Biewer Terrier 2019 Health Survey Report
Biewer Terrier Health Survey Report
Biewer Terrier Club of America
"Where Knowledge Leads to Excellence"
Great News! The AKC Board is now allowing All-Breed and FSS Parent Clubs to Host FSS Open Shows. All-breed clubs will be able to host FSS Open Shows, and FSS breed Parent Clubs can hold an FSS Open Show for all FSS (including Miscellaneous Class) breeds. ADDITIONALLY, your dogs will earn points towards a "Certificate of Merit", which is equivalent to the "Championship Title". This title "CM" will be denoted on your registration. Visit the What's New page for the full details on all changes and vital links to forms, applications and information.
We have provided a detailed explanation of the acceptable results for the Wisdom Panel 4.0 test. The new 4.0 has 6 individual tests in which to evaluate the dog, giving us more information to make a better analysis of whether we have a purebred or not. Please visit our "Mars Test Results Explained Page" for a detailed explanation.
The BTCA, Inc., Biewer Terrier Club of America, Inc. has been named the parent club for the Biewer Terrier by the AKC. As the Biewer Terrier is gaining recognition World Wide as a breed of its own, the BTCA continues to assist those countries needing help in obtaining recognition with their respective kennel clubs. You can register your purebred Biewer Terrier with AKC/FSS, UKC and BTRA in the United States. We are looking forward to developing a strong, healthy foundation for the Biewer Terrier. For more information, visit our registry page.
Biewer Terrier 2019 Health Survey Report
The Biewer Terrier is a relatively young breed and the first breed identified as a separate purebred breed through DNA testing. The Biewer Terrier Club of America (BTCA) elected to sponsor a breed wide survey in 2019 to determine the overall health issues in the breed. It was hoped with widespread participation a clearer picture of their health problems would be seen. Thus, based upon the results education and research could be focused on health issues that affect the breed as a whole.
The Board members directed the BTCA Health Committee to design a general health survey modeled after successful surveys done by other breeds. The survey requirements were written to identify health issues. The respondents were anonymous and independent of any registry or affiliation. 293 Biewer Terrier households participated.
It is important to note that the survey was designed for general use. Participation was voluntary and not by random selection. Results represent the percentage of respondents for each health question, which is not the same as the percentage of Biewer Terriers. There were many multiple dog household, and possible only one dog had the pertinent health concern. The overall presence of any disease in the Biewer Terrier breed may be more or much less than the percentages noted. The results should still be meaningful and useful as a tool to help in making decisions for educational initiatives, where and if further in-depth surveys will be helpful, and/or to direct further research.
To be clear, because this was not a statistically derived survey, the data cannot, nor should it be used, in attempting to make definitive conclusions about the Biewer Terrier’s overall health status. One cannot interpret 12% responses with disease X that 12% of Biewer Terriers are at risk for having disease X. The actual percent within the breed cannot be known with this type of open general survey. Nor does the absence of any response mean a disease does not occur in the breed. Some questions had individual answers and are incorporated in answers of other questions.
The information gathered from the survey is presented below.
Some responses under the answer “other” duplicated the tabulated answers above. The largest number of responses were along the lines of my pet, companion or family member. Other answers for activities Biewer Terriers are involved with (not in any order or frequency): emotional support animals, service dog, diabetic alert dog, barn hunt, earth dog, antler shed hunt, and "other dog sports".
Q6: Please list the number of Biewer Terriers you own or have owned, current age or if appropriate the cause of death and age of death. Please, do not list their names just numbers and age.
