Archive : January

Asian Lady Beetles: Could They Harm Your Dog?

By Paula Fitzsimmons

When a graphic image of Bailey, the dog with over 40 Asian lady beetles stuck to the roof of her mouth, surfaced in 2016, pet parents were naturally alarmed. Fortunately, her veterinarian was able to remove the beetles, and Bailey was restored to good health.

As a good dog parent, you’d like to know if Asian lady beetles are a threat to your pet. The short answer is yes. But the good news is that these encounters are rare, and when they do occur, they’re usually quite treatable.

Find out whether your dog is at risk, how to prevent encounters with Asian lady beetles, and what to do if she ends up like Bailey.


Asian Lady Beetles 101

It can be tough to spot the difference between a multi-colored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) and a native North American species like the nine-spotted ladybug (referred to as C-9). One handy way to tell the difference is to look at the area behind the beetle’s head (called the pronotum)—the Asian beetle’s is yellow-colored with black markings in the middle. Asian beetles also vary widely in color from yellow to black, and have anywhere from zero to 19 spots on the outer shell, in contrast to C-9’s standard nine.

Both species are from a family of lady beetles called Coccinellidae, and both have voracious appetites for nuisance pests like aphids, scale insects, and mites. Beetles are so effective at pest control, in fact, that the federal government has introduced them from eastern Asia to help control our aphid populations. They’ve been prolific across the country since about the mid-1980s, and are present in much of the continental United States, except for Montana, Wyoming, and parts of the Southwest. 

While Asian beetle populations have grown in numbers, North American species like C-9 (Coccinella novemnotata) have dwindled during the past several decades, according to The Lost Ladybug Project. So chances are, the little orange oval-shaped tomato bug you’ve encountered recently is the Asian variety.

Asian lady beetles may be coveted for their role as natural pest control agents, but they also have a reputation as a nuisance species. Their hefty appetites extend to non-pest insects, like monarch butterfly eggs and larvae (whose numbers have already been reduced), says Dr. Robert Koch, assistant professor and extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota, Department of Entomology in Saint Paul.

They’re also hardier and more aggressive than North American ladybugs (who experts say don’t pose a risk to dogs). In the fall, “they aggregate on and in homes and other buildings to find protected locations for spending winter,” he says.

It’s not unusual to see thousands of Asian beetles congregated in an area. When Barton County, Kansas, (where Bailey is from) experienced a bumper crop of sugarcane aphids last year, Asian beetles were also on hand to enjoy the feast. “We literally had swarms of them,” says Dr. Lindsay Mitchell, owner of Hoisington Veterinary Hospital in Hoisington, Kansas, and Bailey’s vet.

One of the reasons they’re able to remain stuck so firmly to a dog’s palate is because of their size and shape, says Patrick (PJ) Liesch, assistant faculty associate and extension entomologist with the Department of Entomology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Insect exoskeletons are made out of a tough material known as chitin, which does not readily break down,” he say. “In the mouth of an animal, this material would be somewhat similar to the hull of a popcorn kernel.”

Plus beetles have hard, thickened wing covers that protect their hind wings from damage, Liesch says. “In lady beetles, these wing covers give the insects a rounded, hemispherical shape, which would make them difficult for the dog’s tongue to remove.”

Are Asian Lady Beetles a Threat to Dogs?

When attacked, Asian lady beetles release body fluids (called hemolymph) containing stinky and poisonous chemicals. “Hemolymph is corrosive, and can cause chemical burns to the mouth and/or gastrointestinal tract. It also has a strong repellent odor and foul taste,” says Dr. Elizabeth Doll, a veterinarian with WVRC Emergency and Specialty Pet Care in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

That awful taste and odor is why few dogs will attempt to eat more than a few of them, she says. Dog and beetle conflicts are so rare, that aside from anecdotal reports (like Bailey’s), a lone formal published paper exists on the subject. In this case, the patient had 16 Asian lady beetles embedded in the mucous membrane covering the hard palate, Doll says.

If a dog quickly swallows the beetles, erosion to the mouth appears to be minimal, says Dr. Nancy C. Hinkle, professor of veterinary entomology in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia, Athens. “Likely the dog will quickly seek water to wash away the taste—which is a good thing, because it minimizes the chance that beetles will get stuck in the esophagus.”

If the chemical burns are not treated properly, an infection could develop and potentially become serious. “Luckily for any dog with damage to their mouth, the gums and tissues of the mouth heal very quickly—usually within seven days,” says Dr. Jonathan Babyak, clinical assistant professor in the Emergency and Critical Care Department at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

The cases that Mitchell saw, “were limited to anorexia due to painful ulcerations in the mouth,” she says. “The ulcers calmed down with manual removal of the beetles and treatment of the ulcers.” 

But Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, adds, “While I’ve not seen any cases myself, veterinarians have reported a few cases of dogs ingesting these beetles and subsequently developing vomiting, diarrhea, and other signs of gastroenteritis. One dog even died as a result.”

What Precautions Can You Take Against Asian Lady Beetles?

As uncommon as these encounters are, it doesn’t hurt to be vigilant for your dog’s sake. Animals are going to be curious and eat things they shouldn’t eat. Some dogs—like Bailey, who has had to have beetles removed several times after that initial incident—are more curious than others, Mitchell says.

“I don’t know that there is a great way to prevent it,” she says. “If the owner notices a great number of these Asian lady beetles around, they may peek into their pet’s mouth after they have been outside. If a pet owner notices that their pet is drooling or not wanting to eat, simply look in their mouth.”

Your best option as a dog parent is to keep beetle numbers in your home low, says Dr. Michael Skvarla, insect identifier and extension educator in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University in University Park.

“Ways to do this include mechanical exclusion, such as caulking cracks around windows, doors, pipes, and the attic where beetles enter a home, and vacuuming up beetles once they enter a home,” he says.

Asian lady beetles seek out sheltered spots in fall in anticipation of winter. “Out in nature, this would include cliff and rock faces and loose bark of dead trees,” Liesch says. “However, these insects can also readily sneak into buildings. Depending on the conditions, large numbers of these insects can occasionally be active indoors during the late fall, winter, or early spring months.”

What to Do If Your Dog Encounters Beetles

Some signs of a dangerous encounter with beetles include excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, reluctance to eat, and a foul odor coming from the mouth, Doll says. “The beetles may be visible within the mouth, or open sores may be seen. Possible side effects after ingesting large quantities of beetles include reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, and lethargy.” If any of these signs are present, call your vet for an immediate evaluation.

