Many of us are very concerned about the number of Norwich Terriers with abnormalities involving the upper airway. Although only a portion of Norwich Terriers have clinical signs of noisy breathing, many show signs of difficulty breathing or reduced stamina during activities such as agility, and a study in Switzerland showed that the vast majority of Norwich tested by upper airway scoping were affected to some extent. A variety of changes were seen including everted laryngeal saccules, elongated soft palates and other alterations to airway structure and integrity.
Instead of the promised third column on the upper arm assembly, a proven new health test for Norwich has prompted me to invite Blair Kelly to write this month’s column. Mr. Kelly obtained his first Norwich from Phyllis K. Pullen, MD, in 1997. He breeds under the Shaksper prefix and has been an AKC agility judge since 2001.
First DNA Test for a Norwich Health Problem Identified
In 2004 Dr. Phyllis Pullen noticed that her not-quite-6-year-old Norwich, Ch. Jerusalem Chutney (Chute) had developed obvious pain in one eye. She remembers, “I saw a canine ophthalmologist that day. He told me that this was due to a luxated lens that had been floating around for some time and suddenly blocked the duct that carries the vitreous fluid out of the eye, causing glaucoma.” The vet told Dr. Pullen that primary lens luxation (PLL) had caused the glaucoma.
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If you would like to financially support canine health studies involving Norwich Terriers, please donate to the Norwich Terrier Donor Advised Fund at the Canine Health Foundation. All donations are tax deductible. Please make sure that every donation is specifically marked “For Norwich Terrier DAF.” Click this link for information on how to send the donation to CHF:
Our dogs depend on us to put food in their bowls. And, more often than not, we are putting in too much! I have assessed the weight on hundreds of dogs of a variety of breeds over the past year at seminars all over the country and a conservative estimate is that about 50% of the dogs that I see are overweight; approximately 25% are actually obese. These are not couch potato dogs. These are dogs whose owners expect them to jump in obedience, to run over rough ground in retrieving tests, and to perform in agility. And we are seeing the sad results: ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments (often both legs), severe degenerative arthritis in dogs in their prime, degenerative disk disease, and many more conditions that are caused by, or exacerbated by, excess weight. Read more »
One Veterinarian’s Opinion
Those of us with responsibility for the health of canine athletes need to continually read and evaluate new scientific studies to ensure that we are taking the most appropriate care of our performance dogs. This article provides evidence through a number of recent studies to suggest that veterinarians and owners working with canine athletes should revisit the standard protocol in which all dogs that are not intended for breeding are spayed and neutered at or before 6 months of age. Read more »
Teeth can make your dog sick, very sick. When they are not cared for properly, the resultant plaque and tartar accumulation and periodontal disease are breeding grounds for bacteria that travel to other parts of the body, damaging the heart, kidneys, liver, lungs and other organs. A recent article in Dog World by Shawn Messonnier DVM stated, “Periodontal disease is actually the most common cause of infectious disease in dogs and cats.” An article by M. Christine Zink DVM PhD said, “Periodontal disease is, in fact, the most common reason for kidney failure in dogs.”
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