Cairn Terrier Health Problems and Raising a Cairn Terrier Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015
The most common health problems in Cairn Terriers:
Allergies (causing itchy skin and often leading to bacterial skin infections called pyoderma) are common in all terriers.
The most common orthopedic disease in Cairn Terriers is luxating patella (loose knees). Other orthopedic diseases occurring in Cairns are craniomandibular osteopathy and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. Even hip dysplasia occurs in Cairns. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 64 Cairn Terriers and found 6% dysplastic. Compare that to Australian Terriers with a 2% rate.
The most common eye disease is cataracts. When cataracts appear before 2 years old, they often progress to blindness. Another eye concern in the Cairn Terrier is lens luxation leading to secondary glaucoma. Occasionally, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) has been reported in Cairns.
Ocular melanosis (pigmentary glaucoma) is an eye disease that occurs ONLY in Cairn Terriers. Appearing at 8-12 years old, pigment granules form in the whites of the eye, making it harder for fluid to drain out, which leads to elevated fluid pressure (glaucoma) in the eye. Older Cairns should be checked yearly for pigment changes in their eyes.
Lysosomal storage disease (specifically, globoid cell leukodystrophy) is a degenerative disease of the brain and spinal cord. It appears at 2-6 months old and is rapidly progressive, with death usually occurring prior to a year old. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for GCL so you can find out at any time whether your Cairn Terrier has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive lung disease where your Cairn's lungs become chronically inflamed and scarred to the point where he has a very hard time breathing. It appears around 9 years old and the prognosis is very poor.
There are quite a few other diseases to be concerned about in Cairn Terriers, most of them serious. These include epilepsy, heart disease (mitral valve disease), blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's and hemophilia B), kidney disease (polycystic kidneys), liver shunt, pyruvate kinase deficiency, cerebellar ataxia, hypothyroidism, and hernias.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Cairn Terrier?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Cairn Terriers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Cairn Terrier puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Cairn Terrier puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Cairn Terrier puppy or adult dog:
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Copyright © 2000-2015 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
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