Treatment starts with physically removing the beetles, which your vet may need to perform under sedation or, if severely impacted, under general anesthesia, Babyak says. “Secondly, damage from the hemolymph should be treated with appropriate medications and nursing care. Usually, we would think about treating pain, inflammation, and accelerating healing by removing dead or severely injured tissue. An antibiotic may be necessary to treat or prevent infection. This treatment would be considered routine by most primary care veterinarians.”

Mitchell treats her patients with a mouthwash containing sucralfate, lidocaine, and diphenhydramine to treat ulcers and reduce discomfort. Treatment for every canine patient she has seen, including Bailey, has fortunately been successful.

Chances are, your dog won’t end up like Bailey. But Asian beetle encounters are still a possibility, especially if your pup is the curious type. Being mindful of your dog’s surroundings while outside, and keeping beetle numbers in your home to a minimum, goes a long way to ensuring she doesn’t end up with a mouthful of bugs…or worse.


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The Bullmastiff is a giant-breed dog that’s loyal and affectionate toward family members. According to the American Bullmastiff Association, this breed was created by British gamekeepers who cross-bred Bulldogs with Mastiffs in 1860 to create an extra-large dog that would listen well to commands and protect their estates against poachers. 

The breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1933. The Bullmastiff size is impressive—these dogs weigh from 100-130 pounds and have a shoulder height of 24-27 inches, depending on their gender. Bullmastiffs are known for their large, broad heads, V-shaped ears, dark eyes, and muscular forequarters and hindquarters. They have a short, dense fur coat that can be one of three colors: fawn, red, or brindle.

Caring for a Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs are docile and affectionate with family members, but they become fearless guardians when their family is in danger. They are good with young children and other dogs, though all interactions between kids and pets (no matter the breed) should be supervised.

Bullmastiffs are extremely intelligent and usually learn quickly during training. However, it’s important for pet parents to train and socialize this breed early—Bullmastiffs have lots of energy and grow to become very strong, giant dogs that can easily knock people and children over if they lack training. A Bullmastiff puppy needs to be trained to:

Respond to specific commands, including “sit” and “stay”

Walk well on a leash

Remain calm around other dogs, adults, and children

Bullmastiffs need daily exercise, including long walks and playing within a fenced-in yard. They do not make good running companions, however, because they don’t have the stamina to run long distances.

Bullmastiff Health Issues

Bullmastiffs are typically healthy dogs that live for 7-9 years. However, due to poor breeding, some Bullmastiffs may have heart disease, eye issues, elbow dysplasia, or hip dysplasia. Make sure to do your research when you’re looking for a puppy and find a reputable Bullmastiff breeder so medical issues are less likely.

The medical issues listed below are some of the most common health issues Bullmastiffs are predisposed to, but the list is not all-inclusive.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an acquired heart disease in Bullmastiffs that occurs when the heart becomes dilated and unable to function properly. Bullmastiffs with mild to moderate DCM may show no symptoms, but severe DCM symptoms can include:

Rapid heart rate


Difficulty breathing


Loss of appetite


Weight loss


The first sign of DCM can be a heart murmur detected by your veterinarian. A canine Cardiopet proBNP blood test can also be used to measure heart function. If this blood test indicates that heart disease is likely, additional testing is recommended, including an echocardiogram, blood pressure check, and chest x-rays.    


Entropion is an abnormality that causes the eyelid to roll inward toward the eye. When this happens, the eyelashes rub against the cornea (the eye’s surface). This is a very painful condition that can lead to corneal ulcers. Surgery is needed to correct entropion.

Subaortic valvular stenosis (SAS)

Subaortic valvular stenosis (SAS) is a genetic heart condition that Bullmastiff puppies inherit from their parents. It develops during the first year of life, so responsible breeding is key to prevention. SAS occurs when fibrous tissue slowly forms in the heart, causing an obstruction of blood flow. Over time, this causes the heart to stop functioning properly, resulting in heart damage.

Bullmastiffs with mild to moderate SAS may not show any symptoms. However, dogs with severe SAS:

Are lethargic

Will be tired after short periods of exercise

May collapse

Can die suddenly

Bullmastiffs with SAS often have a heart murmur that can be heard during a routine physical exam. Additional diagnostic tests (electrocardiogram, chest x-rays, and echocardiogram) are needed to diagnose SAS. There is currently no genetic test to detect SAS, but Bullmastiff breeders should not breed dogs that have been diagnosed with this heart condition.

Typically, mild cases of SAS require only consistent monitoring and no treatment. In cases of moderate or severe SAS, your veterinarian may recommend medications to help regulate heart rate and increase heart efficiency.

Dogs with this condition need to be under a lifetime exercise restriction to minimize overworking their heart, which can lead to sudden death.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an eye disease that can occur due to various genetic mutations. This condition causes the retina to slowly degenerate, eventually leading to blindness.

PRA can be diagnosed with an eye exam and usually develops in Bullmastiffs that are young to middle-aged. Gene therapy may help dogs with this condition, but more research needs to be done to improve the outcome. Reputable Bullmastiff breeders will have their dogs’ DNA tested to see if they carry the genetic mutations for PRA. Dogs that carry these genetic mutations should not be bred.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition where the femur doesn’t sit properly in the hip joint. As a result, the bone rubs against the hip socket, causing arthritis. Hip dysplasia can develop in one or both hip joints.

Though congenital hip dysplasia is rare, some Bullmastiffs are born with it. Others can develop this condition during their senior years. Symptoms include:


Slowness to rise from a lying position

“Bunny-hopping” gait when running

Reluctance to run, jump, or go up or down stairs

Holding the affected leg out to the side when sitting up

A PennHIP evaluation allows for early detection and treatment for dogs that have signs of hip dysplasia. Reputable breeders will ensure that their Bullmastiffs have PennHIP evaluations as part of their health screening. It’s best to purchase a Bullmastiff puppy from a breeder who has had their dogs certified with a PennHIP evaluation.

Hip dysplasia can be managed with joint supplements and certain medications, but surgical intervention may be required in serious cases.

Elbow Dysplasia

Elbow dysplasia encompasses several inherited orthopedic conditions that ultimately lead to degenerative joint disease within the elbow.

Pain is often detected when a veterinarian checks the range of motion in the elbow. Sometimes elbow dysplasia can be in both elbows. X-rays or advanced imaging (CT scans) are the most common diagnostic tests run to diagnose elbow dysplasia.

Orthopedic surgery is needed to treat elbow dysplasia. Prognosis is typically good if surgery is done in young dogs when the disease process is in its early stages.


