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Part 2: Health, Husbandry, and Breeding


The second part of the survey examines at length how MTs in England are bred and kept along with the health conditions they face. The survey itself was very detailed, and the study analysis provides a great deal of very useful information about the breed. Manchester fanciers would be well served to study the full results at length; however, for purposes of this summary, we will only look at reported health conditions.


Participation in the survey was strong, with 57% of owners contacted responding and reporting on a total of 216 living Manches- ter Terriers. The median age of dogs re- ported on was 3 years 5 months, but dogs included in the analysis ranged from 3 months to 16 years 6 months. Roughly half of all MT’s in the study had at least one reported health condition with the most prevalent conditions being false pregnancy, anal gland conditions, conjunctivitis, gas- troenteritis, heart murmur, and cancer. The study analysis notes that the incidence of false pregnancy did not distinguish the mammary development and changes experienced by all bitches following a season from actual nesting and ‘whelping’ behaviors experi- enced by some bitches.


When asked which health problems they felt most seriously affected their individual dog, 59% of respondents answered ‘none,’ which reflects the widely held view that the breed is quite healthy, overall. When asked which conditions they felt most seriously affect the breed, 23% of those asked responded von Willebrand’s Disease and 10.8% kidney failure. Overall, survey results regarding the presence and frequency of health con- ditions were found to be consistent with those from The Kennel Club’s 2004 anonymous survey.


Of special interest to fanciers, the survey analysis calls into question disease predispositions (at least for the breed in the UK) previously reported in some veterinary and scientific literature for diseases such as Ehlers- Danlos Syndrome, Lens Luxation, cataracts, generalized PRA, respiratory disease, hemophilia A, and Legg- Calve-Perthes disease. The authors did not feel that sufficient evidence existed to indicate these problems were present or prevalent in English Manchester Terriers. Further, they specifically and pointedly urged cau- tion when importing dogs to England from North America given the fact prior surveys in North America re- ported diseases that were not reported in the UK.


This short summary is not intended to provide a full understanding of the BMTC survey or to draw any con- clusions regarding the findings or methodology. All interested fanciers are urged to view the completed report online as it includes detailed analysis of reported conditions as well as information on all aspects of Manchester life from the activities dogs are involved in, to how often and what they eat, neonatal statistics and much more. Once again, many thanks to the British Manchester Terrier Club!


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