Do Cockapoos have Breathing Problems? And Other Common Ailments

Cockapoos are a hugely appealing breed, after all, who can resist those floppy ears and adorable little faces? The many names penned for them match their many redeeming features. There is Cockapoodle, Cockerpoo, Cock-A-Poo but most commonly, Cockapoo. The Poodle crossed Cocker Spaniel are a popular crossbreed among families and have many desirable traits. No dog is perfect though, so in this article, we set out to explore Cockapoos’ common ailments and whether breathing problems feature strongly within the breed.

Breathing problems are not commonly associated with the Cockapoo breed. Any changes in their normal breathing pattern need further exploration to rule out conditions such as respiratory issues. Common ailments include cataracts, hip dysplasia, and patellar luxation.

You possibly have your heart set on a Cockapoo but want to check they are not prone to serious ailments. Luckily you found this article! Stay with us as we explore the health of Cockapoos and whether they have any common serious ailments.

Do Cockapoos Have Breathing Problems?

The short answer to this is no, breathing problems are not a common ailment in the world of Cockapoos. This may please you, or it may alarm you if you have searched this topic because your own pooch does seem to be having some problems. Some dog breeds with flat faces and noses can be prone to breathing problems but Cockapoos do not fall into this category.

Fear not, we have set out some possible causes for breathing problems and take a look at the symptoms. However, please do not that with any breathing problems, it is best to get a professional opinion so please do speak with your veterinarian.

Why is My Dog Breathing Differently to Normal?

Dogs typically breathe at around 20 to 34 breaths per minute but the most important thing to look out for is any labored or struggling attempts when trying to breathe.

As already mentioned, Cockapoos do not commonly have any issues with breathing. Here are some possible reasons your own dog may be struggling:

  • Exercise: Dogs typically breathe more quickly after exercise, this is due to their heart rate increasing. It is also their body’s way of cooling down. This is all perfectly normal and normal breathing will resume when their body has rested. Make sure your dog has access to clean fresh drinking water at all times.
  • Warm Weather: When it’s warm we wear less clothing, dogs obviously don’t have this option therefore they pant to cool themselves down. As above ensure your dog has water and also a cool place to rest away from direct sunlight. Dogs can’t sweat like we can to cool down which is why they pant. You can read more in our article do Poodles sweat.
  • Heatstroke: Dogs can come down with heatstroke very quickly so if your dog’s normal breathing pattern doesn’t resume it’s time to get them checked out. Your dog may be sick or have diarrhea with heatstroke and may even become unresponsive. It’s a fast-moving illness that requires urgent action.
  • Heart Failure: A more serious condition sadly and one of the symptoms can be breathing difficulties. A check-up is most definitely required with this possible illness. The treatment and prognosis will depend upon the severity of the condition.
  • Cushing’s Syndrome: This condition is when a dog’s glands produce too much cortisol.  There will usually be a range of symptoms with this problem including panting, excess thirst, and some hair loss.
  • Illnesses Affecting the Respiratory System: Dogs can and do suffer from respiratory illnesses and treatment will be needed to stop conditions from worsening.
  • Anxiety: Dogs can suffer from anxiety and this can make them pant more often than normal. It’s their body’s reaction to how they are feeling and their way of trying to calm themselves down.
  • Feeling Pain: Dogs who are experiencing pain through illness or injury may well breathe faster or more heavily.  They may also lick the area that hurts, or you may be able to identify the area through limping.
  • Eclampsia: This is a condition that affects nursing mothers and is caused by low blood calcium levels.
  • Allergies and Infections: Certain allergies and infections may cause your dog to begin breathing abnormally. Hay fever, poisoning, and infections in the respiratory system can all lead to labored breathing. Anything like this needs immediate attention.

