Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Kerry Blue Terrier puppy so he lives a long healthy life and seldom needs to visit the vet. Learn about the most common health problems and issues in Kerry Blue Terriers, the best dog food diet for feeding Kerry Blue Terrier puppies and adult dogs, the truth about vaccinations, spaying and neutering, and natural health care.


11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, my best-selling dog health book

Kerry Blue Terrier dog breed

Kerry Blue Terrier Health Problems and Raising a Kerry Blue Terrier Puppy to be Healthy

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

Quiz – How Long Will Your Dog Live?
How To Raise a Healthy Dog
Feeding the Best Dog Food
Feeding the 2nd Best Dog Food
Vaccinations: Needed or Not?
Are You Sure Your Vet Is Good?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

Dog lifespan quiz How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.


Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Kerry Blue Terrier lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Kerry Blue Terrier
The best diet for feeding your Kerry Blue Terrier is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Kerry Blue Terrier. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Kerry Blue Terrier
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Kerry Blue Terrier. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Kerry Blue Terrier puppy really need? Does your adult Kerry Blue Terrier need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Kerry Blue Terrier. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Information on spaying your Kerry Blue Terrier. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Kerry Blue Terrier.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.