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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Start your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.

Jump down to this list of
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Health Problems

Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier 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 Wheaten Terrier lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet... [read more]

numeral 33 Best Ways To Feed Your Dog Healthy Food
You can dramatically increase your dog's chances of living a long, healthy life by feeding the right food. Cutting right to the chase, the best foods for your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier are... [read more]

Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
Your Wheaten Terrier will love real chicken, turkey, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, broccoli.... this is not just "people food" and I'll tell you why... [read more]

Dry kibble and canned dog food 5 Best Kibble and Canned Dog Foods
Some are better than others, but I must be honest – I'm not a huge fan of dry or canned dog food. Here are my concerns... [read more]

Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Wheaten Terrier be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Wheaten? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
Does your Wheaten suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to reduce inflammation and pain. [read more]

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Complete list of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier health problems

These FIVE health problems are life-threatening in Wheatens:

  • A severe form of colitis (protein-losing enteropathy, or PLE), results in essential proteins being "lost" through the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. All Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers should be tested every year for PLE, because it's essential to treat it early.
  • A similar kidney disease (protein-losing nephropathy, or PLN) results in essential proteins being lost through the kidneys. All Wheatens should be tested every year for PLN.
  • A different kidney disease, renal dysplasia, can kill Wheaten Terriers at 6-12 months old. Fortunately, a simple DNA test is available for renal dysplasia. So you don't need to wait with bated breath for symptoms to appear. You can have your Wheaten Terrier puppy tested in your vet's office to find out whether he has inherited renal dyplasia or not.
  • A complicated disorder of the endocrine system, called Addison's disease, occurs in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.
  • Finally, a serious neurological disease called degenerative myelopathy gradually causes hindquarter paralysis. This heart-breaking disease is currently a major concern in the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Allergies are not life-threatening, but they're a chronic nuisance that can make life miserable for your Wheaten and frustrating for you. Allergies cause terribly itchy skin and the constant scratching often leads to bacterial skin infections (hot spots).

Tumorous growths (especially basal cell tumors and hair follicle tumors) are quite common in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, as are non-tumorous growths such as warts.

The most serious eye diseases in Wheatens are progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), cataracts, and retinal dysplasia. There are an awful lot of Wheatens who are completely or partially blind.

Orthopedic diseases include elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, and luxating patella (loose knees).

The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 6800 Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and found 5% dysplastic. That's not too bad, but elbows were worse – out of 500 elbow x-rays, 9% were dysplastic.

Paroxysmal dyskinesia  is an inherited movement disorder. An affected Wheaten has episodes of abnormal movement of his legs, sometimes resembling a seizure. Testing of a limited number of Wheatens showed 25% of the tested dogs were affected, with another 15% being carriers.

Other health issues in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers include hypothyroidism, heart disease, and inherited deafness.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.