CTCV Health Watch Committee Report                                                   30/01/2009

The Health Watch Committee is pleased to present the yearly report of all medical conditions and bile acid testing of litters received since last year’s report. Thank you to all breeders who have forwarded reports this year, from Victoria and interstate.


The Health Watch Report Form contains a box which may be ticked to request confidentiality of all information provided, or to allow information to be shared. Some reports have been received with neither boxes being ticked. In these cases the information is treated confidentially.

Number of Reports Received

We have received 26 Reports this year, of which 4 were medical reports and 22 were Bile Acid Testing Reports.

The 4 medical reports related to:

Schirmer Test for Dry Eye – all puppies tested in the litter were clear
Renal Disease – kidney failure in male cairn
Diabetes – insulin injections twice daily
Eye developmental issue – unlikely to cause future problems

Litter Reports

This year 22 bile acid tests were reported to the Health Watch Committee. (Scores are included at the end of this Report). In total 107 cairn puppies were tested. Six of the tests were considered higher than the normal range for the particular Laboratory concerned and the puppies were retested. Five puppies retested with normal scores, but one pup was retested three times, before a normal score was recorded and then tested again to confirm all was well. Scintigraphy was also performed and produced a normal result. For your information the scores were:
At 8 weeks 2.5-54.2
At 10 weeks 1.3-54.9
At 12 weeks 3.4-14.4
At 16 weeks 2.0-4.7

Portal Shunt

No puppies have been officially reported as having been diagnosed with Liver Shunt this year. However, three unsubstantiated cases are known to the Committee and it is unfortunate that we are unable to report the scores of these puppies and the outcomes. It is believed that one puppy has had a successful surgical outcome.

Research Grant

The Cairn Terrier Bile Acid Testing Program has commenced at the Werribee Clinic of Melbourne University’s Veterinary Hospital. The Study requires 100 Cairn Terrier puppies to have their Bile Acids tested at 7-8 weeks of age, and a further 10 normal puppies to be re-tested at 9-10 weeks and 11-12 weeks. To date, almost 30 puppies have been tested by Dr Linda Abraham, BSc BVet Med PhD(Lond) MRCFS MACVSC using funds from the Research Grant allocated by the ANKC. So far only one puppy has been made available for the retesting at 9-10 and 11-12 weeks.

The aim of the Study is to investigate the minimum age that Cairn Terrier puppies may be tested in order to identify those with portosystemic shunts and those that are normal. Breeders/owners may avail themselves of the opportunity to have their litters tested free of charge and entirely confidentially. It is hoped that more breeders will participate in this Study to enable a more diverse sampling of the Cairn Terrier population. It is important to note, that the results of these tests will be made available to the Cairn Terrier Club of Victoria, but no identifying information of dogs or their owners will be reported. This information is entirely confidential between the client and the University. It is hoped that the owners/breeders will report their scores to the Health Watch Committee, but this remains the choice of the owner/breeder.

A Consent Form is required to be completed and presented at the Clinic at the time of testing. The form maybe downloaded from the Cairn Terrier Club of Victoria’s website.

Another important aspect of this project is that Dr Abraham is collecting sufficient blood from all puppies tested to enable extraction of DNA for a future project that will examine the genetic basis for the disease. It is therefore requested that a copy of the puppies’ pedigree be provided to Dr Abraham. Once again, please be assured of the strictest confidentiality.


Much is heard “around the ring” of various medical ailments suffered by our Cairn Terriers. A lot of this information would be extremely interesting and relevant to other cairn owners, but it is never reported The Health Watch Committee would like to encourage everyone to report all conditions by either completing the Report Form (which may be downloaded on the CTCV website) or by emailing Lyn Barclay at lkbarclay@bigpond.com.au (Please note this is a new email address). Or, post reports to: Lyn Barclay, 20 Outawood Rise, Gisborne, Vic 3437, phone (03) 5428 4739, fax to (03) 5428 4179 or mobile 0409 424 668.

Download Health Watch Committee Report Form


REPORT 23/01/2007

REPORT 11/10/2008

REPORT 24/10/2008

REPORT 30/01/2009

REPORT 30/01/2010

REPORT 30/01/2011

REPORT 30/01/2012

REPORT 30/01/2013

REPORT 30/01/2014

REPORT 30/01/2015

REPORT 30/01/2016

REPORT 30/01/2017

REPORT 30/01/2018

REPORT 30/01/2019

REPORT 30/01/2020











© Cairn Terrier Club Victoria, Australia 2006. Design by Tamara Whalley.