Taylor CJ, Simon BT, Stanley BJ, et al. Norwich terriers possess a greater vertebral heart scale than the canine reference value. Vet Radiol Ultrasound. 2020;61:10‐15.

The abstract is available here. This article is not published “open access”. It is available online for a small fee and accessible through a library.

Previous studies have demonstrated evidence that normal reference ranges for radiographic vertebral heart scale values can vary among dog breeds. The purpose of this retrospective, observational study was to determine whether the normal vertebral heart scale values published by Buchanan and Bücheler for lateral radiographs are applicable to the Norwich terrier. Secondary objectives were to determine if clinical signs of respiratory disease, age, sex, weight, body condition score, recumbency, or thoracic depth-to-width ratio had any influence on vertebral heart scale measurements in this breed. The electronic medical record systems of two universities were reviewed and Norwich terriers were included in the study if they had orthogonal thoracic radiographs performed and no historical or radiographic evidence of cardiopulmonary disease. A vertebral heart scale was calculated for each patient. Sixty-one client-owned, Norwich terrier dogs with no clinical signs of cardiovascular disease were evaluated.

The vertebral heart scale for Norwich terriers without evidence of cardiac disease (10.6 ± 0.6) was found to be significantly greater than the canine reference value of 9.7 ± 0.5 initially established by Buchanan and Bücheler. No significant correlation was found between clinical signs of respiratory disease, sex, age, thoracic depth-to-width ratio or lateral recumbency, and vertebral heart scale. Norwich terriers with a body condition score ≥6 had a significantly higher vertebral heart scale than those with a body condition score ≤5. Breed-specific ranges and body condition scores need to be considered when interpreting vertebral heart scale values for Norwich terriers.

What is the Body Condition Score?

2014, AKC CHF “Understanding Canine Epilepsy”

Verdoodt F, Watanangura, A, Bhatti SFM, et al. The role of nutrition in canine idiopathic epilepsy management: Fact or fiction? The Veterinary Journal. 2022;290:105917.
ISSN 1090-0233,

Any breed can have epilepsy but some breeds seem to have a higher incidence. Because epilepsy is not a single disease, its prevalence in dogs, including Norwich terriers, is not known, however estimates of up to 5% of the canine population are cited. This article reviews the scientific evidence related to nutrition and management of canine idiopathic epilepsy. The article covers pros and cons of various dietary adaptations and their mechanisms of action. The authors mention that “there is a large gap between scientific evidence regarding the role of gluten in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and the anecdotal information available on the internet.” Two studies of paroxysmal dyskinesia (PxD) are mentioned — Border Terriers and Maltese – suggesting that a gluten-free diet can reduce the frequency and/or severity, but because the types of paroxysmal episodes in these dogs can be hard to distinguish and misdiagnosed as idiopathic epilepsy, this may contribute to the belief that gluten reduces epileptic seizures.

The role of nutrition in canine idiopathic epilepsy management: Fact or fiction?

Paroxysmal Dyskinesia

Paroxysmal Dyskinesias (PxD) are episodic movement disorders characterized by muscle hypertonicity that can produce sudden, abnormal, involuntary movements. (“Paroxysmal” means sudden or recurrent symptoms and “dyskinesia” means movement disorder.) PxD has been reported in Norwich terriers.

Paroxysmal Dyskinesia in Norwich Terrier Dogs. Luisa De Risio DVM, MRCVS, PhD, Dipl ECVN Oliver P. Forman PhD Cathryn S. Mellersh PhD Julia Freeman BSc. First published: 19 May 2016 https://doi.org/10.1002/mdc3.12334

Santifort KM & Mandigers PJJ. Dystonia in veterinary neurology [Review Article]. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 2022 September. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvim.16532

This article describes dystonia (abnormal muscle tone) which is a predominant feature of movement disorders (dyskinesias) in dogs, including paroxysmal dyskinesias (PxD). PxD has received increasing are recognition in the veterinary neurology literature. Terminology is sometimes confused. PxD is not idiopathic epilepsy. Many terms have been used to
describe dyskinesias. A recent consensus statement recommended “defining the disorder simply as a dyskinesia and providing a description of the movements.

Dystonia in veterinary neurology 2022

D.E. Whittaker, H.A. Volk, S. De Decker, J. Fenn. Clinical characterisation of a novel paroxysmal dyskinesia in Welsh terrier dogs. The Veterinary Journal. 2022 March.

This article describes paroxysmal dyskinesis (PxD) in Welsh terriers. PxD is increasingly recognized in the veterinary literature and several phenotypically distinct canine breed-specific forms in dogs have now been described (referenced in this article). Currently, a diagnosis of paroxysmal dyskinesia is made based on clinical signs and the exclusion of other paroxysms such as seizures.

Clinical characterisation of a novel paroxysmal dyskinesia in Welsh terrier dogs.

King MD. Etiopathogenesis of canine hip dysplasia, prevalence, and genetics. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice. 2017;47(4):753-67. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2017.03.001.

Canine hip dysplasia is the most common orthopedic condition diagnosed in dogs. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, 14% of 1,649 Norwich terriers in the database had abnormal results (accessed 3-23-23). CHD is a complex disease with highest prevalence in large and giant breeds. CHD is characterized by a relatively low heritability, its phenotypic expression has been shown to be strongly influenced by environmental factors such as caloric intake during growth.

Full article available here: Etiopathogenesis of canine hip dysplasia, prevalence, and genetics.

2014, Bruce Eilts (Society for Theriogenology). K9 Breeding Management. Contains some useful charts about progesterone concentrations and day of cycle relative to LH peak, and other topics of interest to breeders. Recommended by Susan Miller Hall.

2020, Assisting Decision-Making on Age of Neutering for 35 Breeds of Dogs: Associated Joint Disorders, Cancers, and Urinary Incontinence. Published in Frontiers Veterinary Science.

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