Postmortem Examination Recommendations
for the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Recommended by SCWTCA and its Researchers

We are all aware of the health problems facing the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. We also well know the difficulties facing our veterinarians and researchers when diagnosing these issues. Until new methods, such as DNA analysis, become available, we are, in many cases, breeding in the dark. For many dogs, the only definitive diagnosis can be made by a postmortem examination. Although a postmortem may come too late to help with some breeding decisions, it can be quite useful to know the status of the dogs in our pedigrees. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America and its researchers therefore suggest that Wheaten breeders and owners plan to have necropsies performed at the time of death on three classes of dogs, as follows.

  1. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers used in breeding programs not affected with PLE, PLN, Addison’s, IBD or RD at time of death:

    It is recommended that all Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers used in breeding programs have a postmortem examination to determine cause of death. Keep in mind that old age is not a cause of death. Along with the post-mortem to determine the cause of death, these SCWTs should also be examined to determine if the dog is affected with Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE), Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN), Renal Dysplasia (RD) and /or Addisonís Disease. The formalin sample will be sent to the vetís lab for analysis at the breeder/owners expense. Note: because things donít always go as planned it might be wise for the vet to take two samples and keep one in case the sample is damaged or lost.

    1. Histopathologic examination:
      • Kidney or wedge of kidney stored in formalin stored at room temperature
      • Ring of small intestine stored in formalin stored at room temperature
      • Any tissue that appears abnormal in formalin stored at room temperature
    2. DNA Sample:
      If the breeder would like to store DNA on their dog for future use they should do the following:
      • One kidney or spleen saved in a Ziploc bag and frozen in the breeder, owner or veterinarian’s freezer.
      • Other ways of collecting DNA could be tails and dewclaws gathered at birth and frozen, skin, any piece of the dog’s body.
      If the owner has a food saver they can freeze the body part first and then put it in the food saver.
       
    3. Medical History:
      Because many veterinarian offices destroy files on deceased dogs, it is recommended that the breeder obtain copies of the dog's medical file for their home files.
       
  2. All Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers suspected to have or known to be affected with PLE, PLN, Addison’s, IBD or RD at time of death:

    It is recommended that all Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers suspected to have or who have been clinically diagnosed with PLE, PLN, Addisonís Disease, IBD or RD at the time of death have a postmortem examination to support on-going research.

It would be a good idea to have copy of the Necropsy Protocol on file with the dog's vet. We understand how difficult it is to make these arrangements on your loved one and, if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the health committee.

 

Updated 07/2016   (Posted 11/23/2017)


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