Westie Health Concerns

The vast majority of dogs of all breeds (as well as mixed breeds) can live long, healthy lives if given proper care, good nutrition, exercise, and routine veterinary attention. Nevertheless, any dog can fall victim to a wide range of health problems including infectious diseases, parasites, allergies, endocrine problems, heart conditions, and cancer to name a few. In addition, each pure breed of dogs has its own particular health issues. The West Highland White Terrier is no exception. Some of these problems are minor, some impairing, and some possibly fatal. Some conditions may show a very strong hereditary basis and others are caused by environmental factors.

2007 Health Survey:
According to the 2007 Health Survey conducted by the WHWTCA, listed below are the diseases, by prevalence, affecting West Highland White Terriers. For a detailed look at the survey results visit www.westiefoundation.org and click on Health Surveys.

    • Atopic dermatitis
    • Luxating patella
    • Aggression
    • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    • Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease
    • Dry Eye (KCS)
    • Addison’s disease
    • Lymphoma
    • White Shaker
    • Pulmonary Fibrosis
    • Juvenile Cataracts
    • CMO (craniomandibular osteopathy)
    • Pancreatic enzyme deficiency

    For information about many diseases and issues that affect Westies, visit the Health eBook found on the Westie Foundation of America website at www.westiefoundation.org .There you will find comprehensive information about the following:


    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifDiet and Environment
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 1:  Atopic Dermatitis
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 2:  Bladder Cancer (Transitional Cell Carcinoma)
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 3:  Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 4:  Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 5:  CMO (Craniomandibular Osteopathy)
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 6:  Luxating Patella
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 7:  Addison's Disease
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 8:  IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic # 9:  Juvenile Cataracts
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic #10:  White Shaker Syndrome
    Topic #11:  Breeding and Whelping
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifTopic #12:  Aggression
    Topic #13: Diabetes Mellitus
    Topic #14: Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) 
    Topic #15: Copper Toxicity
    Topic #16: Complementary and Alternative Medicine
    http://www.westiefoundation.org/picts/spacer.gifThe Westie E-Book Team

    Get Adobe ReaderIn order to view the above eBook, you will need Adobe® Reader® — free software for viewing and printing Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

    Click on the following links to learn about other health Issues that affect Westies:

    Other health related links:

      Listed below are several of the current breed-specific research projects currently being conducted that require blood or DNA samples from West Highland White Terriers. If you would like more information about the studies, visit the Westie Foundation of America web site at www.westiefoundation.org. If you would like to participate by contributing blood or DNA samples from your Westie, call or email the contact person listed. Your participation will be greatly appreciated!


      Genetic marker for
      Atopic Dermatitis
      Blood samples from 100 normal dogs and 100 dogs diagnosed with atopic dermatitis
      Cary Salzmann
      North Carolina State University

      Genetic role in
      Blood samples from 20 affected dogs and 20 unaffected dogs
      Dr. Alison Starr
      Clemson University
      Genetic susceptibility of Bladder Cancer
      Blood samples from dogs with a diagnosis of TCC
      Donna Viglietti, Ostrander Lab
      National Human Genome
      Research institute
      Genetic marker for Addison's Disease
      DNA from cheek cells and/or blood from affected dogs and unaffected dogs over the age of 7
      Dr A.M. Oberbauer
      UC Veterinary School (Davis)



      Any information contained on this site relating to various medical, health, and fitness conditions of Westies and their treatment is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own veterinarian. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing a Westie's health - you should always consult your own veterinarian.


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