Health & Genetics
There is nothing more important to us than ensuring that the dogs we breed now and in the future, have the best possible chance at leading a long, healthy life. We have made significant donations to the CMTC Juvenile Cardiomyopathy Study and to the Canine Health Foundation.
Conditions Affecting Manchester Terriers
Copied with permission from the Canadian Manchester Terrier Club Website.
Overall, Manchester Terriers are a relatively healthy breed. Because they are not overly popular they have not been indiscriminately bred for profit and most Manchester breeders are very conscientious when it comes to health. Even so, before purchasing a puppy be sure to ask the breeder about their lines, experience, health testing and health guarantee.
The Big Picture: Population Genetics
Population genetics is the quantitative study of the genetic composition of a 'population' or localized grouping of animals (including human animals). The study and application of population genetics has enabled scientists and conservationists to preserve endangered species and manage captive populations within zoos and similar captive breeding programs.
Legge-Calves- Perthes in Manchester Terriers
In 1989, the University of California (Davis) conducted a test breeding of two Toy Manchesters clinically affected with Legge-Calves-Perthes ("LCP")disease. The conclusion was that LCP is an inherited disorder in Manchester Terriers with a high heritability (i.e., the influence of breeding is very strong on the dog's potential for developing the disorder), and the study has long been considered the 'seminal' study on the disease. An abstract, "Mode of Inheritance of Perthes' Disease in Manchester Terriers" can be found on PubMed.
Breeding Better Immune SystemsScience has long taught us that infectious agents and the environment can have significant negative impacts on dogs. Besides the deadly viruses we vaccinate against (Parvo, Rabies, Distemper, etc), bacterial infections can cause damage to major organs, impede fertility, and impact a puppy's healthy growth and development. The emerging science that's developed as a result of sequencing both the human and canine genome now tells us that it's not a matter of 'luck of the draw.' C.A Sharp's article, "The Rising Storm," as excerpted on Lhasa Apso Club of America's Health Foundation Website, provides a great insight into the DNA code responsible for immunity, and concrete recommendations for reducing the likelihood of immune mediated disease in the dogs we breed.
Spaying and Neutering
While we generally require 'companion' puppies to be spayed/neutered at around 6 months, we have mixed emotions on spaying and neutering. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that spay/neutering dogs is not in their best interest in terms of health, longevity and behavior, particularly if the the surgery takes place before the dog has finished growing (for Manchesters, that's 6-9months of age). On the other hand, preventing un-wanted litters is a real concern in the US, not to mention the fact owner now face significant differencial licensing fees or even mandatory spay/neuter in some jurisdictions.