Rat Terrier Health Issues ... Medically and Genetically
Luckily at this point and time the Rat Terrier is one of the healthiest and
hardiest dogs there is. Few problems plague the Rat Terrier due to the fact that
it has only recently been accepted into most registeries as a recognized breed
so therefore it has not been inbred and linebreed to an unhealthy state. As with any breed of dog there will be health problems both medically
and genetically that are more common and those that are rare. I will list the
more common health problems that are associated with the Rat Terrier Breed.
Luxating Patellas - This is where their kneecaps have a
tendency to slip as is seen in many breeds of smaller dogs. This medical
problem can be genetic/inherited or can be caused from abnormal development of
the joint while the fetus is forming. Laxtating patella's can also be caused
by excessive jumping causing pressure on the knee joints. The chances of
laxtating patellas are greater in the smaller Toy size.
Deafness - GENETIC predisposition to deafness which is very
common in any breed with large areas of white coat.
Demodectic Mange - Common in all breeds of dogs. This is the
loss of hair due to an immunity problem which may or may not be
hereditary. There has been no research to date that shows Demodectic Mange to
be hereditary. Vets and breeders call it hereditary because the MITES that
overpopulate causing demodectic mange are contracted from dam to offspring.
ALL dogs have the mites but most never have any issues with them.
Demodectic outbreaks are caused from an immunity issue that causes the dogs
natural immune system to stop function properly. The immunity issue can be
genetic/hereditary, man-made or caused by the environment. Until the immunity
problem is diagnosed there is NO WAY to know if the demodectic mange
affecting the dog is genetic or otherwise.
Alopecia - This is a problem associated with some
bloodlines of Blue and Fawn Rat Terriers. Those affected
have thin coats with patches of no hair. The problem seems to run in
bloodlines with many bloodlines totally unaffected thus leading us to believe
that it is hereditary/genetic but as of date NO RESEARCH has been done that
proves whether it is or not. Alopecia is caused by a bacteria that affects the
hair follicle causing it and the hair to become brittle thus breaking off
easily. Any dog showing signs of Alopecia should never be bred.
Hypoglycemia - Low blood sugar. Most common in the smaller
Toys. Seen frequently in those under 5 pounds.