Bernedoodle Health Issues, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Before getting a Bernedoodle or any other breed, you are recommended to learn about the breed’s major issues, pros, and cons, so you already know what problems or health-related issues you may face with that dog breed.

Why learning about health-related issues and diseases is important? Because the puppies or dogs may develop one or more diseases in their lifetime or inherit one from their parents and it is important to keep a check on them all.

So, in this comprehensive guide, you’ll find all the major and minor diseases which a Bernedoodle may develop or inherit. Also, recommended lab tests are also mentioned should be performed on puppies and/or their parents.

Remember, the below-mentioned diseases are listed in the public interest and there are fewer chances that the Bernedoodles will develop these diseases, especially if you get a puppy from a reputable breeder. Bernedoodles are usually healthy and live an ideal life.

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What Diseases a Bernedoodle can Inherit from Parent Breeds?

From Poodle:

1. Skin and Eye problems
2. Sebaceous adenitis
3. Tracheal Collapse
4. Bloat
5. Hip Dysplasia
6. Immune System-related diseases
7. Juvenile renal disease
8. Thyroid issues

From Bernese Mountain Dog:

1. Von Willebrand’s Disease
2. Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
3. Patella
4. Cancer
5. Macrothrombocytopenia
6. Epilepsy
7. Sebaceous Adenitis
8. Heart Diseases
9. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

As the Poodles and Bernese Mountain Dogs are prone to the mentioned diseases respectively, the Bernedoodle puppy may also inherit either of them if the parents have them and are not tested.

Now, let’s have a look at all the possible diseases and health-related issues a Bernedoodle can develop or inherit from its parent breeds.

Bernedoodle Diseases and Their Treatment

Hip Dysplasia

Bernedoodle-health-hip-dysplasiaLarge-sized dogs are prone to Hip Dysplasia, a common disease in large-sized breeds and Standard Bernedoodles may also develop this painful disease.

In Hip Dysplasia, the dog’s hip socket forms in an unusual way that may lead to Arthritis of the Joints in extreme conditions. The dog may feel difficulty moving due to severe pain. Moreover, the dogs sit down abnormally during their regular walk or even refuse to walk at all. In any such symptoms, you are recommended to visit your vet ASAP.

Hip Dysplasia Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose Hip Dysplasia, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam to check the flexibility of the joints. To reach a conclusion, the dog’s hip x-ray is conducted.

For the treatment of Hip Dysplasia, your vet may suggest anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and joint fluid modifiers. In extreme cases, the vet may suggest surgery.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow Dysplasia is another skeletal disease in large-sized dog breeds such as Labradors, German Shepherds, and Bernese Mountain Dogs. Bernedoodles may develop this disease or inherit it from their parent breed, the Bernese. It is way more painful and complex than Hip Dysplasia.

Elbow Dysplasia Diagnosis and Treatment

The vet will suggest you conduct a CT Scan and an MRI Scan to get a conclusion.

To get rid of it, the vet will recommend surgery or physiotherapy treatment, depending on the condition. Furthermore, there are several rehab stages to recover fully from this disease that should be carried out according to the vet’s instructions.

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Bernedoodle Skin Diseases:

Color Dilution Alopecia

Usually known as CDA, it is a skin disease that may lead to permanent hair loss from different body parts. Your dog may also suffer from severe itching, flaky skin, or broken hair. Bernedoodle usually inherits Color Dilution Alopecia from their parent breeds.

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Color Dilution Alopecia Diagnosis and Treatment

Bernedoodle-health-CDATo diagnose CDA, the vet performs a dermatohistopathology test and trichogram. Additionally, he may send a skin sample to a pathologist for any conditional changes.

Color Dilution Alopecia cannot be treated because there is no cure for it. Instead, your vet may treat the symptoms of CDA using shampoos, antibiotics, vitamin A, and essential fatty acids.

Sebaceous Adenitis

Poodles are prone to this rare inflammatory skin disease, therefore, the Bernedoodles may inherit Sebaceous Adenitis from them. In this disease, the affected dogs develop matted fur clumps or silver and white scales on their skin. Additionally, they may also suffer from various bacterial infections as well as severe itching and Alopecia.

Sebaceous Adenitis Diagnosis and Treatment

Various diagnostic tests are performed to get to a conclusion such as fungal and bacterial culture, trichogram, skin cytology, and biopsy for dermatohistopathology.

There are several oral medications as well as medicated shampoos to treat it.

Other Common Diseases in Bernedoodles


It is commonly known as Cushing’s disease and is related to a hormone named cortisol. It is one of the useful hormones and helps the dog eliminate its stress as well as in the modulation of the dog’s immune system. Excess of cortisol in the dog’s body is harmful and can lead to neurologic abnormalities and infertility. Moreover, the dog suffers from increased hunger, thirst, urination, and extreme weakness.