Lymphoma/Lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that originates in the lymph nodes and typically spreads to other organs. Symptoms of lymphoma can include:

Markedly enlarged lymph nodes (this is the most common symptom)

Decreased appetite


Weight loss



Treatment for lymphoma in dogs usually involves chemotherapy.

Bloat and Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus

Dogs with deep chests, such as Bullmastiffs, are prone to bloat, a condition where their stomach fills up with gas and suddenly makes their abdomen look distended. This condition is uncomfortable, but it is treatable by surgically inserting a temporary tube into the stomach to remove gas.

Sometimes, bloat can lead to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), which occurs when a gas- or fluid-filled stomach twists and cuts off blood circulation to the stomach and other organs. GDV is an extremely painful condition that can be fatal if emergency surgery is not performed immediately. A veterinarian diagnoses bloat and GDV by conducting a physical exam and taking abdominal x-rays.

To minimize the risk of bloat and GDV in your Bullmastiff:

Have a prophylactic gastropexy (stomach tack) procedure done at time of your dog’s spay or neuter surgery

Feed your Bullmastiff two to three meals a day instead of one

Prevent exercise from one hour before to one hour after eating

What To Feed a Bullmastiff

Bullmastiffs should be fed a high-quality large- or giant-breed dry dog food with some canned food mixed in. As with all dogs, their daily diet should consist of 90% dog food and 10% treats. 

How To Feed a Bullmastiff 

Bullmastiff puppies should be fed a large- or giant-breed puppy formula until they are 18-24 months old. After 24 months, they should transition to a large- or giant-breed adult formula. 

To minimize risk of bloat or GDV, the following recommendations can help at mealtime:

Feed your dog two or three meals a day instead of one

Put the food bowl on the floor rather than elevate it

If there are multiple dogs in the house, feed them separately to minimize stress

Avoid exercise from one hour before to one hour after a meal

Add some canned food to the dry food

Do not add water to the dry food, especially if the food contains citric acid

Do not overfeed

Use a slow-feeder bowl if your Bullmastiff eats too quickly

How Much Should You Feed a Bullmastiff? 

It’s best to follow the feeding guidelines on the dog food packaging and consult your veterinarian to determine the proper portion to feed your Bullmastiff, based on ideal body weight and life stage. Measure out the food for each meal to ensure that you are feeding the proper amount. 

Nutritional Tips for Bullmastiff 

Because a full-grown Bullmastiff will weigh up to 130 pounds, it is best to start them on a joint supplement and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement when they reach 2 years old. These two supplements support the joints by minimizing inflammation (arthritis).  

Behavior and Training Tips for Bullmastiffs

Bullmastiff Personality and Temperament 

Bullmastiffs have a kind temperament around family members, including children. But Bullmastiffs can become suspicious of new people in their home, which is why socialization during puppyhood is critical.

This breed has lots of energy, and training from an early age is crucial when caring for a Bullmastiff. This breed is very smart and learns quickly, so they do well in socialization classes, puppy training classes, and obedience training. Bullmastiffs can also get along with other pets, but they must be socialized with them starting at an early age.

Bullmastiff Behavior 

Bullmastiffs generally have a calm temperament. They are not known to be anxious or fearful, but they can be very protective of their home and family when meeting new people and animals. If this is a behavior you don’t want, pursue training and socialization at an early age to prevent it. 

Bullmastiff Training 

Bullmastiffs are intelligent dogs that are quick to learn during training classes. When trained as a puppy, a Bullmastiff will become a calm and well-mannered dog. They can excel in a variety of training classes including puppy classes, obedience, and agility. Training must be started when a Bullmastiff is young, because this breed can become stubborn and difficult to train as these dogs mature.

Fun Activities for Bullmastiffs


Nose work




Bullmastiff Grooming Guide

Bullmastiffs have short, coarse fur that sheds seasonally. They require minimal grooming—a monthly brushing and an occasional bath when they get dirty is all this breed needs. Bullmastiffs are known for their moderately drooly jowls, so you might find yourself wiping drool from your floor and furniture as part of your cleaning routine.

Skin Care 

Bullmastiffs do not require much skin care; they only need an occasional bath to keep them clean. Just like with any other dog breed, a Bullmastiff needs frequent nail trims so the nails don’t break off or split.

Coat Care 

Aside from monthly brushing to reduce shedding, Bullmastiffs don’t need much coat care. They won’t need a professional groomer and their short fur isn’t prone to matting.

Eye Care 

Like many other dogs, Bullmastiffs can experience tear staining, so use a warm washcloth as needed to wipe their eyes. If your pup is diagnosed with entropion, then surgery is recommended for treatment.

Ear Care 

Bullmastiffs have large ear canals, which can make them prone to ear infections. Cleaning their ears with an ear cleaner every two to three weeks and after baths will help prevent infections.

Considerations for Pet Parents 

Bullmastiffs are loyal, affectionate giant-breed dogs. The perfect home for a Bullmastiff is one that will enroll them in training and socialization classes as soon as possible to allow the puppy to become well-behaved around people and other pets. Bullmastiffs can become strong-willed and more difficult to train as they get older, so early training is key with this breed. 

A fenced-in backyard is important for allowing this breed an area to run around in and patrol. Bullmastiffs will not do well in an apartment or small house.

Bullmastiff FAQs

How big does a Bullmastiff get?

Bullmastiffs weigh between 100-130 pounds, with males weighing on the higher end of this range.  They stand 24-27 inches at the shoulder.

How long do Bullmastiffs live?

The typical Bullmastiff lifespan is 7-9 years.

How much does a Bullmastiff cost?

Typically, a Bullmastiff puppy will cost $1,000-$2,000. This price can rise if they are purchased from a reputable breeder who breeds dogs from champion lines and does thorough testing to screen for genetic diseases.

Is a Bullmastiff a good family dog?

Yes, Bullmastiffs are sweet and loving to their family members and will protect their home from intruders.


Rishniw, Mark, and Kittleson, Mark. Aortic Stenosis. 2012.  Revised by Beth Galles in  2022.

Morgan, Rhea. Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Veterinary Partner. 2018.

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Michelle Diener, DVM


I live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I obtained by BS degree in Biology at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000 and my DVM degree at NCSU in 2006. I have…

High Blood Sugar in Dogs

Hyperglycemia in Dogs

A dog with abnormally high levels of glucose in the blood is said to have hyperglycemia. A simple carbohydrate sugar that circulates in the blood, glucose is a major source of energy for the body, of which normal levels range between 75-120mg.

