West Highland White Terrier Health

West Highland Terrier Breed Profile

Average Weight:
Male – 7 – 10kg (15 – 22lbs).
Female – 7 – 10kg (15 – 22lbs).

Average Height:
Male – 25 – 28cm (10 – 11in).
Female – 25 – 28cm (10 – 11in).

Coat:
Double coat – straight, rough outer coat and short, close undercoat.

Average Life Span:
12 – 14 years.

Average Litter Size:
 2 – 5 puppies.

West Highland Terrier Fast Facts

Ease To Train
Exercise Needs
Grooming Frequency
Energy Level
Protective Instincts
Behaviour Around Children
Relationship With Other Pets
Loyalty To Owner
Ease To Train
Some dogs are easy to train while others require more effort. General breed factors are taken into consideration to determine how easy you should find it to train your dog. On the scale, a 1 indicates that your dog will be difficult to train while a 10 indicates that your dog should be easy to train.

Exercise Needs
Dogs vary greatly in the amount of exercise they need on a daily basis. Some may need long, vigorous walks while a walk around the block will be sufficient for some. A score towards the lower end of the scale means that your dog requires little exercise while a score towards 5 indicates that they have high exercise needs.

Grooming Frequency
Depending on your dog’s coat, the grooming frequency will vary. Some will need brushing every day while others can be groomed once a week. On this scale, a 1 shows that a dog needs very little grooming while a 5 shows they require plenty of upkeep.

Energy Level
Some breeds have incredibly high energy levels and find it difficult to rest while others prefer sleeping for large parts of the day. A score of 1 on the scale indicates the dog has a low energy level while a 5 shows they have extremely high levels of energy.

Protective Instincts
Many dogs have protective instincts and may act wary around strangers while others are much more friendly and accepting. A score of 1 indicates that your dog is unlikely to react to strangers while a score of 5 shows that your dog is likely to be wary.

Behaviour Around Children
Many dogs that are reared and socialised around children understand how to interact with them but some breeds are completely unsuitable to have around children. On this scale, a score of 1 shows that a breed is not good around children while a score of 5 shows they are perfectly compatible.

Relationship With Other Pets
Stereotypically dogs don’t get on with other pets but often this is not the case; many dogs enjoy the company of other animals. A score of 1 shows that it is not a good idea to mix a breed with other pets while a 5 indicates they tend to get on well with other animals.

Loyalty To Owner
Most dogs are extremely loyal to their owners and family, although there are a few that are quite independent. A low score of 1 indicates that a breed does not have a strong sense of loyalty while a score of 5 shows that they are extremely loyal.
As a smaller breed, there are more West Highland Terrier health problems than larger breeds may experience.  The first of these is Copper Toxicosis (CT), a metabolic disorder that sees an accumulation of copper in the dog’s liver.  As this level grows, the symptoms can include weight loss, vomiting, abdominal pains and jaundice, eventually leading to cirrhosis of the liver.  While CT can be diagnosed from a biopsy of the liver, it can be fatal if it is left to develop.  To stop this disorder taking hold and becoming a major West Highland Terrier health problem, the opinion of a professional vet should be sought.

Another of the known West Highland Terrier health problems is Globoid Cell Leukodystrophy (GCL), a degenerative disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.  The condition causes a build-up of the compound galactocerebroside, which then affects the production of myelin, a fatty substance which surrounds and insulates the nerve cells.  This sees a progressive loss of myelin around the brain and spinal cord, resulting in symptoms that include stiffness and weakness, lack of balance and tremors.  As the condition develops, it can lead to paralysis and possibly blindness.  There is no known cure for GCL, meaning it will continue to be among the West Highland Terrier health problems until a cure is found.

One of the other known West Highland Terrier health problems includes Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.  LCP disease is a degenerative condition that affects the hip joint and eventually leads to a deformity.  As this develops, the bone will start to die and eventually become damaged.  LCP disease is often spotted at an early age and an X-ray will be able to determine whether your dog suffers from this health problem.  In the majority of cases surgery is performed to correct the problem and the recovery rate is extremely good.

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