THE  CAIRN  TERRIER  HEALTH  GROUP

  

CAIRN TERRIER HEALTH GROUP REPORT 2016

Many Thanks to all the owners, who have kept us informed during the year! Emails, letters and quite a number of ‘phone calls have yet again been received. Some contacts have been re documented case histories, whilst others have been about more general concerns and worries.  Notable cases reported this year include Addison’s disease and Steroid Responsive Meningitis Arteritis (SRMA); both autoimmune conditions. Portosystemic Shunt (PSS) has sadly again been reported.  

Health report data are typically dealt with on a generational basis for statistical purposes. This is also the method used by the Kennel Club (KC) for the intervals of their Health Surveys (see below). The end of spring 2017 marks the 10 years of data collection made by the Cairn Terrier Health Group (CTHG) and the results will be published, as soon as the data have been processed.

 It would be most appreciated, if any information, you may have forgotten to report earlier, could be forwarded to make the data as representative as possible!

 KC PEDIGREE BREED HEALTH SURVEY 2014

The results of this latest survey were published in the spring 2016 and can be viewed at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/vets-researchers/publications-statistics-and-health-results. The response to the 2014 survey was slightly better than to the 2004 one but still rather poor.  300 live and 38 deceased Cairn Terriers were represented. Most dogs (198 dogs or 66%) were not affected by a disease condition. The most common disease in live dogs was lipoma and the two most common, equally represented, causes of death were old age and hepatic(liver)tumour (median age for the latter 13.5 years). There were strangely no cases reported as diagnosed with neither PSS/MVD nor Ocular melanosis (OM), but they could of course be hiding under another umbrella.

 GIVE A DOG A GENOME

The Animal Health Trust (AHT), together with the KC, launched this worthwhile project early in the year. The aim is to get the genome sequenced for as many breeds as possible to enable/facilitate future research. It can be of benefit not only to one specific breed but also to other breeds involved in DNA analysis and sometimes even in human mutation research (e.g. certain cancers). The KC was subsidising a limited number of places, on a first come, first served basis. The normal price for sequencing is £2000/dog, but the KC are now paying half the cost. It was decided that the Cairn should have a place in this DNA collection, so an application was made and accepted and £1000 were sent from the CTHG. Comprehensive information, including on peer reviewed, published research, also had to be submitted. It was most encouraging to be notified that the researchers at AHT have decided to sequence the DNA from a Cairn with OM and cooperate with other research done on the condition. Very good news since a DNA test would be so much better than regular eye testing. Let us hope the research bears fruit!

 EYE TESTING

The CTHG has subsidised several sessions of Eye testing this year and paid £840 towards these. It is unfortunate that the BVA increases the cost so frequently, but regular testing of breeding stock is obviously very important.

Many Thanks to Yvonne Catto for her invaluable help all these years !

Sincere Thanks to a benefactor for the generous donation of £100 to the Health Fund !

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science

Tel: 01623 812856  Email: msascience@onetel.com

CAIRN TERRIER HEALTH GROUP REPORT 2015

Many Thanks for keeping us informed during the year! Please continue helping to keep our records updated, even with earlier cases you may have forgotten to tell us about before. 2016 is the year of reckoning, when one generation has been reached and all collected data will be calculated and compared with results from other sources!

The latest KC Breed Health Coordinators Symposium did have two interesting talks, worth reporting on:

Dr Mike Starkey, head of Molecular Oncology at AHT, gave a presentation on Canine Cancers. He confirmed, as other oncologists have also stated, that the incidence of cancer (benign and malign together) is somewhere between 1in3 and 1in4. This is actually roughly the same risk as for human beings, so one should not be too surprised if ones dog becomes ill with the disease. It is also the No 1 cause of death in dogs over the age of 2 years old. Most cancers are due to sporadic mutations and not to inherited gene mutations.