Insulin, a hormone that is produced and released by the pancreas into the bloodstream when glucose levels rise, plays a key role in maintaining normal sugar levels. Low levels or absolute deficiency of insulin results in abnormally high blood sugar levels.

Some of the causes for hyperglycemia may be pancreatitis, and the resulting inability to produce insulin; normally occurring hormones, especially in female dogs; diet; and infections of the body (such as teeth, or urinary tract).

Middle aged and older dogs are more at risk for developing hyperglycemia, and it is more common in female dogs than in males. Any breed can be affected, but some smaller breeds appear to be more disposed, including beagles, cairn terriers, dachshunds, miniature poodles and schnauzers.

Symptoms and Types

Clinical symptoms may vary depending on the underlying disease/condition. Your dog may not be showing any serious symptoms, especially those if the increased sugar is thought to be temporary, hormonal, or stress induced hyperglycemia. Some of the more common symptoms include:

Increased thirst (polydipsia)Increased urination (polyuria)DepressionWeight lossObesityExcessive hungerDehydrationCataractBloodshot eyes (due to inflamed blood vessels)Liver enlargementNerve damage in legsSevere depression (in cases of very high blood sugar levels)Non-healing wounds;infection is increased as the excess sugar feeds fungal and bacterial invadersTissue damage (due to oxidizing [burning] effect of the excess sugar in the tissue)


Other than high stress situations, harmful drug interactions (such as with heartworm medication), and intake of nutritional solutions containing high glucose, the following are potential causes to hyperglycemia:

Low glucose consumption within the body leading to high blood sugar levels

Diabetes mellitusAcute pancreatitisHigh progesterone levelsInsufficient excretion of wastes by the kidneys

High glucose production

HyperadrenocorticismPheochromocytomaGlucagonomaPancreatic neoplasia

Physiological causes

Soon after taking mealExertionExcitementStress


Infections in the body can drive blood sugar levels highDental infectionKidney infectionUrinary tract infection



A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. Your veterinarian will have the blood samples tested immediately for blood sugar levels. In some cases the only abnormal finding will be the raised blood sugar. This is especially true in cases that are linked to temporary conditions, such as stress or hormones. Unless there is some underlying disease/condition present, the blood test results are usually normal.

Urinalysis may reveal higher sugar levels, pus, bacteria, and an excessive number of ketone bodies in the urine, as seen in diabetes mellitus. Low insulin levels accompanied by high blood glucose levels are also indicative of diabetes mellitus. High lipase and amylase enzyme levels indicate inflammation in the pancreas. In some cases higher liver enzyme levels are also present due to fatty deposits in the liver tissue. Abdominal X-rays and ultrasound may provide important information regarding the underlying disease.

More specific tests may be required to diagnose the underlying cause. You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are causing secondary symptoms, such as undiagnosed diseases of the pancreas (pancreatitis, amyloidosis). Previous infections may still be present as well, causing a spike in glucose levels. If your dog has had any previous infection in the body, you should tell your veterinarian about them.



As there are number of conditions that can raise blood sugar levels, the treatment depends on correction of the underlying cause. In cases of physiological rise in blood sugar levels, stress will need to be minimized or eliminated.

It is never ideal to attempt decreasing the blood sugar levels abruptly as it may lead to hypoglycemia or lower blood sugar levels. In diabetic patients glucose level fluctuations are common and adjusting the insulin dose or other drugs can help resolve the problem. There are some situations in which glucose levels are high but do not indicate an increase in insulin and can even be worsened by increased insulin doses. Your veterinarian will guide you in determining when to adjust insulin levels.

Living and Management

In case of diabetes, the dog owner’s life-long commitment and compliance is required for proper management of the disease. These animals also require special diets containing less concentrations of sugar. High-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat, and high fiber diet is often recommended for these patients. If your dog is diabetic, you will need to strictly follow the treatment guidelines given for your dog to avoid major fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

If insulin has been recommended, it should be injected at the right time and in the right dose. Never change the brand or amount of insulin dosage on your own without prior consultation with your veterinarian.

Norwegian Lundehund

The small and energetic Norwegian Lundehund, dating back to the 16th century, was originally developed to hunt Puffin birds along the cliffs in Norway. Because of its unusual hunting grounds, the Norwegian Lundehund developed characteristics unlike any other dog breed, including six toes per front paw and a double-jointed neck.

Physical Characteristics

The Norwegian Lundehund is a small, rectangular dog breed with characteristics unlike any other. It has six toes on each front paw, one on each resembling a human thumb, while the rest of the toes are triple-jointed rather than the average double-jointed seen in other breeds. To enable its ability to hunt in small spaces, the Norwegian Lundehund also has a very flexible neck that can bend backwards to the spine, as well as flexible shoulder structure and ears that close both forwards and backwards.

The coat of a Norwegian Lundehund is generally tan or reddish, some with black hair tips. It weighs about 15 pounds and stands at a height of 12 to15 inches.

Personality and Temperament

The Norwegian Lundehund is a very friendly and happy small dog breed, and gets along well with children and strangers. If the dog is not properly socialized as a pup, it may be shy, especially around strangers, but it does not have aggressive tendencies.

The Norwegian Lundehund is protective of its family in a non-violent way and can still be traced back to its Norwegian roots as it loves to dig and stash food as if preparing for winter.


The Norwegian Lundehund is known to shed a great deal, requiring daily coat brushing with a firm bristle-brush. It can also tend to be a shy breed, so the dog should be socialized at a young age. The Norwegian Lundehund enjoys just about any outdoor activity and is very energetic. A large yard is best for this dog breed; however the intelligent Lundehund is good at escaping, so a secure fence is suggested.


The Norwegian Lundehund lives an average of 12 years, though those inflicted with Lundehund Syndrome may live less. This disease occurs when the dog’s digestive tract does not function properly, unable to absorb necessary nutrients. Lundehund Syndrome is pervasive in this breed, and although there is currently no cure, there are helpful management techniques to control the disease and side effects.

History and Background

Dating back to the 1500s, Norwegian Lundehunds were written about for their talent in hunting Puffin birds in Norway. This dog breed was specifically created for this task, specializing in scaling up steep, rocky cliffs and maneuvering their way into small crevices where the birds stayed.

In the 19th century, hunting Puffin birds for meat and feather crop became illegal when the bird was named a protected species. After this the Norwegian Lundehund declined greatly in numbers as the farmers had less use for them.

