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This is really just a few of the more common disorders found with Scottish Terriers. This just reiterate's the importance of working with a reputable breeder. Even if you don't ever have a dog from us, please educate yourself and know the right questions to ask from whomever you purchase your dog from. Thank you for stopping by to see us! Warmest regards!

CMO Craniomandibular Osteopathy
Craniomandibular Osteopathy is an inherited disorder characterized by an abnormal growth of the bone of the lower jaw. CMO usually appears between four and seven months. A puppy with CMO usually pulls away, flinches or screams with pain when his mouth is examined, depending on the severity of the disease. Other early symptoms are lethargy, fever and unwillingness to eat. An acutely affected puppy may be unable to open his mouth but mild cases may be misdiagnosed as teething problems or virus symptoms. An accurate diagnosis of CMO requires X-ray confirmation. CMO is nearly always treatable.

Scottie Cramp
Scottie Cramp is the most wide-spread hereditary disorder in the breed and it is also the least serious, from the dog's point of view. Affected dogs are normal at rest and exhibit normal ability to walk until they are stressed. Common stimuli are exercise, hunting, fighting, or courtship. As the dog's level of stress increases, his gait begins to change. The forelegs move out to the side and forward rather than straight forward, called winging. The spine in the lumbar area may arch and the rear legs begin to overflex. If the excitement or exercise continues, the dog begins to exhibit a "goose-stepping" gait. If the dog is running, he may somersault and fall. Severely affected dogs may find their ability to walk or run completely inhibited. As soon as the stimulus abates, the symptoms disappear almost immediately.

The Scottie's muscles are not cramping and he is not experiencing pain. He has just temporarily lost the ability to coordinate his movements. Scottie Cramp is present from birth, but it often takes the eye of an experienced breeder to spot it. Affected dogs soon learn to anticipate the onset of cramping and abruptly stop running or playing. By the time such a puppy is grown, he may never exhibit any signs at all. Similarly, an affected dog with a very laid-back personality is less likely to exhibit symptoms than a more active dog

Treatment is seldom necessary but, in severe cases, Vitamin E, diazepam and Prozac have all proven to be effective.

Seizure Disorders
Seizures may be caused by a number of conditions, including low blood sugar, brain tumor, heat stroke, poison, nutritional deficiency and distemper. Classic, or idiopathic, epilepsy is characterized by recurrent seizures with no active underlying disease process occurring in the brain. This form of epilepsy is not usually seen until a dog is mature, usually between three and five years of age.

In a typical seizure, the dog will salivate excessively. There is usually dilation of the pupils and stiffening of the limbs. The dog may arch its back and paddle its legs. Frequently, the dog's temperature will spike up three to five degrees. Urination or defecation may accompany or follow the episode. Seizures usually last only a minute or two, but severely affected dogs may have longer and more frequent episodes. Dogs who have infrequent seizures do not require treatment.

Cushing's Syndrome
Cushing's Syndrome is a collection of symptoms caused by an excess of a hormone called cortisol. There are three main causes of Cushing's Syndrome: a tumor on the pituitary gland; a tumor on the adrenal gland; or veterinarians who over-prescribe corticosteroids to treat itching skin.

A Scottie should be checked for Cushing's if exhibiting the following symptoms:

  • Drinking huge amounts of water and urinating frequently
  • Losing coat, thinning coat.
  • Darkening of the skin pigment
  • Muscles atrophy and pot belly.

Cushing's Syndrome is usually treated successfully. Surgery is rarely recommended and radiation therapy, used in humans, is very expensive and rarely available for dogs.

Von Willebrand's Disease
Von Willebrand's disease (VWD) is a common, usually mild, inherited bleeding disorder in people and in dogs. It is caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor (VWF), which plays an essential role in the blood clotting process.

A reduction in von Willebrand factor leads to abnormal platelet function and prolonged bleeding times. Affected dogs are prone to bleeding episodes such as nose bleeds, and generally experience increased bleeding with trauma or a surgical procedure.

Bleeding abnormalities are severe in dogs with Types II and III Von Willebrand's disease.

Scottish Terriers fall into Type III which is why this can be a very serious problem.

Thanks to the Scottish Terrier Club of America and the Scottish Terrier Club of Michigan in conjunction with VetGen, it is now possible to rule out these concerns with a simple test.



Scotland Yard Kennels • Oak Harbor, Ohio • 734-848-2882