Dr Tom Lewis, KC Quantitative Geneticist, introduced just finished research on Trends in Genetic Diversity and Effective Population Sizes. This is an extensive study covering all KC registered breeds. The observed inbreeding coefficient (COI) for the Cairn Terrier has been considerably higher than the expected one and was at its highest in the 1980s and 1990s, with a genetic bottleneck and loss of genetic variation. There has been moderate replenishment since the early 2000s with negative rate of inbreeding and less extensive use of popular sires. Import of dogs may also have helped a little. Estimated effective population size = 70.3 (if below 50 the future of a breed may be at risk). Those wishing to read more about the issue can find the information at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/vets-researchers/publications-statistics-and-health-results/breed-population-analyses  

Lungworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum)

This potentially fatal internal parasite is a rather new problem in UK and was, until relatively recently, confined to the southern part of the country. It is however now spreading quite rapidly and cases have been reported as far up as in Edinburgh. Location of reported cases can be found on www.lungworm.co.uk to aid risk assessment. Foxes and dogs serve as definitive host animals, but can not infect each other directly. Intermediate hosts, in the form of slugs or snails, who have come in contact with infected faeces, are needed for the parasite to spread. Dogs become infected through, accidentally or on purpose, eating those slimy pests. It is therefore sensible not to leave toys and water- and food bowls outside, especially since it is suspected that also the slime can carry the infection. Faeces should also be removed promptly.

The symptoms can be rather varied and include lethargy, chronic cough, exercise intolerance, breathing problems and subcutaneous bleeding. Correct diagnosis is not always made, especially since the condition is fairly new and not very common. One little bitch, owned by Mr and Mrs Firth, almost lost her life due to a severe infection. The condition had not earlier been found in the area, so the local veterinary surgeon failed to diagnose it. The life of the bitch was thankfully saved by referral to The Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital in Cambridge, where they had prior experience of cases. Most tests for internal parasites in dogs use faecal samples, but presence of this culprit has to identified using a blood test, or SNAP test.

Prevention can be achieved by using a specific Advocate product or by using a product containing milbemycin oxime every four weeks.

DNA tests

Somebody asked, why no list of DNA tests for Cairns had been published by the CTHG. The simple answer is, that there is no such list, because no relevant tests have been found. Very many tests are now being offered from laboratories around the globe and targeted at a great number of breeds. DNA tests can indeed be a valuable tool to help dealing with important hereditary conditions in a breed, but they are not a ‘quick fix’ to be used at random. One first has to ask IF a hereditary condition, and based on reliable, compounded information, is a problem in the breed? IF it appears to be relevant to use a genetic test, one then has to make sure that the specific test is accurate and has been validated for that specific breed i.e. one has to look at the scientific publication behind a test. The same inherited condition, e.g. PRA, can have a different mode of inheritance in different breeds, so that one test does not fit all. Tests also have to be incorporated in breeding programmes in such a way that the genetic variation is not unnecessarily reduced. Time and space does not allow for more in depth information on this somewhat complex topic, but I am more than happy to discuss further on the telephone!

Porto Systemic Shunt (PSS), or Liver Shunt; also MVD.

The number of breeders notifying about Bile Acid (BA) testing has not increased and the Scottish breeders are still top of the leader board.

1 case of PSS has been reported – a 7 years old bitch, who is thankfully doing well on conservative treatment.

Ocular melanosis (OM), Abnormal Pigmentation (APD).

The subsidized Eye examination was held in conjunction with the SKC show, with 8 Cairn Terriers being examined.

1 case of OM has been reported in a little bitch. She sadly had to lose one eye but is fortunately coping very well.

*

Many Thanks to Yvonne Catto for her invaluable help.

Sonia White, our fellow Health Group worker, did sadly pass away during the year. She was a truly lovely person and is much missed.

Sincere Thanks to a benefactor for the generous donation of £100 to the Health Fund !

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science, Tel: 01623 812856

Email: msascience@onetel.com

 

CAIRNTERRIER HEALTH GROUP REPORT 2014

Another year of health monitoring has gone by and we have, as usual, been contacted by a number of breeders and, especially, pet owners with case reports or concerns.  We always try to do our best to give advice and support when needed and it is important to receive information on any diseases affecting the breed. Many thanks for keeping us informed and please continue to do so during 2015 !

A variety of conditions have been brought to our attention, but typically in singular number and of a nature that can affect any dog of any breed. The Cairn Terrier does still appear to be a generally robust and healthy breed, but can never the less suffer from ill health, just like other dogs and us humans.  It is also an unfortunate fact that old age tends to increase the risk for health problems.

