Health Report 2013

There has again been much communication re health matters with Skye Terrier owners both here and abroad. Not only current, but also past, case histories are being added and bring valuable information to the breed health archive. It is encouraging that so many take an active interest in the health situation of our endangered breed. Many Thanks to those who have contributed during the year!

Cases of reported conditions (not included in the DNA samples) include Cushing’s disease, colitis, dermoid cyst, haemangiosarcoma, liver disease, pancreatitis, pyometra.  Cases of Skye limp have also yet again been reported.

The members voted, in 2010 and 2011, overwhelmingly in favour of submission of DNA samples from puppies and their parents to the Animal Health Trust (AHT) plus kidney scanning of breeding stock prior to mating, with copy of certificate supplied to the breed health archive. These actions form the backbone of the Breed Health Scheme and it has been found that the member-breeders really care about the future health of our beloved breed and comply with the scheme.



The DNA collection is growing steadily with contributions from UK and abroad.  More samples are also in transit to be added soon. It is however very disappointing to find that a number of swab kits, asked for and posted out, are never returned.  This does incur unnecessary cost to both the AHT and us. Please make sure that swabs are sent back, so they can contribute to the important DNA collection !

There still appears to be some misconception that the DNA collection is solely for the purpose of gathering samples for future research on Renal Dysplasia (RD).  Information on other clinical problems has however continuously been added.  The AHT confirms that the sample contribution over the last 6 years now stands at 337 submissions (5 re-samples). 22 dogs were reported as having some kind of clinical problem :

6 cases of RD
2 with epilepsy
2 with lymphoma
2 with Skye limp
1 with craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO)
1 with congestive heart failure
1 with ectopic ureter
1 with haemangiosarcoma
1 with kinked tail
1 with malignant melanoma
1 with mandibular osteosarcoma
1 with perineal hernia
1 with Skye Terrier hepatitis
1 with thyroid carcinoma

The AHT statistics reveal that the average age at the time of submission is 2.5 years old, although dogs under 1 year old account for 60% of the samples; 38 samples were from dogs over the age of 8 years.

It is of course very important that owners report any significant change in health status for dogs where DNA sample is already held in store, so that such information can be added to the database!



The Skye Terrier Health Committee organised a kidney health screening session in conjunction with the Club’s Championship Show, September 29th.  Ultrasonographic examination of 10 Skye Terriers was performed by radiologist Dr. Avi Avner. Size; shape; overall appearance; corticomedullary differentiation; absence/presence of cysts; echotexture; margination and blood supply were studied. All the examined dogs were thankfully found to have normal kidneys.


A cheque for £150 has been sent to the AHT as donation for swab kits.

The Skye Terrier Health Research Fund has again received generous donations, both privately and through fund raising activities.  The substantial sum of £857 and 80 pence was added to the research account.  Many Thanks to all who care about the future health of our precious breed by supporting the fund!!!

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons) Animal Science

Please do not hesitate to contact me via email :
or telephone:  01623 812856, if you wish to discuss or report any health matters in confidentiality, or if you require swab kits!