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Skye Terrier Health

Cancer ranks in first place and second place when it comes to the leading cause of death in Skye Terriers. Furthermore, breast cancer is what currently contributes to majority of the deaths among Skye Terriers. Additionally, spleen cancer – hemangiosarcoma- is right behind breast cancer and from the looks of it spleen cancer may even pass breast cancer in the near future.

The third cause of death on the list is autoimmune disease. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term this is when they develop a defective immune system and it turns on their body and starts to cause them damage. Usually, in this dog breed they start to experience this blood clotting diseases once they hit the middle age.

One of the less common and less serious diseases among the Skye terrier breed is hypothyroidism. Also, intervertebral disk disease is affecting 10% of the breed and it is also a cause of death among the breed. Furthermore, Skye terriers also need to be tested for hip dysplasia and luxating patella before the breeders breed them because surprisingly these orthopedic diseases are a concern in this breed as well. In fact, it is not uncommon for puppies and an adolescent to limp which researches are thinking has something to do with panosteitis. Sometimes they may even experience premature closure of growth plates in their front legs and osteodystrophy. This is why it is strongly suggested to never let Skye puppies go up or down stairs and they also should not jump onto hard places until they are nine months or older to insure that their growth plates have closed. This is something that can easily be done by giving them a ramp. Last, as with any other terrier, Skye terriers can also experience allergies.

Prevention: The good news is often these health problem in Skye terriers can be prevented.

  1. Genetic: Some of the health problems are going to be genetic. However, to avoid having puppies with genetic problems it is wise to check their parent’s information before purchasing a puppy from a breeder. There are books available that can guide you.
  2. Environmental: Other health problems arise because you do not raise your puppy correctly. There are also books available that can assist you when it comes to raising a healthy Skye terrier.




  1. Jim Grana says:

    I am a Skye Terrier owner, my third Skye in fact. Previously we have used Interceptor for heart worm prevention. We were aware to avoid any med. that had Trimectin as an ingredient. Now Interceptor has been discontinued. Can you recommend a similar med (last year we used Revolution as prescribed by our Vet) that does not have Trimec. as part of their medication? Thank you for your kind attention.

  2. Melissa says:

    We use Sentinel and have not had any problems with it.

  3. Karen Faus says:

    I have just lost my second Skye
    Terrier to hemangiosarcoma. First one 13 years ago – just collapsed and bled out – no signs. Second one last week – 12 years old, just stopped eating and became lethargic – took to vet, blood work, ultra sound, x-rays – tumors on liver, spleen and in gut. Put on prednsone and B-12 shots for anemia – perked up for a few days and ate, then would not eat and totally lethargic. Put to sleep after one week as he could hardly walk. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS CANCER!


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