Health Matters


The Glen of Imaal Terrier generally suffers from few congenital or hereditary diseases, certainly no more than your average breed.

However, the Glen does have a primary hereditary condition diagnosed within the breed.

GPRA/crd3, is a degenerative eye disease that can eventually lead to blindness and must be tested for as soon as possible, there is no effective treatment but early diagnosis will render information to prospective breeders as to the dogs suitability for breeding.

It is recommended that all Glens are DNA tested for crd3.

The Association can only recommend puppies from DNA tested parents.

For information about DNA testing visit the calendar page, as dates will be posted as testing sessions become known.

Here are some useful links we have found on the internet regarding canine GPRA/crd3 -  OPTIGEN .. - Bochum See DNA Results


Breeding From your DNA tested dog HERE
Glen of imaal Terrier DNA screening HERE
Mate select HERE

Recommended Breeding Policy to eradicate crd3 from The Glen of Imaal Terrier

Recommended Breeding Policy

Clear /Clear All puppies will be clear
Clear / Carrier Puppies will be clear or carriers
Clear / Affecteds All puppies will be carriers

One parent must be clear. Optigen/Bochum testing results will be printed in The Kennel Club Breed Supplement and the eye status of the parents will be printed on the puppies registration papers.

The Association strongly recommends that prospective owners only purchase puppies whose parents have been DNA tested.


With modern living/diets and processed dogfoods, more and more dogs may be susceptible to allergies and skin complaints, A common problem in terriers, and the Glen is no exception, are skin irritations. In most cases, the eruptions are a result of different allergies. There may be a genetic predisposition to such allergic reactions. Your breeder can provide information about the history of this problem, if such a problem exists, in the lines of his/her breeding programme.

Professor Peter Bedford
B.Vetmed, PhD, DVO phthal, DipEC

Writes for the Association on the primary health issue concerning Glens

a healthy eye

a diseased eye

Progressive Retinal Atrophy ( PRA ) is perhaps the most well known of the inherited eye diseases that are seen in pedigree dogs. Sadly it is just one of many severe defects that occur, but it is known so well because it always causes blindness. In fact there are several retinal degenerations which are all called PRA, some occurring early in life and result from actual congenital defects whilst other do not occur until middle age. Most are inherited as single gene defects and sadly the normal dogs related to afflicted dogs are often carriers of the genetic defect required to produce the disease.
"Sadly - and I keep using this word - the Glen has PRA, the type known as crd 3 (cone-rod dysplasia 3), but the good news is that now a DNA based test has been developed and is available to UK breeders. It will make a huge difference in disease control and I would ask that you all avail yourselves of this development as soon as possible and that all future breeding is based upon the test results. In the past we relied upon regular ophthalmoscopic examinations to detect the clinical signs of the disease, but this meant that we had to wait for those signs to develop in later life and that we could not detect the carriers of crd 3 until their offspring developed the disease. With late onset PRA disease control is always going to be difficult, but now that an individual Glen`s disease status can be determined at a very early age as a result of the DNA based test, we will know whether or not that dog will develop the disease,be a carrier or be genetically normal. In practical terms this means that the eradication of crd 3 from our breed is a reality.
So no more crd 3 -- however the presence of the test does not mean that regular eye examination should stop. Sadly - that word again - the eye is not immune to the development of other inherited diseases. The mutations for all the other nasties are in the genome already and its our way of breeding that can bring such mutations to the fore. For example, the Labrador Retriever has five inherited eye diseases, the Border Collie three, the Miniature Schnauzer three -- the list goes on. Awareness of the potential for disease is an essential part of disease control and at the moment for many diseases regular eye examinations represent the only way of early detection. As a breed you have already developed the discipline of eye examination and you should continue to be certain that another problem does not become entrenched within the breed. Without the crd 3 test the Glen was in a mess, but the feeling of euphoria that the test`s advent has created should not allow common sense to be thrown out with the bathwater.Eye examination is essential to ensure that our delightful breed remains free from other potential ocular disease.

Professor Peter Bedford B.Vetmed, PhD, DVO phthal, DipEC,FRCVS,DHEA,DipECVO

Inheritance of an autosomal recessive condition:

Unnaffected with Unnaffected All puppies will be normal
Unaffected with Carrier Each puppy has a 1 in 2 chance of being a carrier, and a 1 in 2 chance of being unaffected
Unaffected with Affected All puppies will be carriers
Affected with Carrier Each puppy has a 1 in 2 chance of being a carrier, and a 1 in 2 chance of being affected
Affected with Affected All puppies will be affected
Carrier with Carrier Each puppy has a 1 in 4 chance of being affected, 1 in 4 chance of being unaffected and 1 in 2 chance of being a carrier

New Kennel Club Health Pages HERE

Glen breed average COI drops click HERE




An outbreak of a mystery disease similar to Alabama rot has killed 17 dogs in recent months.
Seven of the cases broke out in the New Forest between December 2012 and March 2013, with two more confirmed in that area this month. Areas such as Surrey, Cornwall, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Sherwood Forest (Clumber Park) and County Durham have also seen dogs affected.
The disease – which is currently unknown – is most likely to be Alabama Rot, which was first recorded in America during the 1980s.

What is Alabama Rot?


Alabama Rot is a disease that has been associated with greyhounds, but in recent years has affected a variety of breeds. The earliest and most noticeable sign of the disease is skin lesions – an abnormality in the tissue of an organism, which begin as a
slow-healing ulcer. Kidney failure is also a key component of the mystery illness, which has no known cause or cure.


What are the signs to look out for?


