Common Health Issues in Terriers

Terriers are a specific group of dogs that were previously bred to hunt prey such as badgers, moles, foxes, and various pests. There are over 30 different types of Terriers, some of which are extremely popular, while others are known to a slightly smaller number of people. All of them differ in size, shape, length, and appearance of hair, but what most of them have in common is that they are extremely intelligent, energetic, and mischievous in nature.

What is also common to most Terriers are the health issues they can face throughout their lives. When we are aware of the health issues that can potentially occur in our dog, there is a bigger chance we will earlier spot the symptoms that indicate that there is an issue and that we need to visit a vet. That’s why we have singled out the most popular types of Terriers and made a list of potential health issues for each of them.

Common Health Issues in Boston Terriers

Boston Terrier is a breed of brachycephalic (flat-faced) dogs. Because of their physical appearance (their bodies and heads that are actually deformed), Boston Terriers are prone to a large number of different health problems. Below is a list of health issues that have been reported in this breed over the years. The list isn’t arranged in any particular order, which means that there is no greater risk of developing diseases that are at the top of the list and vice versa.

The health issues that have been reported in Boston Terriers are:

  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, hemivertebrae, arthritis, hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Eye problems: eye injuries, cataracts, glaucoma, dry eye (KCS), corneal ulcers, distichiasis, corneal dystrophy, entropion, Cherry eye
  • Skin problems: demodectic mange, pyoderma, pattern baldness, dermatitis
  • Heart diseases: mitral valve disease, patent ductus arteriosus
  • Reproductive issues (due to their physical build; large heads and wider shoulders, most Boston Terrier puppies are being delivered by c-section)
  • Brachycephalic Syndrome
  • Heart murmurs
  • Allergies
  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy
  • Dental diseases
  • Cancer
  • Megaesophagus
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Colitis
  • Ear infections (otitis)
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Pyloric stenosis
  • Demodex (demodectic mange)

The aim of this list is to inform Boston Terrier owners about potential health issues that can occur in their dogs, so they can spot symptoms and respond in a timely manner. Although we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and that your dog could develop a disease that is not on this list.

Common Health Issues in Bull Terriers

Bull Terriers are a breed of medium-sized dogs that are recognizable by their distinctive head appearance. These dogs are muscular and strong, and in order to stay in good shape, they need at least one hour of physical activity a day. Despite their strong appearance, Bull Terriers, like all other dogs, are susceptible to certain health issues.

Below is a list of health issues that have been reported in Bull Terriers so far. The goal of this list is to make you aware of problems that may arise during your dog’s lifetime. This doesn’t mean that these diseases will certainly occur in your dog, but it’s useful to be informed about possible problems and thus increase the chances of noticing symptoms earlier if an illness occurs.

The health issues that have been reported in Bull Terriers over the years are:

  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, osteochondritis, panosteitis
  • Skin problems: lethal acrodermatitis, atopy, pyoderma, demodectic mange, elbow hygroma
  • Neurological disorders: epilepsy, compulsive tail-chasing, rage syndrome/sudden onset aggression (SOA)
  • Heart diseases: mitral valve dysplasia, aortic stenosis
  • Cancer: lymphoma, squamous cell carcinoma, mast cell tumor
  • Dental issues: malocclusion
  • Kidney disease
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Pyloric stenosis
  • Deafness
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cerebellar ataxia

Please keep in mind that the list is not arranged according to any particular order, so it doesn’t mean that the risk of health problems at the top of the list is higher and vice versa.

Common Health Issues in Yorkshire Terriers

The Yorkshire Terrier is a breed of small dogs that were developed in the 19th century and was named after the place they originated from – Yorkshire in England. These dogs are generally healthy, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, but there are certain health issues they can potentially face during their lifetime.

Health issues that can occur in Yorkshire Terriers are:

  • Orthopedic issues: Legg-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, hypoplasia of dens
  • Eye problems: retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, dry eye (KCS)
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Allergies
  • Bronchitis
  • Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver shunt
  • Tracheal collapse
  • Dental problems
  • Bladder stones
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Undescended testicles

The list isn’t arranged in any particular order, which means that health issues from the top aren’t more likely to occur in your Yorkshire Terrier and vice versa. Although we have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, we would like to point out that this list is not exhaustive, so keep in mind that there is a small chance that your Yorkie could develop some disease that we haven’t mentioned here.

Common Health Issues in American Staffordshire Terriers

The American Staffordshire Terrier or Amstaff is a breed of robust, energetic, and agile dogs that were created by crossing Terriers and Bulldogs. This breed is considered to be relatively healthy, but there are still certain health issues that can occur with Amstaffs, and these are:

  • Orthopedic issues: elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament rupture, osteochondritis, patellar luxation
  • Eye problems: progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, entropion, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Heart diseases: subaortic stenosis, cardiomyopathy
  • Allergies
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Demodex (demodectic mange)

The purpose of this list is to serve as a starting point for all Amstaff owners who want to be more informed about the health of their dogs. It doesn’t mean that these health issues will surely occur in your Amstaff, but it’s good to know which diseases he is susceptible to so that you can notice the symptoms of a certain disease earlier, if it occurs, and seek veterinary help.

