A Healthy Puppy
Buying A Healhy Puppy
The most important thing when looking to purchase a Norwich Terrier is to locate a breeder that you like and trust. A good breeder is not necessarily one who has never produced a dog with a health problem (we all have) but one who acknowledges these problems and tries to correct them in their breeding program. If you are unable to find or visit with a breeder in your area the telephone is your next best bet.
Although breed type and conformation (how the dog looks) are important, pet owners should be most concerned with temperament and health. In general, Norwich Terriers are hardy little dogs, however the breed does have potential health issues and these should be discussed with the breeder prior to purchasing a puppy.
The Norwich Terrier
The most serious inherited defects in Norwich Terriers are breathing problems and epilepsy. At this time, there are no genetic screening tests, so one must talk to breeders and discuss these issues honestly and openly. Epilepsy is usually controllable with medication, but there are always a few animals whose seizures are not easily controlled. Affected dogs should not be used for breeding. There are several different breathing abnormalities in Norwich including elongated soft pallets and collapsing tracheas. Dogs or bitches that have breathing issues should also not be a part of a breeding program.
As with Norfolk, Norwich Terriers should be screened for hip and knee problems although the Norwich seems to have fewer problems with hip dysplasia. Again, because these are small dogs, orthopedic problems are usually less bothersome and can be treated medically or surgically if needed.
Genetic eye abnormalities are not a big problem in this breed, but breeding stock should be screened by a veterinary ophthalmologist.
There are of course other diseases that can affect any dog and a frank discussion with the breeder about any potential health issues is important. Register your puppy with the AKC promptly as you will receive 2 months of free health insurance with your registration. Puppies can get into lots if trouble, so we encourage all pet owners to continue health insurance for their pet. With insurance in place, you will not be faced with having to make a decision for your pet’s medical treatment based on finances.
Article wriiten by Carol Falk