Health Report 2019


April 2019

Kennel Club registrations for 2018 were 50 dogs, including 7 Imports.


The collection has now grown to 661, including re-samples. There are still some swab samples out there with breeders and owners. Maybe they have been forgotten about but, please, send them in to the Animal Health Trust (AHT) as soon as possible. 

Number of samples noted as having some clinical issues are listed below:

  • 13 Skye Terrier Hepatitis (STH)/hepatic failure/acute onset ascites
  • 9 Renal Dysplasia (RD)
  • 5 Haemangiosarcoma
  • 4 each for: Elbow dysplasia/Premature elbow closure, Kinked tail, Lymphoma
  • 3 each for: Mammary cancer, Skye limp
  • 2 each for: Congenital ventricle septum defect, Epilepsy, Luxating patella, Pyometra

1 each for: Bladder tumour, Brain tumour, Congestive Heart failure, Craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO), Ectopic ureter, Heart disease (details unknown), Heart murmur, Juvenile arthritis, Malignant oral melanoma, Mandibular osteosarcoma, Mast cell tumour, Pancreatic disease, Parathyroid adenoma, Perineal hernia, Squamous cell carcinoma, Spinal tumour, Thyroid carcinoma, Torsion, Tumour on sciatic nerve

Many Thanks to owners and breeders, in UK and abroad, who have submitted new DNA samples or reported changes in health status for dogs with DNA already in the collection. Your contributions are most important to the continued health work for our beloved breed.


The research at AHT is continuing at a steady pace, but it has to be noted that such projects can take very long time and patience is therefore needed. We are very lucky as a breed, that our Research Funds have been, and are, substantial enough to financially support this vital work. No new cases have been confirmed since the previous report. 

The Finnish ‘Skye Elbow project’

This research was explained in last year’s report. The instructions for Radiographic procedure can be obtained from Sarah Downes or me. Dr Lappalainen is able to evaluate emailed radiographs (digital images in DICOM format) for a fee of 25 Euros. New email address is 


Dr Mike Starkey was one of the speakers at the Kennel Club’s yearly seminar. He is the oncology specialist at the AHT (the only canine cancer research centre in UK). He gave an excellent presentation including ongoing DNA research and treatment options. It was stated that cancer affects 1 in 4 dogs and is the most common cause of death in dogs over the age of 10 and that most types of cancer affect most breeds, but a few breeds are more susceptible to certain cancers. Such susceptibility is believed to be inherited, if multiple dogs in different generations of multiple families are affected by the same cancer and the incidence is significantly higher (“Odds Ratio” >1.0) than in most other breeds. It has been known for a long time now that the Skye Terrier unfortunately is amongst the breeds more susceptible to Haemangiosarcoma (HSA). It is a truly horrible condition for which we now have DNA samples from 5 cases. Many more cases are known about, but some were long before we started collecting samples and others have just not had DNA submitted. Research is ongoing in USA on HSA in e.g. Golden Retrievers and hopefully our breed can also one day benefit from that. 

Please don’t forget the Global Skye Terrier Cancer Survey mentioned last year! It is still up and running and link to the online survey can be found on the breed health page of the Club’s website. Paper copies can also be sent on request.  


The Health Research Fund (HRF) has received generous donations during the year. Various sources contributed a total of £370. Many Thanks! Very special mention and huge gratitude goes to the now dissolved Swedish Skye Terrier Club. The then members decided that a “good home” that benefitted the breed should be found for their club funds. They did choose to leave the money towards the ongoing research here in UK and the impressive sum of £2307 arrived to the HRF towards the end of last year. It is very sad indeed that the Swedish STC no longer exists, but we are most grateful for the donation and hope that the contribution will bear fruit and help our efforts to secure the future of our wonderful, ancient and endangered breed. 

Maud Hawkes BSc(Hons)Animal Science; Tel: 07544 581282 (internet connection can be rather temperamental here, so please ‘phone in case of urgency)