Many people believe that Norfolk Terriers are the “correct” breed of terrier. They are very obstinate and feisty. They are pleasant and (usually) well-behaved companions, nevertheless. Stated differently, they represent the stereotypes associated with terriers.
Poor breeding practices that have afflicted several breeds over the past few decades have not affected this breed. They still live for a comparatively long time—between 12 and 15 years. Nevertheless, they are regrettably vulnerable to a number of illnesses, some of which can significantly lower their quality of life.
1. Hip (and Elbow) Dysplasia
Considering their little stature, Norfolk Terriers are extremely susceptible to hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia usually affects larger dogs more commonly. In spite of this, the rate for little terriers is approximately 35%. Accordingly, around one in three Norfolk Terriers will have hip dysplasia.
The dog’s hip malformation, which leads to severe joint wear, is the cause of this ailment. At a very young age, this joint malformation causes symptoms similar to arthritis. Some dogs may only have minor injuries, but others may have permanent disabilities.
In addition, the elbow joints of these terriers are susceptible to elbow dysplasia. Hip dysplasia and this condition are quite similar, and they are probably related genetically.
For both of these disorders, there are hereditary and environmental contributing factors. Nevertheless, a vast number of the environmental variables that we are aware of are specific to larger dogs, suggesting that Norfolk Terriers are mostly genetically predisposed.
2. Invertebral Disc Disease
Dogs’ intervertebral discs, which are found in their spines, expand, leading to IVDD. The spine’s nerves are unable to interact with the brain because of the swelling. In mild situations, this can cause pain and make the dog a little uncoordinated. In extreme circumstances, the dog’s back legs (as well as their bladder) may become paralysed.
Kennel rest is a treatment for this illness that lets the swelling go down on its own. Surgery is necessary occasionally, but it’s not always successful. In extreme circumstances, paralysis can be irreversible.
Because of their long backs, Norfolk Terriers are more likely to develop this illness. A dog can bend more during natural motions if its spine is longer than its legs.
Cataracts affect a lot of Norfolk Terriers in middle age. Not unexpected, as this issue is rather widespread in all breeds. This illness frequently leads to blindness. Although there are therapies available, they may not always be feasible and are frequently very expensive.
To have these cataracts repaired, you often need to see a specialist, and these experts aren’t everywhere.
4. Mitral Valve Disease
For Norfolk Terriers, this cardiac issue is a very significant concern. It happens when the heart’s mitral valve degenerates, becoming floppy and thick. Although the actual cause of this is unknown, heredity most definitely plays a role.
These dogs frequently exhibit cardiac murmurs, which aid in the diagnosis of this illness.
This is a disorder that many Norfolk Terriers are prone to developing. Although the figures for these terriers particularly are unknown, we do know that roughly 10% of all dogs experience MVI. Consequently, over 10% of Norfolk Terriers will experience this illness.
Though the reason for this is unknown, males are more likely than girls to experience this illness.
5. Chronic Allergies
Allergies are a common problem for Norfolk terriers. The skin itches from these allergies a lot. Even though it might not seem like a big deal, having really itchy skin will make you scratch a lot. Your dog can pierce their skin if they scratch themselves sufficiently. These wounds frequently don’t heal if the disease is left untreated since your dog will keep picking at them.
These sores frequently get infected with time, which makes them much more itchy, and the cycle repeats.
Certain dogs seem to get infections extremely immediately. For years, some people may suffer from persistent allergies prior to experiencing a secondary infection.
Preventing allergies in dogs is the best approach to treat them. Go to a meal that doesn’t contain the particular protein if your dog is allergic to it in their diet. Unless they are really specific (like a particular cleaner), environmental allergies are typically more difficult to avoid. Some dogs may occasionally require medicine.