The media bombards us with statistics, however accurate or not, on a daily basis. It is always difficult to do surveys that are statistically significant and without bias. I have personally, for quite some time, suggested that a good way to gather more reliable data on dog health would be through a computerised program linked to veterinary surgeries. It was therefore encouraging to be introduced to, at the latest KC Breed Health Coordinators Symposium, just such a project. Dr Dan O’Neill, and his team at the RVC, has now got a computerised program called VetCompass up and running. Veterinary data are received from a growing number of Veterinary practices all over UK and will form a relatively sound statistical basis for further research and information on breed health. We will follow this promising project closely!

The bottom line is however, whatever findings from surveys and research, what individuals can possibly do to sustain or improve health in a breed. Breeders can: Make sure that they breed from healthy dogs, which have also undergone necessary health testing (in our case, eye testing, done regularly). Test the offspring for possible problems (in our case bile acid testing). Encourage long term feedback from the owners of their pups, so the breeder can become aware, if a health problem has been the result of a certain breeding programme. Owners can: Help their dogs by giving them a life with enough training, activities and exercise. Keeping coat, nails and teeth well looked after. Feeding a suitable and wholesome diet, free from artificial additives, and of the right amount for that individual dog. It is regularly pointed out, that obesity is very bad for us humans and can contribute to a number of illnesses. Dogs are not different in that aspect !

Porto Systemic Shunt (PSS), or Liver Shunt; also MVD.

The number of breeders notifying about Bile Acid (BA) testing has not increased.                  1 case and 1 suspected case of PSS has been reported. 1 sad death has occurred of a dog suffering from MVD (previously reported) – unfortunately no puppy BA result forthcoming from the breeder, so it is unknown, if the condition could have been detected at an early stage.

Ocular Melanosis (OM), Abnormal Pigmentation (APD)

The subsidized Eye examination, normally held at the Joint Open Show, did unfortunately not take place this year due to problems with the venue. No new cases of OM have been   reported.                                                                                                                                          1 case of Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARDS) has been reported in a 7 years old bitch. This is a, at least from a human perspective, rather scary condition, causing blindness almost overnight. The little bitch does however, thankfully, not appear to be much troubled by it and is reported to still live a fairly normal and happy life.

Warmest Thanks to my fellow Health Group workers, Yvonne Catto and Sonia White, for their invaluable help!

Sincere Thanks to a benefactor for a generous donation of £100 to the Health Fund !

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science, Tel: 01623 812856

Email: msascience@onetel.com

CAIRN TERRIER HEALTH GROUP REPORT 2013

 

Cairn Terriers will inevitably, like all types of dogs, other animals and humans, sometimes suffer from illness. The breed does however thankfully very much appear to be a typically healthy one and not burdened by a number of inherited diseases, common in some breeds. It is nevertheless important to be vigilant and monitor the health situation, on a yearly basis. Old, or new, diseases can start to become prevalent, and of concern, in a breed. Case reporting and information from owners or breeders is therefore necessary to reveal such a trend, so it can be dealt with. Much valuable information has again been received during this year. Many thanks to the contributors!

 

The cost of veterinary treatment and specialist investigations can now be very high.  Some procedures are indeed so costly, that owners, however much they love their dogs, are unable to afford them, if insurance cover is not in place.  This is a problem that has recently been highlighted. Owners, who already have insurance for their dogs, can still encounter problems, if the insurance company does not continue to pay for an ongoing condition.  The advice is therefore to carefully study the ‘small print’ when choosing pet insurance. A slightly higher monthly premium, for an insurance that pays out for continued claims, may well be better long-term ‘economy’.

 

Reported conditions this year, apart from those affecting eyes and liver (see below), include 2 cases each of: Addison’s disease; kidney disease, and 1 case each of: Diabetes; Myasthenia gravis; Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Oxidation and polyarthritis. Cases of cancer in veteran dogs have yet again been reported, including 1case each of osteosarcoma, bladder- and liver –cancer. Cairns tend to live well into their teens, so some of them will unfortunately develop tumours.

 

Porto Systemic Shunt (PSS), or Liver Shunt.

The number of breeders notifying about Bile Acid testing of litters has not increased, despite the ABS recommendation. One of the tested puppies required further investigation.

PSS was reported in a Cairn/Westie cross. Cross breeding does not guarantee freedom from hereditary conditions, despite such claims from some supporters of ‘designer breeds’!

1 case of Hepatic portal bridging fibrosis has also been reported.

