Health News

Health News And Current Initiatives

Tibetan Terrier Health Survey


On a periodic basis, the Health & Genetics Committee of the Tibetan Terrier Club of America requests information from all Tibetan Terrier owners in the USA.

The survey is designed to track the general health of Tibetan Terriers and to improve information regarding health research needs. All answers remain anonymous. This is the most recent in a long line of study regarding gathered health data about our TTs. The survey will be open from March 2022 to August 15, 2022.

We request participation from all American Tibetan Terrier owners regarding Tibetan Terriers. If your purebred TT was alive at any time between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2021, we would appreciate your involvement. Breeders are encouraged to contact their puppies’ owners for them to fill out and submit the on-line survey before July 15th. The survey will be available online at the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. This survey is for each purebred Tibetan Terrier currently in the home or passed away during the 8-year period between January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2021. A breeder, with permission from the owner, may complete the survey on behalf of another Tibetan Terrier owner.

The survey is available online under the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website <>

The TTCA Health and Welfare Foundation will receive a monetary donation for each response exceeding the prior survey’s total responses. Survey results will be available through the Tibetan Terrier Club of America by late 2022.

Please participate to help us help the future health of our breed!

Six Test Panel Available for Tibetan Terriers

In addition to offering single DNA tests for hereditary conditions that can affect Tibetan Terriers, Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory is now offering a panel of six DNA tests for Tibetan Terriers including NCL, PLL, Progressive Retinal Atrophy PRA3, Progressive Retinal Atrophy rcd4, Pituitary dwarfism and Degenerative Myelopathy.

The cost of the 6 test “Tibetan Genetic PCR” panel (Code: 80366) is $230. Information about sample submission is available in the Lab’s catalog.

Currently, sample submission is done by submitting 2 ml of EDTA-treated whole blood (with potential cheek swab submission in the near future.)

Test for Pituitary Dwarfism in Tibetan Terriers Available

Recently, as described in New Advances in Genetic Testing: Dwarfism in Tibetan Terriers, the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab discovered a mutation associated with pituitary dwarfism in Tibetan Terriers. Pituitary dwarfism is an inherited, autosomal recessive condition that leads to dwarfism due to inadequate production of growth hormone. Affected dogs appear normal at birth, however, clinical signs develop over weeks to months that include small body size compared to littermates, lack of adult hair coat, and hair loss. Pituitary Dwarfism PCR testing is now available in the US through MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (Order code: 80335) for $55. More information on sample collection and submission is available by searching the catalog for the “Pituitary Dwarfism PCR” or “80335”.

The TTHWF and TTCA would like to thank Dr. Matti Kiupel, DVM, Dr. Met.Med., Dr.Habil, MVSc, PhD, DACVP, Dr. Tuddow Thaiwong, DVM, PhD, DACVP and Dr. Sarah Corner DVM, PhD, DACVP for their research as well as the Tibetan Terrier owners and breeders who contributed to the research that made this discovery possible.

Samples From PRA Affected Dogs Still Needed

Although DNA tests are currently available for the rcd4 and PRA3 forms of progressive retinal atrophy (“PRA”) which can occur in TTs, there appears to be other forms of PRA for which we do not have a DNA test. If you have a dog that been diagnosed with PRA (not accounted for by rcd4 or PRA3 testing), please consider submitting a blood sample to the University of Missouri to help further their research: Canine PRA Research Sample Submission. If you have questions about sample submission, please contact Liz Hansen at the University of Missouri.

Updated Information Sought for the University of Missouri’s TT DNA Bank

If you contributed your dog’s DNA to the University of Missouri’s TT DNA bank, please remember to update your dog’s health information if your dog is diagnosed with a possible heritable disease (for example, PRA or other eye disease, deafness, orthopedic disorders, AIHA, lymphoma, etc.) since the sample was submitted. Such updates are very helpful in identifying samples that might be useful in future research projects! To update your dog’s information, please email Liz Hansen with the information as well as the dog’s registered name and registration number.