Full descriptions and recommendations about health issues can be found here on the scwtca website.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are generally robust dogs. As a concerned breeder we make choices about which dogs to breed. We research siblings, parents and grandparents and great-grandparents for health and conformation and longevity. If it is within our power we make every attempt to lessen the possibilities of these disease from occurring.

Our lines include many European dogs which have a good reputation for health. A recent scientific advance has found a DNA marker that may make a dog more prone to getting Protein Losing Neuropathy (PLN). Our current breeding bitch Halle has no DNA markers for PLN . We have bred her to a stud dog that also has no markers. We include information on PLN below for information purposes only to help educate future Wheaten owners.

Descriptions of KIDNEY diseases known to affect SCWT:

Renal Dysplasia (RD) is the abnormal development of the kidney. This malformation can result in early renal failure. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (SCWT) is a breed with a known inherited (genetic) basis for RD.

PLE  is usually caused by inflammatory bowel disease or lymphangitis/lymphangiectasia. In affected Wheatens there is a stimulation of the immune system in the bowel wall.

PLN  An abnormality of the glomeruli usually causes PLN.  Glomeruli (singular, glomerulus)  are tiny tufts of capillaries which carry blood within the kidneys. The blood is filtered by the glomeruli. The blood then continues through the circulatory system, but a certain amount of fluid and specific waste products are filtered out of the blood, to be removed from the body in the form of urine.

Descriptions of METABOLIC diseases known to affect SCWT:

Addison’s disease (Hypoadrenocorticism) is the insufficient production and secretion of hormones (glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids) by the adrenal gland cortex.

DM Degenerative myelopathy is a progressive disease of the spinal cord in older dogs. The disease has an insidious onset typically between 8 and 14 years of age. It begins with a loss of coordination (ataxia) in the hind limbs.It is not that common in Wheatens but a new dna test is now available and we are testing for it.

The following are diseases that affect dogs in general but are not considered to be specific to wheatens.

Cancer It is said that one in four dogs will develop cancer over their lifetime. Some kinds are more treatable than others, and early detection often results in better outcomes. Spaying and Neutering offers some protection from reproductive cancers.

Hypothyroidism is a clinical condition resulting from a lowered production and release of T4 and T3 hormones by the thyroid gland. It is more commonly diagnosed in middle-aged dogs between the ages of 4-10 years.


A word about hip dysplasia. Our dogs have been tested, rated GOOD or better and registered with the OFA.

Recent research is showing that there is only about a 40% genetic component. The other percentage is thought to be environmental factors. These studies are in progress but if you can learn to manage your pups activities to prevent hip problems why not! We recommend all pet owners read up on the exercise guidelines for the growing pup. FYI Agility dogs are not eligible to compete until 18 months old – this is when the skeleton is considered mature enough to handle the stresses of the sport.