Overall the Pomeranian is a healthy, robust little dog. However, like any dog, problems can occur. Below are some of the problems that can occasionally affect Pomeranians (some of which affect toydogs in general).

Broken Legs:

Pomeranians are small and can be quite fragile, especially puppies. Many puppies don’t have any fear and will jump from heights leading to broken legs. So never leave a pom on a sofa and keep a firm hold of them when you lift them. They also like to follow their owners everywhere, so often get under your feet, thus, this can lead to you accidentally standing on your pom. It’s a good idea, especially while your pom is a puppy, to do the ‘pom shuffle’. Basically shuffle around the house, hardly lifting you feet off the ground, to try and prevent accidentally standing on them.

Retained Puppy Teeth:

Pomeranians are prone to retaining their baby teeth and growing adult teeth at the same time. This means that they have two sets of teeth. This can force the teeth to grow abnormally, grow into the mouth plate and in severe cases can prevent the pom from eating normally. You should make regular checks on how the puppies’ teeth are developing. Should you notice the development of two sets of teeth, you should take your puppy to the vet to have the retained teeth removed. Note: This procedure is usually classed as cosmetic with insurance companies and therefore may not be covered.

Open Fontanelles:

This is basically a ‘soft spot’ on the dogs head. In many young dogs the skull bones are not fused at birth, but instead will close slowly over a three- to six-month period. Occasionally these bones fail to close, but the dog is still healthy. In these cases, however, the dog’s owners need to be very careful, since any injury or bumps to the animal’s head could cause significant brain damage, as well as conditions like epilepsy.

Patella Luxation:

This is basically a slipped knee, where the knee joint (patella) ‘pops’ in and out of place. Usual sign is the dog walking on three legs for a couple of steps until the joint ‘pops’ back into place. It can be a hereditary defect or caused from jumping too much (on and off high sofas), or from an injury early on in life. Once a dog has been diagnosed with patella luxation, they can make a full recovery with veterinary treatment, but it may still recur.

Hypoglycemia:

This is a central nervous system disorder caused by low blood sugar. It occurs mainly in toy breeds, between 6-12 weeks old. Often it is precipitated by stress. The signs are those of listlessness and depression, these are followed by muscular weakness, tremors (especially the facial muscles) and later, convulsions, coma and death. The entire sequence is not always seen and may simply appear depressed, or wobbly, jerky and may go straight into a coma. Hypoglycemia can occur without warning, when a puppy is placed into a new home, or while being shipped. It can also appear after a puppy has missed a meal, from a chill, becomes exhausted from too much playing or a digestive upset. These upsets place an added strain on the energy reserves of the liver and bring on symptoms (if the dog is susceptible) Note: This is quite rare in Poms.

Treatment – Treatment is directed at restoring blood levels of glucose. Beginning at once. Prolonged or repeat attacks can cause permanent brain damage. If the puppy is awake karo syrup, honey or sugar water in the mouth. The puppy should improve within 30 minutes. When he is unconscious, he will have to be given an dextrose solution intravenously. It may be necessary to treat for swelling of the brain. A vet should be called at once. Prevent recurrent attacks by feeding a high quality kibble diet and add syrup, sugar or honey to it. See that the puppy eats and drinks regularly. Don’t assume the puppy is eating and drinking. Owners of toy puppies should not over tire them or allow them to get a chill.

C-sections:

Cesarean Sections are quite common with Pomeranians. Please be aware of this if you ever consider breeding.

Loss of Hair (Black Skin Disease):

This problem was looked into by the KC together with the BVA and investigations took place as to the reasons. The Northern Pomeranian Club did raise and donate money towards these investigations.

Epilepsy:

Quite rare. Dogs can lead perfectly normal lives with medication to control it.