 

Ocular melanosis (OM), Abnormal pigment deposition (APD)

The subsidized Eye examination, organised at the Joint Open Show, was held again and well attended this year. 35 dogs were examined by Mr J V Goodyear BVM&S CertVOphthal MRCVS.

2 new cases of OM have been reported, one of them with eye enucleation.

Advanced retinal degeneration and optic nerve atrophy has been reported in a young dog. 1 case of corneal ulcer was also reported.

 

Warmest thanks to my fellow Health Group workers, Yvonne Catto and Sonia White, for their valuable help!

 

Sincere Thanks to those, who have given generous donations to the Health Fund !

 

                                       Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science, Tel: 01623 812856

                                                                                          email: msascience@onetel.com

 

CAIRN TERRIER HEALTH GROUP REPORT 2011

 

Another year has gone by with continued good contact between owners and the Health Group.  The Cairn is of course generally a very healthy breed, but it is  important that it will remain that way.  Health monitoring is vital to achieve this, so all information is gratefully received.  Many Thanks to those who submit case histories and updates !

 

The UK Cairn Terrier Symposium did take place on Saturday 16 July, the day before the Joint Cairn Terrier Clubs’ show. Professor Steve Dean did contribute to the discussion on health issues, which naturally dealt mainly with Porto Systemic Shunt and Ocular Melanosis.

 

It was most encouraging to receive the message from the Kennel Club that new  additions have been made to the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS) for our breed.  It is now strongly recommended that ABS breeders use the following health screening schemes : BVA/KC/ISDS Eye scheme on breeding stock and Bile acid testing of puppies.

 

Reported cases this year include 1 each of : Diabetes; Epilepsy; Granulomatous colitis; Hip dysplasia; Hydrometra; Hypothyroidism; Ischemic myelopathy; Renal failure/PLN. Liver and eye cases are listed separately.

 

Owners often seek advice on conditions that are not exactly qualifying as ‘disease cases’ but are nevertheless of great worry  to them.  This also sometimes happens towards the very end of an old, much loved Cairn’s life.  The aim of the Health Group is to offer help and support whenever possible, so don’t hesitate to contact us !

 

Porto Systemic Shunt (PSS), or Liver Shunt, also included is Microvascular Dysplasia (MVD).

Many more breeders are now bile acid testing their Cairn litters, but it still only amounts to around 5% of registered litters.  One reason for this is of course that the majority of litters are bred by non-breed club members.  Some of those breeders do however belong to the Assured Breeder Scheme, so the new KC recommendations will hopefully have some effect on the situation.  It is also important that breeders who use the procedure remember to send the results to the Health Group !

 

1 case of, and 1 suspected of, MVD has been reported.  2 puppies were found to have abnormal bile acid values and are being monitored. 1 case of congenital PSS has been diagnosed in a dog as old as 5 years.  The latter shows that the condition certainly can be hidden for a long time and in a seemingly healthy dog !

 

 

 

Ocular melanosis (OM), or bilateral secondary glaucoma.

It appears to have been ‘a good year’ on this front, with no new cases reported.  Previously unreported cases have however come to light and cases reported on earlier are still being followed.  Yet another dog did sadly have to lose an eye and its remaining eye is now under threat.  It must be stressed that this condition is progressive and not congenital.  Regular eye testing, at least every two years, of breeding stock is therefore most important.  The condition falls under Schedule B of the BVA/KC/ISDS Eye Scheme.  The test results are sent to the BVA where they are collated. Schedule B results are however not sent to the KC computer base and will therefore not appear on the KC’s Mate Select.

 

The yearly, subsidized Eye Examination resulted in 17 examinations and the session organized by Dawn Inett in 4 examinations.  1 result from a private consultation has also been added.  No evidence of OM/APD was found.

 

Many Thanks to those who have given generous donations to the Health Fund !