Around the time of World War II, the Norwegian Lundehund neared extinction; however a few Norwegian breeders revived the breed. The Lundehund was recently recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2011, and still remains small in numbers.

Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie)

The Shetland Sheepdog, affectionately known as a Sheltie, originated in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. The sparse vegetation and harsh conditions of the area favor small livestock—and thus, small herding dogs. So while many mistake the Sheltie for a miniature Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog is a distinct breed developed to meet the needs of the unique environment.

Adult Shelties stand just 13–16 inches tall and weigh between 15–25 pounds. Similar to the Collie, Shelties have a wedge-shaped head with erect ears and a long, straight coat that comes in several color combinations.

Shelties are intelligent and eager companions that excel in obedience and agility, while also being sensitive and loving toward their family members. This balance, and a compact size, make the Sheltie dog a welcomed member of the family.

Caring for a Shetland Sheepdog

Shelties are a popular family dog because of their gentle and eager-to-please personalities. However, they are working dogs and prefer to be kept busy over lying around the house. Because of their energy, they require ample physical and mental stimulation to prevent unwanted behaviors.

Shetland Sheepdogs can be wary of strangers and will often greet guests with barking, whether to alert their family or just out of excitement. And while their heavy coat requires frequent brushing, they tend to be a generally healthy breed, living an average of 12–14 years.

Shetland Sheepdog Health Issues

Shetland sheepdogs are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain inherited conditions. Here are some of the most common issues pet parents should watch for. 

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is when the bones of the hip joints don’t align properly. This misalignment causes rubbing and grinding of the bones that, over time, leads to deterioration—causing pain, loss of function, and arthritis.

Hip dysplasia can be a hereditary condition that affects Sheltie dogs, but it can also be exacerbated by other factors such as exercise habits, weight, and nutrition.

Collie Eye Anomaly 

Collie eye anomaly (CEA) is an inherited condition that affects the development of the eye, resulting in vision loss and, sometimes, complete blindness.

CEA is diagnosed by ophthalmologic examination and is typically found in Sheltie puppies. While there is no treatment for this disease, genetic testing can look for the mutated genes; responsible Sheltie breeders will screen for this defect.

Sheltie Skin Syndrome

Sheltie skin syndrome (dermatomyositis) is an inherited disease that affects skin, muscles, and blood vessels, causing inflammation. Dogs with this condition may develop a range of signs, varying from small skin lesions to severe ulcerations of the skin and muscle loss.

Sheltie skin syndrome is typically first seen in dogs less than 6 months old. There is no cure for the condition, but in some cases it can be managed at home.

Thyroid Disease

Hypothyroidism in dogs is a fairly common condition in which the thyroid gland is underactive. This causes regular body functions to slow down, which can lead to lethargy, weight gain, and changes in the skin and coat.

A simple blood test can check for hypothyroidism, and the condition is treated with daily medication. With medicine, most dogs with hypothyroidism will live full lives with a normal life expectancy.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

Von Willebrand disease (vWD) is an inherited condition that affects the blood’s ability to clot. Dogs affected by vWD may show signs of:

Bruising easily

Bleeding from the gums or nose

Bloody urine or stools

Excessive bleeding after surgery

vWD is diagnosed with blood tests, but there is no cure for the disease. However, dogs with vWD can live a normal life with proper management and medication.


Epilepsy describes recurrent seizures without a known cause. The appearance of a seizure can vary widely—some affect only a small part of the body, while others affect the entire body. Some signs of a seizure in dogs may include:

Stiffening and falling over, with shaking and vocalization

Paddling of the limbs

Loss of bladder and bowels



Seizures can last from a few seconds to a few minutes while the animal is unaware what is going on around them. Before and after the seizure, the pet may act abnormally, or they can appear anxious or confused, disoriented, or sleepy.

Treatment is typically done with lifelong anticonvulsants. Once anti-seizure medication treatment begins, most pets live a fairly normal life.

What To Feed a Shetland Sheepdog

Selecting the best diet for a Sheltie is based on the individual needs of your dog. It’s important to choose dog food that contains high-quality ingredients. Ask your veterinarian what to feed your Sheltie dog based on their specific medical history.

If your pup does not engage in extensive physical activity, they will be prone to obesity. So, it’s vital to avoid overfeeding your Sheltie so they maintain proper body conditioning and weight.

How To Feed a Shetland Sheepdog

Most Shetland Sheepdogs do not require special feeding instructions. Typically, feeding two meals (in the morning and evening) is well tolerated by this breed. A Sheltie puppy will need to eat more frequently, about three or four times daily.

How Much Should You Feed a Shetland Sheepdog?

Follow the feeding guide on your food bag to ensure your Shetland Sheepdog pup is receiving essential daily nutrients. Remember to divide the daily recommended portions into meals instead of serving it all at once.

While the dog food label can give you good guidance on how much to feed your Sheltie, always talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s food. They can give recommendations on portions based on your dog’s weight, lifestyle, and health history.

Nutritional Tips for Shetland Sheepdogs

For a Sheltie involved in sporting activities, you can supplement them with glucosamine and chondroitin to help keep their joints healthy. Additionally, omega-3 supplements can aid in protecting joint health and help keep their skin and coat lush and soft. Always talk to your veterinarian before giving your dog supplements.

Behavior and Training Tips for Shetland Sheepdogs

Shetland Sheepdog Personality and Temperament

Shelties are working dogs that require ample physical and mental stimulation. Because they love to please, training a Sheltie can be fun for everybody. These pups have been known to excel in obedience and agility. Their playful and energetic nature makes Sheltie dogs suitable for families with children and other pets.

Shelties are a popular family dog because of their gentle and eager-to-please personalities. However, they are working dogs and prefer to be kept busy over lying around the house.

Shetland Sheepdog Behavior

Shetland Sheepdogs tend to be quite vocal and will bark—not only to alert, but also when they are excited. True to their herding nature, Shelties will chase anything that moves. Keeping them on a leash or inside a fenced yard is crucial with this breed, which will dart after squirrels, rabbits, and even cars.

Shetland Sheepdog Training

Their intelligence and willingness to please make the Sheltie very trainable, and they excel in sports such as agility. As with any breed, early socialization is important and can help with their natural guardian behavior.  

Fun Activities for Shetland Sheepdogs






Working as a therapy dog

Shetland Sheepdog Grooming Guide

Pet parents must be prepared to maintain their Sheltie’s thick double coat with frequent brushing. This keeps their fur free of mats and can also help with the dogs’ heavy shedding.

