The Border Terrier, a Dog With Very Few Health Concerns

The Border Terrier, a Dog With Very Few Health Concerns

Health & Safety

The Border Terrier is known to be a happy little character and one that boasts a long lifespan which can be anything up to 14 years. The breed is known to be one of the healthier ones around because they boast very strong constitutions. As such trips to the vet tend to be a lot less frequent than with other pure breeds.

With this said, they are known to suffer from certain conditions which are worth knowing about so that if a dog shows any symptoms, these can be recognised sooner rather than later. One health issue that's being reported in the breed more in the UK over recent times is Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome or CEGS which is also known as Spike's disease. Other health issues associated with the breed include the ones listed below:

Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome - CEGS

As previously mentioned, this condition is also known as Spike's Disease and it causes dogs to have seizures but they are still fully aware of what is going on. Dogs with the condition also suffer a loss of balance and tend to experience muscle spasms. As yet it is not known if this is an hereditary disorder.

Hip Dysplasia

A condition that occasionally affects the breed, hip dysplasia is caused by the abnormal development of the hip joint which typically occurs when dogs are still growing. Dogs with the condition tend to be extremely lame and in severe cases, arthritis sets in debilitating a dog's movement even more. Veterinary attention should be sought if you are at all worried about your dog because the sooner the condition is diagnosed, the sooner your pet would be made to feel more comfortable.


Border Terriers tend to suffer from this condition far more than other breeds and it's a nasty and painful disorder that causes ulcers to form in the large intestine. The result is bouts of diarrhoea with stools often containing an amount of blood due to these ulcers bleeding internally.


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 so their jaws tend to be misaligned.

Patellar Luxation

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 Border Terriers may 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.


Border Terriers may also be prone to Hypothyroidism which affects thyroid function negatively impacting a dog's metabolism. More often than not, the condition is seen in middle-aged dogs and several breeds. Symptoms may include loss of hair and muscle tone, dogs tend to gain weight gain and become lethargy. On occasion a dog with the condition can develop heart problems. Once the vet has established a correct diagnosis, the hypothyroidism can be managed effectively with the right medication.

Heart Defects

These little dogs are also known to suffer from certain heart defects with Pulmonic Stenosis being the most common and which causes dogs to have a heart murmur and which a vet would need to check out. Dogs with the condition are often put on medication and a specific diet. They may also need to be given less exercise than usual.


Seizures may be cause by several things and they can happen at any time. The signs a dog is experiencing a seizure are usually quite obvious with them trembling or becoming very rigid and staring into the distance. They might experience muscle spasms and even loose consciousness. With the right medication, seizures can be very successfully managed and because they are incurable, dogs would need to be given medication all their lives.


This is condition where both of a dog's testicles fail to drop. Normally they drop when a puppy is around 3 months old, but if they are retained, they could turn cancerous if not removed.

Skin Disease

Over recent times, there have been more reports of Border Terriers developing certain skin conditions which is why it's so important to regularly groom your dog which allows you to keep an eye out for any skin issues before they get too bad.

Ear Infections & Inflammation

There have also been more reports of these little dogs suffering ear infections and inflammation of the ear. Again, it's very important to catch an ear infection as early as possible when they are that much easier to treat.


The Border Terrier is considered one of the healthiest little dogs around although like a lot of other pure breeds, they may develop a few hereditary disorders which are worth knowing 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 dogs would 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.



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