many health problems. Specifically with Sheeapdoodles, weight gain puts extra stress on the joints, which can speed up the progression of hip dysplasia, or make it worse. Ensuring a healthy weight is an easy way to help prevent future Sheepadoodle health problems. 

One of my favorite tools for tracking my dog’s activity is the Fi GPS Smart Collar. It is able to track steps and share your dog’s location! I may be a bit of a helicopter parent for my doodle, but knowing your pup’s location could also save their life in the event that they get lost!

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Don’t Ignore Oral Hygiene to Prevent Sheepadoodle Health Problems

Brushing our Sheepadoodle’s teeth isn’t a twice a day routine for most pet parents. But, maybe we should. A daily oral hygiene regimen may be difficult to coordinate into our busy lives, but we should be providing oral care for our Sheepadoodles at least 2-3 times a week!

The bacteria that grows in the mouth can end up causing serious internal medical problems, along with painful periodontal and bone issues. Those bone, periodontal, and internal medical problems directly correlates with the number of years you get to spend with your beloved Sheepadoodle. Spending a few extra minutes a couple times a week brushing your dog’s teeth can make a huge difference on their overall health! 

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