Overall there were 293 respondents, of which 22 elected to skip this question, and 3 did not provide numbers of Biewer Terriers owned. A total of 721 Biewer Terriers counted in responses represents an average of 2.69 Biewer Terriers per household/respondent. 51.3% of the dogs were in households of 4 or less dogs: 21.6% in single dog households, 16.4% with 2 dogs, 13.3% in households of 3 or 4 dogs. Over 1/3 of Biewer Terriers in the survey, 35% were likely in breeder households with 10+ dogs, many of these puppies in the preweaning stages, so this should not be interpreted as having large numbers of adult dogs. Some respondent totals included health histories of dogs that had already found new homes and no longer in the breeder's home. Another way to look at this is 156/268 households, 58% were single dog households, 22% were 2 dog households, 9% in 3 or 4 dog homes. A total of nearly 90 % of respondents had 4 Biewer Terriers or less.
Ages were provided for 374 dogs that could be tabulated. Ages ranged from puppies to 17 years of age. As might be expected for a new breed there is a large majority of younger dogs. 204 dogs, 54.5%, were 2 years of age and under. Only 43 dogs, 11.5%, were 8 years old or older, and 18, 4.8%, were 10+ years of age. This would tend to possibly miss out on diseases of aging that may occur in Biewer Terriers. Nearly half the dogs had no ages listed. A large proportion of those with no ages were also from households with higher numbers of dogs in the home. This likely represent breeders with most experience in the breed and older dogs, who were less likely to have listed all the ages. Therefore, the health problems in older Biewer Terriers may actually be accounted for to some extent
Causes of death were listed for 18 Biewer Terriers, 4 from accidents, 3 did not give a diagnosis, and there were no other duplicate diagnoses - all different. With such small numbers there is no way to determine commonest diseases causing death, nor insight into life expectancy of Biewer Terriers. On the positive side, two living dogs were reported as being 15 and 17 years of age, giving a promising outlook.
The purpose of this information is part of the ongoing efforts of the BTCA to identify possible health issues and improve the health conditions and longevity of the Biewer Terrier.
The combination of having the majority of our respondent having not bred a litter and the short length of time the respondents have been involved with the breed, along with overall young age of the dogs owned, this survey is unlikely to represent the typical Biewer Terrier health history through their life span. There is a topside to this distribution. Given the relatively large sample size for this type of survey, along with many congenital and inherited disorders often showing up in puppies or before age two, this survey gives a good picture of a breed with low incidence of these type of problems. The flipside as already discussed, inherited diseases or old age health issues are likely under represented. For those reasons, follow-up breed health survey in both 5 and 10 years will give Biewer Terrier owners the information on inherited disorders that do not become evident until later in life, geriatric issues in the breed, and more cause of death data for basing education, research, and breeding decisions.
Interpretation of the Data
Based upon percentage of respondents, to the survey, the top ten health problems in Biewer Terriers:
- 33.6% Retained puppy teeth
- 23.4% Sneezing or reverse sneezing
- 16.0% Luxating Patella
- 9.6% Stool Eating
- 8.3% Premature Tooth Loss
- 7.9% Seizures
- 6.9% Gingivitis
- 5.8% Snoring
- 4.5% Collapsing Trachea
- 4.5% Allergic Skin Condition
As might be expected from the above, the area with greatest number of health issues was Dental with 45%. Respiratory health issues, also having 3 in the top ten, had 29% reporting problems. And about 1/4 survey respondents noted GI issues which included pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and choking or vomiting after eating. Liver shunt disease, a concern in the breed was reported by 1.39% of survey takers.
Regarding Musculoskeletal disorders, the 3 responses for degenerative myelopathy, were by breeders for positive DM carrier status on DNA health screening, and not actual disease. All three surveys reported no significant health problems in their dogs. DM has not been confirmed in Biewer Terriers.
With the incidence of dental problems, the breed would benefit from emphasis on ongoing dental care and exams.
Thank you to BTCA for sponsoring the survey and for the participants who own Biewer Terriers who responded.
Dr. Mike Kruk, Health Committee Head Chairperson,
Co-Chair in Design and Layout Michele Lyons,
Health Committee Members: April Mudrick Fulk, Aurora Lewis, Cindy Richardville, Deb Billings, Jennie Lucier, Lucille Bardack, MarSue Reuss