Purebred Dog Health Survey - 2004

Summary results of the Purebred dog Health Survey for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers for 2004


A total of 824 forms were sent out to Wheaten owners in January 2004, and 380 returned, representing 505 live dogs, a 46.1% response rate. This represented 2.77% of all breed returns.

Mortality data - Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers:

A total of 111 deaths were reported and this represents 0.7% of all deaths reported in the survey (111/15,881).

The median age at death for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers was 12 years and 6 months (min = 6 months, max = 17 years) and this was higher than the overall median of 11 years and 3 months.

Mortality data - all breeds:

Deaths were reported for 165 breeds. The median age at death overall was 11 years and 3 months (minimum = 2 months, maximum = 23 yrs and 5 months.

Only 20% of dogs remained alive at 14 years of age and this had fallen to <10% by 15 years.

Table 1 Causes of death by organ system/category for SCWT

Cause of death No % Most common specific causes in descending order
Cancer 29 26.1 Type unspecified (liver, mammary); carcinoma
Old Age 23 20.7 Old age & age combinations
Other 109.0 Uncodeable
Urologic 9 8.1 Kidney failure; PLN; glomerulonephritis; incontinence
Combinations8 7.2
Neurologic 5 4.5 Seizures; myelopathy; spinal paralysis
Behaviour 4 3.6 Aggression; unspecified behavioural problem
Cardiac 4 3.6 Heart attack; heart failure
Cerebral vascular 4 3.6 Stroke or cerebral vascular accident
Gastrointestinal 4 3.6 Gastric dilatation/volvulus (GDV); PLE; unspecified
Trauma 3 2.7 Road traffic accident
Unknown 3 2.7
Endocrine 1 0.9 Diabetes mellitus
Hepatic 1 0.9 Liver failure
Musculoskeletal 10.9 Arthritis
Poisoning 1 0.9
Respiratory 1 0.9 Respiratory disease unspecified
Total 111 100.0  

Table 2 Distribution of gender and neuter status for 502 SCWT with reported gender and neuter status.

There was no association between gender and neuter status.

Neuter Status
Gender Intact Neutered Totals
Female 158 135293 (58%)
Male 116 93 209 (42%)
Total 274 (55%) 228 (45%) 502 (100%)

Table 3 Disease conditions by organ system/category for SCWT

Dermatologic No % Most common specific conditions
Dermatologic3914.9 Dermatitis; sebaceous cysts; fading nose pigment, pyotraumatic dermatitis
Aural34 13 Otitis externa
Gastrointestinal 30 11.5 Colitis; diarrhoea; inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); vomiting & diarrhoea; pancreatitis.
Musculoskeletal 21 8 Arthritis (hindlimbs, shoulders, spine, rest); stiff joints; CHD; patellar luxation
Cancer 18 6.9 Unspecified (mammary, rest); carcinoma (mammary; tail); basal cell tumour, lymphoma
Immune mediated 176.5Food allergy; flea allergy; atopy; gluten-sensitive enteropathy; allergy unspecified
Benign neoplasia 166.1Lipoma; unspecified; adenoma; cysts
Reproductive155.7False pregnancy; dystochia (physical blockage); agalactia; inability to breed; mastitis, pyometra
Respiratory145.3Kennel cough; asthma; coughing; upper respiratory tract infection
Urologic135Incontinence (unspec. after spay); cystitis; uroliths (unspecified); PLN; urethral obstruction
Cardiac114.2Heart murmur (unspecified grade2, without clinical signs); heart valve condition
Ocular72.7Cataracts; conjunctivitis; entropion; trichiasis; corneal ulcer
Unknown72.7Undiagnosed illness
Neurologic41.5IVDD; seizures
Behaviour31.1Unspecified; aggression
Trauma31.1Hindlimb; forelimb
Anal Gland 20.8Anal sacculitis
Haematopoietic10.4Anaemia unspecified

Reproduced by kind permission of the Kennel Club

Report from the Kennel Club/British Small Animal Veterinary Association Scientific Committee.

Source : The KC/BSAVA Scientific Committee Purebred Dog Health Survey Questionnaire.

Author: Dr Vicki Adams of the Animal Health Trust.


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