Skin Care

Skin care for the Sheltie dog can vary. The breed does not typically have sensitive skin, but they will require dedicated care if they develop Sheltie skin syndrome.

Coat Care

Underneath the Sheltie’s long, straight outer coat is a dense undercoat—and both shed considerably. Shetland dogs should be brushed at least twice a week to prevent matting and to collect some of that loose hair.

Bathing is only needed occasionally and may best be done by a professional groomer who can trim out mats, which often form behind ears or under legs.

Eye Care

Routine cleaning with a soft, damp cloth or pet-friendly face wipe will help prevent normal tearing and debris from building up around your Sheltie’s eyes. Stay alert for changes in your dog’s eyes (such as discharge) or if your pup seems to have trouble seeing, and take them to the vet if anything troubling pops up.

Ear Care

Routine ear cleaning with a veterinary-approved ear cleanser will help maintain your Sheltie’s healthy ear canals.

Considerations for Pet Parents

The Shetland Sheepdog has become a family favorite because of their playful yet sweet personality. And while their compact size works well with small homes or apartments, they prefer to keep busy rather than lie around all day. Ample physical and mental enrichment should be provided. Because they are eager to please, this can easily be done with interactive training such as obedience and agility.

Shelties tend to bark and shed profusely. But if you can look beyond that, the Sheltie provides a well-balanced and lovable companion to any home.

Shetland Sheepdog FAQs

Are Shetland Sheepdogs high-maintenance?

Shelties are both high- and low-maintenance dogs, depending on the traits you’re considering. Their grooming needs are greater than those of many other dogs because of their thick double coats, but they don’t need many baths. Physically, they require daily activity, but their compact size makes this easy to fulfill with a fenced yard or leashed walks.

Do Shetland Sheepdogs bark a lot?

Shelties are known to be quite vocal and will often bark when meeting a new person. They will also bark when excited.

Are Shetland Sheepdogs good pets?

Sheltie dogs make good pets for those who are knowledgeable and prepared for the needs of the breed. While quite affectionate and sweet, they are working dogs and will be best suited in a home where their mind and body are kept busy.

How long do Shelties live?

The average Sheltie life span is 12–14 years.

What’s the difference between a Sheltie and a Collie?

The most obvious difference between a Sheltie and a Collie is the size. While a Sheltie will stand 13–16 inches tall and weigh 15–25 pounds, the average adult Collie stands at 24–26 inches and weighs 50–75 pounds. Additionally, Collies tend to have a calmer personality compared to the Sheltie’s perky temperament.

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Teresa Kho-Pelfrey, DVM


Dr. Teresa Kho-Pelfrey graduated from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in 2015 and completed her clinical year at Purdue…

A Vet Talks About the Best Ingredients for Joint Supplements for Dogs

Preventing dog joint pain and maintaining comfortable mobility are both big concerns for dog parents. Savvy dog guardians know that the earlier you start maintaining your dog’s joint health, the better the long-term results will be.

Dogs that are fit and trim, eat a healthy, balanced diet and take appropriate dog supplements are less likely to have problems with arthritis. When it comes to dog joint supplements, however, it can be hard to separate the helpful from the hype.

Here are my top five recommended ingredients to look for in joint supplements for dogs. Always talk with your veterinarian to find the right combination to determine the best joint supplements for the dogs in your family.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Healthy cartilage is required for joints to move smoothly and without pain. Glucosamine for dogs helps to stimulate the growth of cartilage and protect cartilage in the joint.

Like all dog joint supplements, glucosamine will take a while to build up in your dog’s system. Once it does reach therapeutics levels in the body tissues, glucosamine has been shown to improve pain scores and weight-bearing in arthritic dogs.

Glucosamine hydrochloride can benefit dogs with arthritis as well as dogs with healthy joints. If your dog is predisposed to joint problems, as with large breed dogs, or has had joint trauma or broken bones, or has elbow or hip dysplasia, you can start administering glucosamine to your dog as early as 8 weeks old.

For healthy dogs, the recommended serving is 30 milligrams of glucosamine hydrochloride per kilogram of your dog’s body weight once daily for four weeks, and then you reduce it to 15 milligrams per kilogram of your dog’s body weight daily. Ask your veterinary team for help with finding the right dosage levels and schedule for your dog.

In addition, make sure you are giving glucosamine hydrochloride, not glucosamine sulfate—glucosamine sulfate has not been shown to actually get into the cartilage where it needs to be.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent joint supplements for dogs of all ages. Omega-3 fatty acids help promote healthy joint lubrication and can reduce inflammation and pain for your pet. Omega-3 fatty acids also promote healthy joints, heart, skin and kidneys.

Even though dog treats and dog food are often formulated with omega-3 fatty acids, there aren’t high enough levels to help a dog with joint challenges. Given this, an omega-3 fatty acid supplement may be necessary (your veterinarian can help you decide this).

The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids for dogs are fish or krill oil. These supplement sources have EPA and DHA, which are fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to a dog’s diet. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 dog supplement has concentrated, pure fish oil products that include EPA and DHA.

Flaxseed oil supplementation, which only provides ALA, is not recommended.

To promote joint health in dogs of any age with all ranges of joint health, give 100 milligrams of combined EPA and DHA daily for every kilogram of your healthy dog’s body weight. Your veterinarian can determine the proper dosage of an omega-3 fatty acid supplement and if supplementation is necessary for your pet.

Keep in mind that omega-3 fatty acids are very sensitive and degrade in the presence of heat, light and oxygen, so it is best to keep these supplements in the freezer in a container that blocks light.

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASUs)

ASUs help protect cartilage through reduction of inflammation and stimulation of healing after damage. ASUs work synergistically with glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate, which makes products that contain all three ingredients excellent choices for dog joint supplements for dogs of all ages.

One caveat with ASUs is that they will not benefit dogs with end-stage arthritis. Dog joint supplements protect cartilage, but with dogs with end-stage arthritis, there is no cartilage left to protect.

Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin sulfate protects cartilage by stopping enzymes that destroy cartilage. It is recommended for all dogs older than 8 weeks of age, except for dogs with end-stage arthritis.

Chondroitin can be difficult for a dog’s gastrointestinal tract to absorb, so choosing a product that has a low molecular weight, such as Dasuquin, may improve absorption.

Dasuquin also has the benefit of containing glucosamine hydrochloride and ASUs. Chondroitin sulfate works in tandem with glucosamine hydrochloride and ASUs, and these ingredients work better together than separately.

Given alone, chondroitin sulfate requires the same dosage as glucosamine, but the dosages of both are lowered when given together. Ask your veterinarian for product recommendations as well as the proper dosage levels for your dog.


