Tibetan Terrier Breed Maintenance
The fact they’re not huge shedders makes a Tibetan Terrier hypoallergenic (while no dog is ever 100% hypoallergenic, some breeds are close to it, and this is one) and a great choice for parents with allergies.
However, this coat does require regular attention. For a start, they should be brushed daily to prevent tangles and matted hair — be sure to mist their fur with water beforehand as this prevents hair breakage. Giving your Tibetan Terrier a puppy cut is another option.
As well as tending to their coats, parents need to clip their nails once a month, brush their teeth at least once a week and check their ears weekly for wax build-up. Your vet should be able to recommend an ear cleanser to reduce the risk of infection or inflammation.
Tibetan Terrier Health Risks
Like the vast majority of breeds, a Tibetan Terrier puppy is slightly more predisposed to developing certain health conditions over the course of their lifetime. Some of these can’t be helped, but the risk is lowered if parents deal with responsible breeders who carry out screening on their animals and remove those affected from the breeding pool.
Be particularly aware of these health issues:
- Patellar Luxation
- Eye issues — including Lens Luxation
- Ceroid Lipofuscinosis — a type of Lysosomal Storage Disease
- Heart Murmurs
Although this is more typically associated with smaller breeds, Patellar Luxation can affect larger canines, such as the Tibetan Terrier. This joint disorder occurs when one of the knee bones dislocates while a dog is moving, leading to a distinctive hopping motion and a lot of pain.
Fortunately, as a comparatively common complaint, vets are usually able to successfully treat cases of Patellar Luxation, either through the use of medication, physiotherapy or surgery.
There are a few eye conditions which are more frequently observed in the Tibetan Terrier. Lens Luxation is one. Like the Patellar equivalent, this involves part of the body moving where it shouldn’t — in this case, the eye lens.
When the lens detaches, a dog’s eye often looks completely different, almost as if they’re turning white. Parents might also see their pet in pain, squinting, or keeping their eyes closed. Treatment should be sought as soon as possible after symptoms start in order to increase the chance of retaining vision.
Vets will be able to diagnose Lens Luxation after various examinations and they will look to treat the condition as soon as possible. The detached lens can often be surgically removed, but if this isn’t possible, the entire eye might have to be taken out. Regular monitoring will be required afterwards.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is another condition for which parents of a Tibetan Terrier need to be aware. This is when retinal cells die off, leading to a gradual deterioration in vision. It’s a hereditary condition that affects lots of dogs, although many can adapt if the symptoms are minor. However, in more severe instances, dogs can begin losing both their night and day vision, as well as their confidence when it comes to moving about.
Sadly, there’s no known cure for PRA and parents are recommended to keep their dog’s living environment safe and constant to prevent accidents from happening.
The size of Tibetan Terrier dogs means that they’re more likely to be affected by Hypothyroidism, an imbalance of hormones produced by the thyroid gland. This causes metabolism to slow down, bringing with it a wide range of symptoms — this includes lethargy, weight gain and poor coat condition.
Given the general nature of the symptoms, Hypothyroidism requires a lot of veterinary tests to land on a precise diagnosis. Once this has been done, the dog in question will have to take a thyroxine replacement for the rest of their lives. Most dogs respond well to this treatment and symptoms should subside, although regular monitoring will be necessary.
This is a specific type of metabolic enzyme deficiency that leads to a build-up of lipopigments and a variety of symptoms, including diminished eyesight, behavioral changes, seizures, dementia and ataxia (loss of muscle coordination). Ceroid Lipofuscinosis is a serious condition with no cure — sadly, palliative care or euthanasia are usually the only options.
When a vet places a stethoscope against a dog’s body, they might hear an abnormal sound, or a Heart Murmur. This isn’t a disease in and of itself — it can often be a symptom of another cardiac disorder, such as endocarditis, valve abnormalities, or stenosis (narrowing of the arteries).
A wellness plan includes more frequent testing and screenings for your pets — these can often prove crucial in catching diseases at an earlier stage.
What to Feed a Tibetan Terrier
As an energetic dog with a working history, the Tibetan Terrier has a hearty appetite and this should be satiated with high-quality dog food — this means high protein content for muscle growth and lots of vitamins and minerals.
Parents should avoid carb-heavy recipes or formulations containing a lot of filler ingredients. These increase the risk of obesity and the secondary health conditions caused by this.It’s understandable if you’re overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice available when it comes to pet food — luckily for you, our partner Dog Food Advisor has put together a list of the best meals available to buy today.