Dog owners are advised to look out for wounds or lesions on the limbs or face of their dog, which will not heal. Affected dogs will also develop signs of severe depression, loss of appetite and vomiting, quickly accompanied by acute injury to the kidneys.  
These symptoms let owners know they should take their dog immediately to a vet even if the lesions appear a week after a walk.


What is the source?


The source of the disease is unknown, with the Environment Agency ruling out any chemical contamination in water supplies. Experts believe the disease is “very similar” to Alabama Rot, thought to be related to a toxin produced by     E Coli bacteria. However, no evidence of this has been found after no signs were shown on the infected dogs.
Signs will be put up in the New Forest by The Forestry Commission following the deaths, advising owners to take their dog to the vets if it develops any lesions on its legs, paws or face.  


BVA President and vet Robin Hargreaves said:

“Dog owners in these regions will feel understandably anxious about the recent cases but it seems that only a very small proportion of the dogs walked in these areas each day have been affected. Owners should make sure they are aware of the signs and symptoms and contact their vet immediately if they have any concerns. We are keeping our members informed about the ongoing situation.”

Be Lungworm Aware       

Lungworm infection in dogs, caused by the parasite Angiostrongylus vasorum, is spreading. A recent nationwide survey of UK vets has revealed that over 25 per cent of those questioned had either confirmed or suspected a case of this potentially fatal condition, yet as few as six per cent of dog owners had even heard of the disease.
Lungworm (spread by slugs and snails) is now a nationwide threat to dogs.
Dogs become infected with the lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite. Infections were most common in parts of Ireland, Wales and southern England. However, recent outbreaks as far north as Scotland mean the parasite is now a nationwide threat.
With this in mind, Bayer Animal Health has launched a ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign to help raise the profile of this parasite amongst dog owners. The initiative aims to make a wide range of advice available, including signs of infection and how to obtain treatment, and to promote the benefits of a parasite control programme that takes into account the risk of dogs becoming infected.
Lungworm is a particularly dangerous condition as if left untreated, it is often fatal. Signs to look out for include coughing, reluctance to exercise, depression, weight loss, fits, vomiting, diarrhoea, weakness, paralysis and persistent bleeding from even small cuts. Dogs known to eat slugs and snails should also be considered candidates for a check up with a vet, even if they are showing no outward signs of infection.
“The condition has become a nationwide threat to the canine population, however awareness of this particular lungworm is low,” commented Bayer Animal Health. “The ‘Be Lungworm Aware’ campaign aims to educate owners on the risks associated with infection and encourage them to visit their vet for further information and to discuss their dogs’ parasite protection plan.”

Lungworm background - Killer disease of dogs

The lungworm Angiostrongylus vasorum is a potentially lethal parasite that can infect dogs, and is spreading across the UK.

Sometimes referred to as the French Heartworm, left untreated this parasite represents a very serious risk to a dog’s health and can kill. On a positive note, increased awareness amongst vets of the condition and the availability of an effective spot-on flea and worm product means that vets are well placed to manage the disease.
Dogs catch lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite. While most dogs do not habitually eat slugs and snails, they may do so by accident e.g. when a slug or snail is sitting on a bone or a favourite toy, or when drinking from a puddle or outdoor water bowl.

Some dogs take great pleasure in eating these miniature ‘treats’, and should be considered at risk from infection.

Foxes can also become infected, and the increase in urban fox populations might be a reason for the spread of the parasite across the country.

In addition, global warming has been suggested as a factor for the movement of the lungworm to
to the north of the UK, with warmer weather allowing the parasite to survive in areas seemingly too cold in the past.
There are many signs to be aware of, although an infected dog may appear totally healthy. Coughing, reluctance to exercise, depression, weight loss, fits, vomiting, diarrhoea and persistent bleeding from even minor cuts are all possible signs. Dogs under the age of two appear to be more susceptible than older dogs, though dogs of all ages and breeds can be affected. The wide range of signs can easily be confused with other illnesses so contacting your veterinary practice is important. Early diagnosis by a vet, followed by appropriate treatment, will usually lead to a full recovery.
If you suspect your dog may have eaten a slug or a snail or is exhibiting any of the signs of lungworm, it is important that you make an appointment at your vet for a check-up. Your vet can perform a relatively simple test that can help determine whether your dog is infected.

Hints and tips to help prevent lungworm adversely affecting your dog

Lungworm is now being reported by vets across many parts of the UK, including Scotland. However, there's no reason why this potentially fatal disease should present your dog with any particular problems.
A little extra vigilance and a few simple precautions could avoid any suffering should your dog come into contact with this particularly nasty parasite.

Be vigilant

• Watch to see if your dog likes eating slugs and/or snails, particularly in spring and autumn when these molluscs are more prevalent
• Know your dog – signs of the disease are varied and can easily be confused with other ailments, so keep an eye out for anything unexpected. Signs of the disease include:
- reluctance to exercise
- coughing
- depression
- weight loss
- fits
- vomiting
- weakness
- paralysis/inability to walk
- excessive bleeding from even minor wounds
• Contact your vet if you have any concerns, your dog habitually eats slugs or snails, or if see any of the signs described above

Where possible, take precautions

• Avoid the use of outdoor drinking water and food bowls which often attract slugs or snails – there is evidence that slime trails can infect a dog if they are eaten
• Don't leave your dog's toys, chews or bones in the garden as they can attract snails
• Ask your vet for a parasite control programme that takes into account the risk of dogs becoming infected

Detailed information on the disease and advice on what to do if you suspect your dog is infected with this parasite can be found online at

Content © 1982-2014 Copyright of The Glen of Imaal Terrier Association UK. No unauthorised reproduction, distribution or publication without permission.