Other Common Cockapoo Ailments

As with all breeds, there will be certain conditions more prevalent in the Cockapoo. This will be based on the Cocker Spaniel and the Poodle. Hybrid Vigor should play its part in reducing the likelihood, but this cannot be guaranteed. When purchasing a dog, it’s important to choose a reputable breeder who carefully breeds as a passion, not just for money. Ask about the health of the parent dogs and to see health testing certificates. Their history can impact the health of the pups too.

Other health problems commonly associated with Cockapoos.

  • Cataracts: This condition often appears as a dog enters a mature age and is caused by injury or disease but can also be hereditary. American Cocker Spaniels can suffer from this condition so it follows that Cockapoos might also. Cataracts range in severity and will need to be closely monitored by your vet to establish the best course of action.
  • Patellar Luxation: Dislocation of the kneecaps can be fairly common in Cockapoos. Sometimes this can be managed without treatment but on the more severe end of the scale, it will need surgical intervention.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Not dissimilar to cataracts, this can lead to vision impairments in the canine world. Treatment will depend on various factors so a veterinarian’s opinion is a must.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Some Cockapoos suffer from this ailment which is caused by the hip joint not developing as it should. There are different treatments available depending on severity.
  • Ear Problems: Due to having floppy ears, Cockapoos can have some ear issues. They often get dirt or debris in them which can cause them discomfort. If you suspect something is stuck in your dog’s ears, then a trip to the vet is necessary to stop the situation from escalating.
  • Phosphofructokinase deficiency: Called PFK for short, this condition is caused by a deficiency in their enzymes which can lead to a lack of energy and even anemia. It’s a condition that commonly occurs in Cocker Spaniels which is why it’s important to know for your Cockapoo.
  • Allergies: Allergies can be food-related and in this instance finding and eliminating the food will help control them. They might also be contact allergies from products such as shampoo, washing powder, or flea treatments. In this instance switching products until finding the right fit is important. It could also be airborne allergies such as dust or pollen.
  • Liver Disease: It’s worth checking with your breeder as this issue is quite common amongst Cocker Spaniels. Vet treatment and advice will be needed with this condition.

What is Hybrid Vigor

You may or may not have heard the term hybrid vigor. The term relates to a dog that has been crossbred from two unrelated parent dogs. Crossbreeding is thought to increase vigor because the genes do not overlap.

The genetic pool of Doodles is large due to there being two different breeds involved in the process. Some argue this means all-around healthier dogs will be produced. Increased vigor can also be supported by ongoing health tests in the parent dogs.

How to Give your Cockapoo a Healthy Lifestyle

While you will not be able to prevent certain illnesses in your dog, there are things you can do to ensure you are giving your Cockapoo the proper care they need. Maintaining a healthy weight is very important. So sticking to the recommended feeding guide and keeping treats to a minimum is recommended. Buying the highest quality of food within your budget is also so important to ensure your dog is receiving the correct vitamins and minerals.

Exercise is key to good health so a daily walk or two shorter walks are a must. Dogs are happiest when walking and don’t fare well being cooped up all day. Exercise is good for their heart and joints and keeps them busy and healthy. If walking ever becomes a problem, then playing fetch in your yard is a good substitute. You can alternatively hire a dog walker.

Finding a good veterinarian practice and keeping up with regular appointments and treatments helps to ensure your pooch stays healthy. A good vet will get to know your dog and will be able to recognize when they’re not quite right. Keeping up with a good grooming schedule is also key to stop hair from getting matted and skin infected. Spaying and neutering are also highly recommended.

Affection and socialization are also a must for a doggy’s happiness and well-being. A lonely dog is an unhappy dog, and an unhappy dog can become depressed. Set aside time each day for playtime and get your dog socializing as much as possible. This also has the added benefit of reducing the chances of any destructive behaviors borne out of boredom or anxiety.

Don’t rush into getting your Cockapoo. Do your research, ask lots of questions, check the parent’s health history, and spend time with any potential breeder. Know the ins and outs of the breed and prepare fully before bringing one home. A good and reliable insurance for your dog is also recommended in case they do fall ill.