Dogs with severe arthritis may benefit from a CBD oil supplement. CBD oil is touted to work by way of the endocannabinoid system, a system in your dog’s body that modulates pain and inflammation.

A 2018 study suggested that a twice-daily dosage of 2 mg/kg can reduce pain and increase activity in dogs with arthritis. CBD is likely more beneficial to older pets that already have dog joint pain challenges than younger dogs with healthy joints.

You can also talk with your veterinarian for their recommendation on alternative methods for reducing your pet’s pain, which may include pet pain medication, joint fusion surgery and/or holistic pain treatments, such as acupuncture, photobiomodulation or joint injections.

Navigating the world of joint supplements for dogs can be mind-boggling. Never hesitate to enlist the help of your veterinarian, who will be your best resource for information on dog joint supplements that actually benefit your pet.

By: Dr. Sarah Wooten, DVM

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Sarah Wooten, DVM


Dr. Sarah Wooten graduated from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. A member of the American Society of Veterinary Journalists,…

Narrowing of the Esophagus in Dogs

Esophageal Stricture in Dogs

The esophagus is the tubular organ that runs from the throat to the stomach; an esophageal stricture is an abnormal narrowing of the inner open space of the esophagus. It can affect dogs at any age, and there is no apparent genetic factor involved.

The condition or disease described in this medical article can affect both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how this disease affects cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

Symptoms and Types

Regurgitation (return of food or other contents from the esophagus) Liquid meals are often tolerated better than solid meals Difficulty swallowing is seen with upper esophageal strictures Howling, crying, or yelping during swallowing when the animal has active inflammation of the esophagus Good appetite initially; eventually, lack of appetite with progressive esophageal narrowing and inflammation Weight loss and malnutrition as the disease progresses Weight loss to severe weight loss with muscle wasting in dogs with chronic or advanced stricture Excessive production of saliva and drooling, and/or reacting in pain when touched on the neck and esophagus may be seen in animals with inflammation of the esophagus at the same time the stricture is present Progressive regurgitation and difficulty swallowing may lead to aspiration pneumonia Abnormal lung or breathing sounds, such as wheezing and coughing, may be detected in dogs with aspiration pneumonia.


Backward or reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux) during anesthesia – most common Backward or reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus, unrelated to anesthesia (gastroesophageal reflux disease) Esophageal surgery Ingestion of chemical irritants Esophageal retention of pills and capsules Esophageal foreign object Persistent vomiting Cancer Mass lesion (known as a granuloma) secondary to the parasite Spirocerca lupi; occasionally seen in the southeastern United States


Your veterinarian will want to rule out many of the possible diseases or conditions that might cause these symptoms. For example, if your dog has just been weaned, an abnormality called vascular ring anomaly may be the problem. In order to arrive at a definite diagnosis, your doctor may conduct a barium-contrast X-ray, which uses a radiopaque fluid in the esophageal passage, so that the passage of the liquid shows on the X-ray image, revealing abnormalities in the passage. An X-ray may reveal a foreign body caught in the esophagus. An insertable visual diagnostic tool called an endoscope can also be useful for visually examining the esophagus in closer detail. Your doctor will also be looking for tumors and masses.


Your dog may be kept in the hospital initially. Once hydration needs are addressed and the affected portion of the esophagus is dilated, you may be able to take your dog home. If your dog has aspiration pneumonia and/or inflammation of the esophagus, it may need to remain under medical supervision longer. Intravenous fluids may be needed for correcting hydration status and medications may be given by injection following dilation procedures to facilitate healing. Oxygen may be needed for patients with severe aspiration pneumonia.

Also, patients that have severe inflammation of the esophagus, and those that have had dilation procedures will not be able to take food through the mouth. A temporary feeding tube may be placed at the time of esophageal dilation as a means of providing continual nutritional support. When you do restart feeding your dog by mouth you will need to give bland, liquid foods that are easily digestible. Your veterinarian will advise you on the most appropriate foods that will help your pet through the recovery process.


Proper preparation prior to anesthesia (12-hour preoperative fast) Avoid certain drugs prior to anesthesia, if possible If gastroesophageal reflux is present, avoid late-night feedings, as they tend to decrease the ability of the muscle between the stomach and esophagus to remain closed during sleep Prevent dog from ingesting caustic substances and foreign bodies

Living and Management

A barium contrast X-ray, a method which uses a radiopaque liquid in order to trace a passageway and to define abnormalities within, or endoscopy, using an insertable tubular instrument for visually examining the interior of the esophagus, will need to be repeated every two to four weeks until clinical signs have been resolved, and adequate esophageal lumen size (the inner space of the esophagus) has been achieved.

A life-threatening complication of esophageal stricture dilation, called esophageal tear or perforation, usually occurs at the time of dilation. This complication has been observed after several days to weeks have passed, so you will need to observe your dog for signs of this. Also, remain observant for symptoms of aspiration pneumonia due to food, liquid, or objects being pulled into the lungs, because the risk remains high. Generally, the longer the stricture, the more guarded the prognosis. With esophageal strictures due to scarring, the prognosis is generally fair to guarded. Many strictures will recur despite repeated esophageal dilation; improvement without cure is a more realistic goal.

Tooth Enamel Malformation in Dogs

Enamel Hypoplasia/Hypocalcification in Dogs

The outer coating of the tooth, the enamel, develops according to a specific set of physical and environmental circumstances. Normally developed enamel will have a smooth, white appearance. However, when conditions in the environment interfere with the development of tooth enamel, teeth can take on a discolored, pitted or otherwise unusual appearance.

Bodily influences, like canine distemper virus (in young puppies that are not vaccinated) or a fever over an extended period of time, may cause pitting and discolored enamel surfaces. Local influences, like injury (even from baby tooth extraction) over a short period of time can cause specific patterns or bands to appear on the developing teeth. These types of traumas can result in less than normal deposits of enamel, medically termed hypocalcification. The lack of sufficient enamel may cause the teeth to be more sensitive, with exposed dentin (which is normally hidden underneath the enamel), and occasionally fractures of severely compromised teeth. The teeth usually remain fully functional.

