Aggression, fear, anxiety, and separation anxiety can have a genetic basis. However, significant socialization issues could impact the incidence and severity of these behavioral problems.
The data set does not indicate if this diagnosis is based upon liver biopsy or is speculated from elevated hepatic enzymes identified on serum chemistries. Elevated serum chemistries could be elevated from a variety of disease conditions, medications, and environmental causes. Therefore, care should be taken not to extrapolate that these “hepatopathy” cases are necessarily genetic issues.
KCS “Dry Eye”:
11 individual dogs had this diagnosis. Three of these dogs were over 14 years of age and one had Diabetes Mellitus which could be contributors to this medical condition. Two cases were under 2 years old, much more suspicious of an underlying genetic condition.
A total of 4 dogs involved. However, two of these dogs were over the age of 14 years. Two cases were 2 years old; it is undetermined if these were genetic or traumatic in origin.
This incidence rate is surprisingly low in this obese study population.
Only one case under the age of 2 years. Six cases between the ages of 4 to 10 years, and four cases over 10 years. The young case could be genetic the remaining most likely secondary to dental disease which was also high in the data set.
Enteritis, hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, colitis, and pancreatitis:
This study group had a significant population which was obese predisposing them to gastrointestinal issues.
Not surprising in a population with old intact male dogs.
Possible weaknesses in this study are differences in the subjective opinions of the individual veterinarians (I think [subjective] vs I know [objective e.g., biopsy results]). Additionally it is assumed that the study group of dogs is reflective of the general Lakeland terrier population. Lakeland terrier breeders can be in isolated regions of the country, if the veterinary corporation did not have a hospital in the area, then genetic issues in this population may not be identified in this study. Some diagnoses used in the corporate data base are less defined than optimal. For example, “hepatopathy” could be cirrhosis, hepatitis (bacterial or viral), cancer, biliary disease, hyperadrenocorticism, among other others. This issue had no impact in this study as the additive incidence of hepatopathy was low.
An advantage this study had over a member health survey is that dogs not belonging to members of the United States Lakeland Terrier Club are included. This could include puppy mills, or breeders with limited training in genetics or health issues.
None of the identified possible genetic conditions identified in the study occurred in Lakeland terriers more prominently than the general dog population. Therefore, no effort was taken to ascertain if these conditions occurred more in one sex or the other.
The incidence of these conditions in the general dog population were not listed in the results, since there are a variety of veterinary diagnostic data bases with some deviation of “normal” prevalences. The Lakeland terrier population incidences were compared to these databases and if within the normal range of any of these database was considered within the normal limits.
The national study group of 380 Lakeland terrier veterinary visit records does not identify any genetic diseases occurring at a higher rate than the general dog population.
1.Banfield Veterinary Corporation, 18101 SE 6th Way, Vancouver, Washington 98683