Kerry Blue Terrier Health Problems and Raising a Kerry Blue Terrier Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015
The most common health problems in Kerry Blue Terriers:
In Kerries, it all starts with their skin:
- Allergies cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma
- Non-tumorous growths
- Skin growths on the nose, or on the pads of the feet. Footpad keratoses are deep circular plaques (corns) that develop on hard dry footpads. They often become ulcerated, causing pain when the dog tries to walk. Softening the affected pads with vitamin E, aloe vera, and other natural lubricants helps. Nasodigital keratoses result in a hard, dry, rough nose with possible fissures and ulcers.
- Tumors and cancers, especially hair follicle tumors and breast tumors.
- Spiculosis – abnormal spike-like hairs that feel like stiff bristles. They're most numerous in young adult males, with some dogs having over a hundred of them, especially on their legs. Sometimes you can pull them out with your fingers. Otherwise you may need to soak the dog in warm water and epsom salts, then scrub them off with a rubber brush.
The most common eye diseases in Kerry Blue Terriers are dry eye, and cataracts that appear before 2 years old (usually by 6 months old) and can progress to blindness. Entropion, eyelash abnormalities, and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) also occur in Kerries.
Heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus) is becoming a concern in the breed, and hypothyroidism occurs occasionally.
Blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's and occasionally Factor XI deficiency) occur in Kerry Blue Terriers. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for von Willebrand's disease in Kerries, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.
The most common orthopedic diseases in Kerries are luxating patella, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 1200 Kerry Blues and found 6% dysplastic.
A fatal neurological disease in Kerry Blue Terriers is cerebellar ataxia (specifically, progressive neuronal abiotrophy).
Other health issues in Kerry Blue Terriers include colitis, urinary stones, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, myasthenia gravis, and lupus.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Kerry Blue Terrier?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Kerry Blue Terriers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Kerry Blue 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 Kerry Blue Terrier puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Kerry Blue Terrier puppy or adult dog:
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Copyright © 2000-2015 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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