Common Health Issues in American Pit Bull Terriers

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed of medium-sized, strong, and intelligent dogs. Despite their strength, endurance and the fact that they are considered to be a generally healthy breed, American Pit Bull Terriers, just like all other dogs, are prone to certain health issues.

The health issues that have been reported in American Pit Bull Terriers are:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, osteochondritis, crucial ligament rupture
  • Eye problems: cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), entropion
  • Skin infections: demodectic mange, pyoderma
  • Heart problems: aortic stenosis, cardiomyopathy
  • Neurological disorders: degenerative myelopathy, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), cerebellar ataxia
  • Bloat
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Liver disease
  • Bladder stones
  • Parvovirus
  • Allergies
  • Hypothyroidism

It doesn’t mean that the above-mentioned health issues will certainly occur in your dog, but it’s good to be aware of them and get more detailed information so you can notice the symptoms earlier if any of these health issues do occur.

Common Health Issues in Jack Russell Terriers

The Jack Russell Terrier is a breed of small dogs native to England, where they were originally bred to assist in fox hunting. They are generally a healthy breed and with proper care, they can live for 15 years or longer. However, like all other dogs, Jack Russell Terriers have certain health issues that they are prone to, and these are:

  • Orthopedic issues: Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, arthritis
  • Eye problems: primary lens luxation (PLL), patent ductus arteriosus, glaucoma, cataracts
  • Dental problems: malocclusion, oligodontia, bad breath
  • Heart problems: cardiomyopathy, pulmonic subaortic stenosis, patent ductus arteriosus
  • Neurological disorders: cerebellar ataxia, hydrocephalus, epilepsy
  • Hernia: umbilical hernia, inguinal hernia
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Portosystemic shunt
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Allergies
  • Mast cell tumor
  • Deafness
  • Pancreatitis

We would like to point out that the list is not arranged according to any special criteria, i.e. that there is no higher risk of health issues that are at the top of the list and vice versa. The list includes health issues that have been reported in this breed over the years; this doesn’t mean they will certainly occur in your Jack Russell Terrier, but it’s good to be informed about them so you can spot the symptoms earlier if any of these health problems do occur.

Common Health Issues in Rat Terriers

The Rat Terrier is a breed of dogs that come in two sizes: miniature and standard. They have a fairly long lifespan: 15 to 18 years, but that doesn’t mean they are not susceptible to any health problems. Below you can find a list of health issues whose occurrence has been reported in Rat Terriers over the years. The items on the list aren’t sorted according to any special criteria, which means there is no greater risk of developing health issues that are at the top of the list and vice versa.

Health issues that can occur in Rat Terriers:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation
  • Eye problems: primary lens luxation (PLL), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), entropion, ectropion
  • Heart diseases: mitral valve disease (MVD)
  • Neurological disorders: epilepsy
  • Allergies (food, environmental)
  • Demodectic mange
  • Alopecia
  • Dental issues
  • Microvascular dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hernias
  • Cryptorchidism

The purpose of this list to inform Rat Terrier owners about potential health issues that may occur in their dogs. It doesn’t mean that every Rat Terrier will face these health issues, but it’s good to be aware of them so we can react in a timely manner if they do occur.

Common Health Issues in Cairn Terriers

Cairn Terriers are generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 13 to 14 years, but as with all other breeds, there are certain health issues that can occur in Cairn Terriers and that you should be aware of. Below is a list of health issues to which Cairn Terriers more susceptible than other breeds. The items on the list aren’t ranked according to any special criteria, which means there is no lower risk of developing diseases that are at the bottom of the list and vice versa.

Health issues that Cairn Terriers are prone to:

  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO)
  • Eye problems: glaucoma, cataracts, ocular melanosis, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Neurological disorders: Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GCL), epilepsy, Scottie cramp
  • Heart diseases: mitral valve disease (MVD)
  • Portacaval shunt
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Portosystemic shunts
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s disease
  • Chronic allergies

The purpose of this list is to inform you about the potential health issues of the Cairn Terrier. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean the mentioned issues will surely occur in all dogs of this breed. Most Cairn Terriers can live a normal life without major health issues, but it’s good to learn out more about the diseases to which this breed is susceptible because you will be able to notice the symptoms earlier if a disease does occur and respond in a timely manner.

Common Health Issues in Border Terriers

The Border Terrier is a breed of small intelligent and fearless dogs that can live from 12 to 15 years. Although this is a hardy breed, there are certain health issues that Border Terriers are prone to. Below is a list of those health problems, compiled with the intent of informing the owners of these dogs about the potential health issues their dogs may face throughout their lives.

The list isn’t ranked according to any particular criteria, which means there is no higher risk for the development of the health issues listed at the top of the list and vice versa.

Health issues that can occur in Border Terriers:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation, craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Eye problems: cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, lens luxation
  • Neurological disorders: seizures, canine epileptoid cramping syndrome/Spike’s disease, SLEM (Spongiform LeucoEncephaloMyelopathy)
  • Heart diseases: pulmonic stenosis, subaortic stenosis, septal defect
  • Colitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Malocclusion
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Ear infections
  • Allergies

We would like to point out that these health issues don’t have to occur in all Border Terriers; most dogs with proper care can lead a normal and healthy life, but it’s good to know what risks there are when it comes to your dog’s health and what you need to pay special attention to.

