Most common health problems in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Toller, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Toller already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever dog breed

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever health problems

Major health issues in Tollers include cancer, epilepsy, and several serious heart diseases.

Hereditary eye diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts cause blindness. A serious autoimmune disease is called Addison's disease, which requires tricky lifelong management.

Up to 17% of Tollers have thyroid disease. Then there is colitis, which causes chronic diarrhea. Also a severe form of arthritis that strikes young Tollers.

Bad joints (hips, elbows, knees) cause pain and lameness and can require expensive surgery.

Chronic allergies cause itchy skin and scratching that can lead to skin infections (hot spots).

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases and hip dysplasia, your Toller has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Toller, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy or adult dog:

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


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Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Toller
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" 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 some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


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


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.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever health problems

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)
  • 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 and can be difficult to treat)
    • thyroid disease (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 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 serious eye disease in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers is progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), which appears at age 3-6 and causes blindness. 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 include corneal dystrophy and persistent pupillary membranes. Tollers can also have malformations of their eyelids and eyelashes, which can irritate their eyeball and lead to corneal ulcers.

Bad joints (hips, elbows, knees) cause pain and lameness and can require expensive surgery. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of nearly 2400 Tollers and found 6% dysplastic. Elbow dysplasia and luxating patella (loose knee joints) occur much less often.

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

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers can be born deaf, or partially deaf.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

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book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.