Hyperadrenocorticism Diagnosis and Treatment

Hyperadrenocorticism can be diagnosed with the help of the ACTH stimulation test and Low Dose Dexamethasone Suppression (LDDS).

To treat it, the vet will recommend removing it through surgery and if it is spread to other parts of the body then your dog has to live with the medications for a lifetime.

Von Willebrand Disease

Commonly known as vWD, this disease is the result of a lack of a plasma protein Von Willebrand Factor (vWF), that helps the blood to clot. It results in excessive bleeding from the different parts of the dog’s body including gums, nose, and even small wounds. The Bernedoodles may inherit vWD from their parent breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog.

Von Willebrand Disease Diagnosis and Treatment

A screening test named buccal mucosal screen time is used to diagnose Von Willebrand Disease.

In emergency cases, blood transfusion is recommended while there are several medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and penicillin to cure it.


The Bernedoodles may also suffer from Hypoadrenocorticism which is usually called Addison’s disease. In Addison’s disease, the dog’s adrenal system fails to produce enough hormones to function and its results are very irritating. The dog loses its balance of electrolytes and metabolism which leads to lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Hypoadrenocorticism Diagnosis and Treatment

The vet runs a urinalysis, performs blood work, and does biochemistry. Usually, Addison’s disease is diagnosed when it is reached an acute stage, which is called Addisonian Crisis.

To treat Hypoadrenocorticism, the vet will try to resolve the crisis first. Secondly, this disease has no cure, instead, the dog will have to take the medications for the rest of his life.


A cataract is a dog’s eye disease in which the dog develops cloudiness in the eye lens that disturbs the dog’s vision. To save your dog from partial or full blindness, it should be treated immediately.

Usually, eye cataract develops in dogs due to old age or other diseases. Physically, it won’t hurt your dog and he won’t feel any pain, but because of blindness, his activities may be reduced.

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Cataract Diagnosis and Treatment

The vet will be asking you the brief history of your dog’s diseases if he had any, and additionally, will do a physical checkup of the eye. Some routine diagnostic tests may be needed such as a urinalysis, electroretinography, and complete blood profile.

To treat Cataracts in your Bernedoodle, the vet will suggest a traditional surgery or phacoemulsification, which is an advanced cataract surgery technique.


Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in dogs. The Bernedoodle may inherit it from the Bernese Mountain Dogs. Epilepsy or seizures can be caused due to head injuries, liver disease, brain cancer, high or low blood sugar, eating toxins, and many other reasons. A dog suffering from epileptic seizures may collapse, drool, chew its tongue, or make paddling motions.

Epilepsy Diagnosis and Treatment

There are various types of Epilepsy and can be diagnosed by performing some blood and urine tests, neurological examination, the dog’s cerebrospinal fluid analysis, and imaging of the brain using MRI.

The treatment of epilepsy in dogs depends upon the results of the diagnosis. Unfortunately, it cannot be cured but the seizures can be controlled with treatment and anti-epileptic drugs. The best practice is to consult your vet as soon as you witness epilepsy symptoms in your dogs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

PRA in Bernedoodles

Image credit: cathro via Flickr

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a group of genetic diseases in dogs and cats that causes vision loss and results in complete blindness. Some dog breeds are prone to PRA and most of the puppies inherit it from their parents. Bernedoodles usually inherit it from the Bernese Mountain Dogs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy Diagnosis and Treatment

If your dog’s night vision is decreased and the pupils are dilated, the chances are he/she is suffering from PRA. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for Progressive Retinal Atrophy but scientists are working hard to reduce its chances by enabling the development of genetic tests.

Genetic Tests for Bernedoodles:

Genetic testing helps you reduce health-related problems in any dog breed. Likewise, it should also be done before breeding the dogs and you should ask the breeder about the health certificates. You may consider performing the following genetic tests.

Dog Breed / TypeTests to be performed
The BernerHip, Eyes, Elbow, Heart, Von Willebrand Disease, Degenerative Myelopathy
Standard PoodleHips, Eyes, Elbows, Von Willebrand Disease, Degenerative Myelopathy, Heart, Sebaceous Adenitis
Miniature & Toy PoodlesHip, Elbow, Heart, Von Willebrand Disease, Stifles for Luxating Patellas, Degenerative Myelopathy

Final Words

One thing to remember here is that your Bernedoodle dog may or may not get either of these diseases. We have prepared this list for public awareness so you already have an idea about the possible health conditions. If you get a Bernedoodle puppy from a well-reputed breeder, there are fewer chances that your dog will get these diseases or any other genetic issues.

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Image credits: pxhere, Wikimedia Commons

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