Common Health Issues in Scottish Terriers

The Scottish Terrier is a breed of small dogs with a distinctive appearance. Like all other breeds, Scottish Terriers are also susceptible to certain health issues. Below is a list of health problems that have been reported in this breed over the years, but that doesn’t mean they must certainly occur in all Scottish Terriers. It’s useful to inform yourself about them and to learn more about the symptoms that indicate that there is a particular health issue so you can spot them earlier and respond in a timely manner if the health issue does occur.

Health issues that have been reported in Scottish Terriers over the years are:

  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, Wobbler’s syndrome, craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Eye problems: progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts,
  • Neurological disorders: Scottie cramp, cerebellar abiotrophy, epilepsy
  • Cancers: bladder cancer, hemangiosarcoma, squamous cell carcinoma, lymphosarcoma, nasal carcinoma, gastric carcinoma
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Blood-clotting diseases: von Willebrand’s disease, hemophilia
  • Heart disease: pulmonic stenosis, cardiomyopathy
  • Skin problems: atopic dermatitis, demodectic mange, sebaceous adenitis
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Deafness
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Addison’s disease
  • Cystinuria
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Portosystemic shunt

The health issues from this list aren’t arranged in any particular order, that is, we didn’t compile the list by placing the diseases for which there is a greater risk at the top of the list and vice versa.

Common Health Issues in Staffordshire Bull Terriers

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a breed of medium-sized dogs with an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years. These strong and muscular dogs are thought to be generally healthy, but like all other dogs, they also have certain health issues to which they are prone.

Below is a list of health issues that have been reported in Staffordshire Bull Terriers over the years. This doesn’t mean that the diseases and conditions listed below will certainly occur in your dog, but it’s good to be aware that there is a chance of it and to find out what their symptoms are and whether they can be prevented.

Health problems that can occur in Staffordshire Bull Terriers are:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, elbow dysplasia, cruciate ligament injury
  • Eye problems: cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), distichiasis, persistent hyperplastic primary vitreous (PHPV)
  • Neurological disorders: epilepsy, L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (L2-HGA), degenerative myelopathy
  • Skin problems: demodectic mange, pyoderma, follicular dysplasia
  • Heart diseases
  • Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
  • Allergies
  • Deafness
  • Urolithiasis

The health issues on this list aren’t ranked in any particular order, which means there is no greater risk of developing health problems from the top of the list and vice versa.

Common Health Issues in West Highland White Terriers

The West Highland White Terrier is a breed of small intelligent, confident, playful, and mischievous dogs. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, and although they are generally considered as a healthy breed, there are certain health issues Westies are prone to. The list below isn’t ranked according to any specific criteria, so keep in mind that there is no higher risk for the occurrence of those health problems that are at the top of the list and vice versa. Health issues that have been reported in this West Highland White Terriers over the years are:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, craniomandibular osteopathy, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, patellar luxation
  • Eye problems: cataracts, dry eye (KCS)
  • Allergies: atopic dermatitis, food allergies
  • Other skin disorders: hyperplastic dermatosis, Demodex (demodectic mange)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Globoid cell leukodystrophy (Krabbe disease)
  • White dog shaker syndrome
  • Bladder cancer
  • Colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Addison’s disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Hernias

The aim of this list is to inform West Highland White Terrier owners about potential health issues that their dogs may face throughout their lives, but this doesn’t mean that the above-mentioned diseases will surely occur in your Westie. Most of these dogs can live long and healthy lives, but it’s good to be aware of potential issues so we can identify them earlier if they do occur.

Common Health Issues in Airedale Terriers

The Airedale Terrier is a breed of intelligent, active, and playful dogs. They are also called “Kings of Terriers” because they are the largest of all other terrier breeds. Airedales are generally healthy dogs with a lifespan of 10 to 13 years, but there are certain health issues that these dogs are more prone to compared to other breeds.

Health issues that have occurred in this breed over the years are:

  • Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, panosteitis, patellar luxation, osteochondritis, Wobbler’s syndrome
  • Eye problems: cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, retinal dysplasia, entropion
  • Skin disorders: dermatitis, pyoderma, follicular dysplasia, lick granuloma, seborrhea, lipomas, sebaceous cysts
  • Neurological disorders: degenerative myelopathy
  • Cancers: lymphoma, skin cancers, mammary cancer, urethral tumors, nasal cavity tumors
  • Blood-clotting diseases: hemophilia B, von Willebrand’s disease
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus/Bloat
  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Allergies
  • Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Heart disease: cardiomyopathy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Juvenile renal disease

The purpose of this list is to make Airedale Terrier owners aware of the health issues that can occur in their dogs. However, this doesn’t mean that these health problems will certainly occur in all Airedales, but it’s good to be aware of them and well informed so that we can notice the symptoms earlier if a certain health problem occurs.