 

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science

Tel: 01623 812856  email: msascience@onetel.com

 

 

 

Latest news from the Health Group – June 2009

 

Health Form          DOWNLOAD FORM HERE

 

Real time health recording became a requirement for all breeds, when the KC Breed Health Plans were introduced 2009.  Our breed is of course one step ahead, since health monitoring has already been undertaken from the mid 1990s.  It was however decided that the health reporting could be made more efficient with the aid of a Health Form to accompany all puppies (and re-homed older dogs), when they go to their new owners.  The Cairn Terrier Health Group’s form is now ready for launch and will be available to download for printing on the clubs’ websites.  Breeders without downloading/printing facilities can order their forms from Sonia White, Tel: 01844 292501, email: kervaig@aol.com

 

Liver Shunt (PSS)

 

The research at the University of Utrecht to establish the inheritance of this disease, and thereby enable the development of a DNA test, is progressing well.  This work can however only be speeded up with the submission of more DNA samples from affected dogs and their close relatives.  DNA swabs from the UK have therefore been sent to Utrecht for some time now.  It is vital that everybody, unfortunate to breed a puppy or own a dog with PSS, helps the research along by submitting buccal swab samples !  It is a very simple procedure and the swab kits, together with all the necessary instructions, are available from Maud Hawkes, Tel: 01623 812856, email: msascience@onetel.com

 

 

Many more breeders are now also using bile acid testing on their litters and this is good news indeed.  It must however be pointed out that when the single test is used, then this would best be done on a post prandial sample.  Discussions with  Federico Sacchini (IDEXX) and Dr Jackson (Glasgow Veterinary School) have confirmed that the post prandial test is sufficient when looking for liver shunt.

 

 

The Cairn Terrier Health Group

Posted October 2008

 

 

The time of the year is fast approaching for the Health Report to be prepared. 

It is therefore important that any new case reports or Test results reach us before mid-November. Please send details of the Cairn(s) involved to Maud Hawkes, Holmlea, Moorhaigh Lane, Pleasley, Mansfield, Notts, NG19 7QF. 

All information will be held in strictest confidence and please remember that only with your help can we keep ourselves informed on the general health of the breed and whether any condition needs further monitoring.

 

 

CAIRN  TERRIER  HEALTH  GROUP

Posted - 29/02/08

 

The Cairn Terrier Health Group monitors and records health conditions in the breed.

 

The Cairn is an active, hardy and game little dog with a life span of approximately 12 to 15 years. But like all living creatures some of them will on occasion have a health problem. If your Cairn develops a Health problem then the Cairn Terrier Health Group would welcome your report.  It is important to the future wellbeing of the breed that any conditions that may become frequent are noted early.

 

When reporting a condition, please send a veterinary report and copy of pedigree of the Cairn involved to Maud Hawkes, who will deal with all data on health conditions. Information can be send to her at msascience@onetel.com or cases discussed on telephone 01623 812856. All information will be treated in the strictest confidence.

 

Two conditions in the breed are of special concern to the Health Group.  These are Liver Shunt (PSS) and the eye condition Ocular melanosis.   It has to be stressed that cases are far from common, but it is important to try and ensure that it remains that way.

 

LIVER SHUNT - (Portosystemic shunt; PSS)

Though there is no test for liver shunt at the moment, research is being carried out in many countries. Hopefully in the future a DNA test will become available and then Breeders will be able to carry out their breeding plans with the hope of eliminating the chance of breeding a liver shunt puppy.

The bile acid testing of puppies is the only action available to Breeders at this time. The Cairn Terrier Health Group strongly recommends that Breeders use this test on their litters. This will give Breeders the confidence that they have done everything to avoid the heartbreak of a Pet Owner having the terrible experience of an ill puppy.

If you have had your litter bile acid tested, then please send your results and copy of pedigree to Maud, msascience@onetel.com or to Maud Hawkes, Holmlea, Moorhaigh Lane, Pleasley, Mansfield, Notts, NG19 7QF. Telephone 01623 812856.

 

 OCULAR MELANOSIS

 

This is a hereditary eye condition caused by Abnormal Pigment Deposition (A.P.D.).  It is advisable to test regularly to enable early detection.   Such testing will also reveal any other eye condition the dog might have been unfortunate to develop.

 

The Health Group subsidises (in conjunction with the Joint Cairn Terrier Clubs) an eye testing session each year at one of the shows held by a Breed Club. This year the eye testing will be organised by the Cairn Terrier Association.  Details will be advertised later in the year.

 

The members of theGroup are happy to advise on any queries you may have concerning the health of your Cairn Terrier!

 

Contact Maud Hawkes msascience@onetel.com or telephone 01623 812856.

Yvonne Catto birselaw@ycatto.freeserve.co.uk or telephone 0131 449 2790  

 

 

 

 

Back To 

Contents Page