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Biewer Terriers are relative newcomers to the canine world and to date have made a great impact on dog lovers. These cute, small terriers much like their cousin the Yorkie are, however, predisposed to certain hereditary health disorders as well as few acquired conditions too.
The one health issue the breed is most prone to suffer from is a sensitive stomach, which means these little dogs need to be fed a well planned and carefully balanced diet to avoid upset tummies. Below is a list of health disorders more commonly associated with the Biewer Terrier.
This is a painful eye disorder where too many eyelashes grow around a dog's eyelid which typically sees two hairs growing out of the same follicle. If left untreated, the dog's cornea becomes ulcerated which could end up causing permanent damage to their vision. Early treatment is a must to prevent any damage being done.
Legg-Perthes disease affects the hip joint and is caused by an inadequate amount of blood reaching it. This results in the dog's femur bone weakening and the end result is that it collapses due to the cartilage around the joint becoming malformed or cracked. Clinical signs of a problem are quite obvious and includes the following:
Vets typically take X-rays to establish whether a dog is suffering from the condition before recommending the right sort of treatment or therapy.
This is a condition that affects a dog's kneecaps where they become dislocated or slightly out of position. Although it is an hereditary condition that Biewer Terriers often suffer from, trauma and injury can also cause Luxating Patella. If the condition is very severe, a vet would recommend surgery to correct the problem.
Portosystemic shunt is a hereditary abnormality which affects the liver and blood. In severe cases, blood flow totally bypasses the liver allowing it to flow through the entire body which results in the unfiltered blood poisoning vital organs, namely the heart, lungs and brains. If you suspect your pet may be suffering from the condition, you should get them to the vet so a correct diagnosis can be made followed by the right treatment as soon as possible.
Hypoglycaemia is a health issue that affects many toy breeds including the Biewer Terrier. Puppies up to the age of 4 months old are more usually affected by the condition which is why it's important to watch out for any symptoms during the first few months of their lives.
However, older dogs too can develop hypoglycaemia, although this is quite rare which is lucky because there are certain complications that can make the condition much harder to treat when dogs develop hypoglycaemia later on in their lives.
Very young and smaller Biewer Terriers tend to suffer from the condition if they are not fed at regular intervals throughout the day.
Just like quite a few other smaller terriers, the Biewer tends to retain their milk teeth which can lead to malocclusions. This is when their adult teeth cannot break through correctly which results in teeth not sitting properly in a dog's mouth.
If you are thinking about buying a Biewer Terrier puppy, it's really important to contact a breeder who has a well thought breeding programme in place and who screens all their dogs for hereditary or congenital disorders. The problem is that some of the "bad genes" responsible for many genetic disorders are capable of skipping several generations so there's never really a guarantee puppies won't suffer from any of them.
Good breeding programmes do however, reduce the chances of this happening which is why it's so important to contact a reputable breeder if you are thinking about getting a Biewer Terrier puppy.
In general, the Biewer Terrier is a healthy little dog although like their cousin the Yorkie, they are predisposed to developing a few hereditary and acquired health issues which owners need to know about. The sooner a condition is diagnosed and treated, the faster a pet is made to feel more comfortable and as a general rule of thumb, the better the outcome tends to be for the dog. However, not all Biewers may develop any of the health issues listed above during the course of their lives. The other thing to bear in mind, is that no matter how well bred a dog might be, bad genes are able to skip several generations so it's always worth knowing about them.
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