Symptoms and Types

Irregular, pitted enamel tooth surface with discoloration of diseased enamel and potential exposure of underlying dentin (light brown appearance) Early or rapid accumulation of plaque (bacteria, food film, dead skin cells and mucin) and calculus (calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate mixed with organic matter) on roughened tooth surface Possible gingivitis and/or accelerated periodontal/gum disease


Injury during enamel formation on the teeth Canine distemper virus, fever, trauma (e.g., accidents, excessive force used during deciduous/baby tooth extraction)


Discolored teeth may be found by your veterinarian during a routine physical exam, which normally includes a complete oral exam. Intraoral radiographs (X-rays) can then be taken by your veterinarian to determine if the roots of the teeth are still alive.


Treatment of your dog’s teeth will depend upon the extent of abnormalities and the equipment and materials that are available. Your veterinarian will try to create the smoothest surface possible on the cat’s teeth. Prior to receiving any dental work, your dog will be given pre-operative antibiotics and oral pain medication. Your veterinarian will try to gently remove the diseased enamel by scrubbing the enamel with special dental instruments, while taking care not to remove too much enamel and/or dentin or to overheat the insides of the teeth.

If the insides of the teeth have become exposed as the result of the hypocalcification, they will be sealed with a bonding agent that is made to protect the inside of the tooth along with its surface. A strong fluoride treatment that is applied to the teeth can be used in tandem with the other treatments to decrease sensitivity and enhance the enamel’s strength. It must be applied to a dry tooth surface using a varnish or strong sodium fluoride paste. This treatment will be performed under medical guidance in-hospital.

Using fluoride on your dog at home without consulting a veterinarian is not advisable, since fluoride can be toxic, and can itself cause damage to the enamel if not applied properly.

Living and Management

If your dog has been diagnosed with hypocalcemia, your veterinarian will recommend regular professional dental cleaning, about once or twice a year, but possibly more depending on the condition of the teeth. Routine home-care, with a regular brushing program, will also need to be undertaken. If you are unfamiliar with tooth brushing for dogs, ask your veterinarian to demonstrate the proper techniques for you.

Weekly application of stannous fluoride can be done at home, but caution is important. You will need to prevent your dog from having access to the fluoride, or from swallowing it (though a minute amount being swallowed cannot be helped), since stannous fluoride can be toxic in large doses. Excessively chewing on hard objects should also be discouraged.

Heart Block or Conduction Delay (Right Bundle) in Dogs

Right Bundle Branch Block (RBBB) in Dogs

Right Bundle Branch Block (RBBB) is a defect in the heart’s electrical conduction system in which the right ventricle (one of the dog’s four heart chambers) is not directly activated by the electric impulses through the right bundle branch. RBBB may be complete or partial in nature.

Symptoms and Types

Often, no specific symptoms are seen that can be attributed to RBB, only those that are related to the underlying disease causing the defect.


Although it may be present in normal dogs, a right bundle branch block is more often associated with congenital (present at birth) heart disease(s). Other typical causes for the defect include:

Chronic valve disease with fibrosis Heart surgery to correct cardiac defect Injury involving heart Tumor(s) Parasitic infection (e.g., heartworms) Cardiomyopathy Formation of clot in blood vessel (thromboembolism) Abnormally high levels of potassium (hyperkalemia)


You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to the veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) — the results of which are typically non-specific. However, biochemistry profile may show high levels of potassium.

RBBB is often only found accidentally, perhaps while performing an echocardiogram. In the case of this defect, he or she may identify structural defects in the heart and right-side enlargement. Thoracic and abdominal radiography, meanwhile, may show masses and other abnormalities. If heartworms are the underlying cause, they also may be identified in diagnostic procedures.


Treatment is directed towards treating underlying cause.

Living and Management

This condition itself is not life-threatening and treating the underlying cause results in complete resolution of problem. However, if left untreated, RBBB can lead to more severe heart rhythm changes or even complete heart block.

You may be required to take your pet for regular follow-ups exams to evaluate the status of disease and the dog’s response to treatment. No diet modifications are necessary, unless required to manage underlying condition.

Norwich Terrier

The Norwich Terrier is one of the smallest working terriers. It’s a spirited, stocky breed, with prick ears and an almost weatherproof coat. Resembling the Norfolk Terrier, the Norwich Terrier has the true spirit of a terrier and is always ready for excitement and adventure: it can work in a pack and moves with great power.

Physical Characteristics

The double coat of the Norwich is comprised of a straight, hard, and wiry outer coat, which fits close to the body and is red, wheaten, black, or tan in color. The hair around its mane, meanwhile, is thick, offering the dog protection.

The expression of the Norwich Terrier is slightly foxy in nature. In fact, this square-proportioned, stocky, sturdy, and spirited dog is among the smallest working terriers. Its small size help it follow fox or vermin through narrow passages. And its large teeth help it dispatch its quarry effectively. The tail is long enough to hold on firmly, so that it is not pulled from a hole.

Personality and Temperament

As the Norwich is a good hunter, it may chase small animals. This amusing, lively, and independent dog is also a good companion, though challenging at times. It is perfect for those who have a great sense of humor and adventure.


The Norwich Terrier functions better as a house dog with access to the yard, but it can also live outdoors during daytime in temperate or warm climates. Its wiry coat requires occasional weekly combing, and stripping of dead hair three or four times a year.

The Norwich is fond of exploring and running, but off-leash forays should be done only in secure areas. It is also recommended that you allow the dog to run short distances and stretch out its legs every day.


The Norwich Terrier, which has an average lifespan of 13 to 15 years, may suffer from patellar luxation, cataract, cheyletiella mites, and deafness. It is also prone to minor health problems such as allergies and seizures, and major issues like canine hip dysplasia (CHD). To identify some of these issues, a veterinarian may recommend hip and knee tests for this breed of dog.

History and Background

In England, short-legged ratters have always been valued. However, during the 19th century, smaller breeds like the Norfolk and Norwich Terriers (known as CanTabs and Trumpington Terriers at the time) began to emerge; it was even popular for students of Cambridge University to own one of the small ratters.

Near the turn of the 20th century, a Trumpington Terrier named Rags emerged from a stable near Norwich as the sire to numerous dogs, and is often considered the main ancestor to the modern Norwich Terrier.

One of his descendants was introduced to the United States in 1914; the breed became popular in America quickly thereafter. Even today, people refer to the Norwich as “Jones” Terrier, a tribute to the original owner of the first American Norwich Terrier.

In 1936, the American Kennel Club formally recognized the breed. At first the breed included both the drop and prick-eared variety; however, in 1979 the Norfolk Terrier only became associated with the dropped-eared strain.

Even though the Norfolk terrier does not possess the flashing speed of other long-legged terriers, it is a good competitor to have in a show ring. The Norfolk Terrier is also a loyal and sensitive companion to have.