Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Sensible advice for raising your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, the best dog food diet for feeding Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 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

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog breed

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Health Problems and Raising a Toller 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers:

The Canadian Toller Club conducted a health survey that included 1180 dogs. They report that the average age of death for the dogs in their survey was less than 7 years old, and that only 21% of deceased dogs lived to age 12 or older. This is very worrisome.

The diseases responsible for the most deaths in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever were:

  • Cancer (25% of Toller deaths), especially breast cancer, lymphoma, and mastocytoma.
  • Autoimmune diseases (7% of Toller deaths), where a Toller's defective immune system attacks its own body and damages it. Autoimmune diseases in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers include
    • Addison's disease (which in Tollers can appear as early as 4 months old)
    • hypothyroidism (according to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 27% of Tollers have low thyroid levels, the 8th worst rate of 140 breeds)
    • lupus
    • autoimmune hemolytic anemia
    • colitis, which can cause chronic diarrhea
    • a blood-clotting disease called thrombocytopenia
    • a severe form of arthritis called juvenile onset polyarthritis that strikes young Duck Tollers
  • Heart disease (6% of Toller deaths), especially pulmonic stenosis, subaortic stenosis, mitral valve disease, and patent ductus arteriosus.
  • Epilepsy / seizures (4% of Toller deaths)

The most common orthopedic disease in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 952 Tollers and found 7% dysplastic. This is a much better rate than the Labrador, Golden, Chesapeake, and Curly-Coated Retriever, but not as good as the Flat-Coat's 4%. Elbow dysplasia was rated at 3%, which is good. Luxating patella occurs in the breed, as well.

The most serious eye disease in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which appears at age 3-6. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for PRA in Tollers, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.

Cataracts can appear at a young age. Other eye diseases in Tollers include eyelash abnormalities and eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion).

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).

Inherited deafness has been reported in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.


Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever?

Yes, often you can.

  1. Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.

Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
The best diet for feeding your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Toller
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy really need? Does your adult Toller 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. 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 Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Toller.


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