Health Committee Reports

The WTCA Health Committee is dedicated to identifying health concerns in the breed and supporting research that will benefit the breed.

Contributions to the AKC CHF Donor Advised Fund continue to be well supported by our membership. These contributions allow the WTCA to participate and support research projects that help find new ways of both treating and preventing disease in our dogs. Recent donations have totaled $1025.00 which includes all donations received since dues notices were mailed in November. Thank you to the following members for their contributions:

  • Anonymous
  • Scarlet Cardwell & Floyd Cogley
  • Joanne Aisnworth
  • Stuart & Renna Davis
  • Patricia Bertone
  • Esther Snowden

As the year progresses the Health committee will be reviewing the current studies in need of sponsorship and decide which projects would most likely benefit Welsh Terriers. As studies are not always breed specific the committee basis decisions on what research they believe is most beneficial to our breed.

Eight dogs received CHIC numbers in the fourth quarter of 2022. No new dogs were added in the first quarter of 2023.

I received several positive comments from members regarding the book I recommended in the last Wag. It’s always nice to hear from our members. Please feel free to contact the Health Committee anytime you have questions or something to share. Please remember that there is a Health / Death incident form on the club’s website. It can be filed anonymously if you are concerned.


The following members have recently donated to the AKC Canine Health Foundation Donor Advised Fund. It is through the generous donations from our members and lovers of Welsh Terriers that the Welsh Terrier Club of America can continue supporting research that helps to improve the lives of our dogs. Thank you for your generosity!

  • Anonymous donation
  • Joanne Ainsworth
  • Patricia Bertone
  • Scarlet Cardwell and Floyd Cogley
  • Stuart and Renna Davis


As we all know there are many approaches to keeping our dogs healthy. If any of you are interested how diet can affect the overall health of your dogs there is a new book on the market, Feeding Dogs, by Dr. Conor Brady. Regardless of what type of food you currently feed, raw, commercial, or dry kibble I think you will find the book informative and full of surprisingly unique information that might alter your current thinking and practices. The book is not breed specific but there is information that explains the uniqueness of the needs of certain breeds.

The book is detailed with technical information, but it’s written in an easy-to-understand format. You don’t need a medical degree to sort through the information, but the data provided is backed up by many references and scientific details. We don’t always connect diseases with diet but as you read through the information you will realize that there are dots to connect. We might all benefit from focusing on what we are feeding our dogs. You might consider the book more of a reference book, not one you read from cover to cover, but it’s one that you will refer back to over time.

It’s a book that’s worth its cost and the time to read through it.

Ginny Winters, Health Committee Chair

In the January Wag, WTCA President Bruce Schwartz requested input about health tests that members thought should be part of the CHIC requirements. Currently, the two requirements, recommended by CHIC, are Primary Lens Luxation and an annual eye exam. If you have any thoughts about this please let me know.

The Health committee will be looking at the possibility of enhancing the Health information section of the WTCA Website. Links to Primary Lens Luxation, Hip Dysplasia, and Degenerative Myelopathy will be added in the near future. The Health committee will also be reviewing other options of how the web site information can be enhanced.

The following members were listed in the January Wag but the caption that they were recent donors to the AKC CHF Donor Advised Fund was left off. Thank you for your generosity!

  • Joanne Ainsworth
  • Anonymous Member
  • Patricia Bertone
  • Scarlet Cardwell & Floyd Cogley
  • Reena Davis
  • Craig Manion
  • Daryl Peters
  • Ester Snowden
  • Richard & Joanne Trimpi
  • Randy & Suzanne Williams

A progress report has been received for Grant 02861-A Cardiovascular Complications of Acute Pancreatitis in Dogs. The study is being done at Michigan State University by Harry Cridge, MVB, MS.

Report to Grant Sponsor from Investigator: Acute pancreatitis is a common cause of illness in dogs. Clinical signs can range from vomiting and abdominal discomfort to multi - organ dysfunction and death. The aim of this project is to evaluate for cardiovascular complications of acute pancreatitis in dogs and to investigate whether these abnormalities are associated with outcome. Preliminary results have noted elevations in two biomarkers of cardiac cell stress, in addition to infrequent heart conduction and structural abnormalities, Additional patients will be enrolled in this study to help determine the significance of these abnormalities and whether they may be associated with outcome. If a link with outcome were to be established, they may act as a key treatment target in the management of this challenging disease.

Original Project Description: Acute pancreatitis is the most common disease of the exocrine pancreas in dogs. The exact prevalence is unknown, but a recent study documented that 37% of dogs had evidence of acute or chronic pancreatitis at necropsy, with increased risk in certain breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Silky Terriers, and Toy Poodles. Despite its common occurrence, targeted therapeutic options do not exist and current therapy is primarily supportive in nature. Mortality rates are reported to be as high as 27-58%, which is often the result of systemic complications. Cardiovascular complications including conduction abnormalities, echocardiographic abnormalities, and elevated cardiac biomarkers occur in approximately 50% of humans with acute pancreatitis, and many of these complications are reversible with therapy. In addition, the presence of cardiac conduction abnormalities in canine pancreatitis has been correlated with outcome in a prior study but general knowledge in this area remains limited. This study will address this important knowledge void by identifying and characterizing the full range of cardiovascular abnormalities that occur in naturally occurring acute pancreatitis in dogs. These abnormalities could be associated with disease severity and outcome. More importantly, they may represent therapeutic targets that could improve outcomes in this common and frequently deadly disease for dogs. Joanne Ainsworth Anonymous Member Patricia Bertone Scarlet Cardwell & Floyd Cogley Reena Davis Craig Manion Daryl Peters Ester Snowden Richard & Joanne Trimpi Randy & Suzanne Williams

Ginny Winters, Health Committee Chair

Our members have been very generous with donations to the Welsh Terrier Club of America’s AKC/CHF Donor Advised Fund. Our recent donations have totaled $1040.00! Thank you very much for your generosity and your continued support.

The Health Committee is in the process of submitting funding to three areas of research. The decision to support these particular studies was based on input received from WTCA members regarding health issues experienced by their Welsh Terriers. Please do not assume that these problems are rampant in the breed. However, they are problems that do occur in dogs in general. They are not breed specific problems. The studies will include the areas of Pancreatitis, Gut Dysbiosis and its association to Epilepsy and Degenerative Myelopathy. Once participation is completed more information will be shared with the membership about these research projects and their progress.

As a reminder, the WTCA did join the CHIC program. The two tests that are required are a DNA based Primary Lens Luxation test and an Annual Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO veterinarian. There were four Welsh Terriers that were added to the list of CHIC approved dogs during the year 2021. They were owned by three different members. For as much interest that was expressed by the membership for the WTCA to join CHIC it doesn’t appear that the majority of WTCA breeders are participating. The two tests that were selected to be required were suggested by CHIC. I know there are some objections to the annual eye examination, but the test is only valid for one year and if you want to be certain then it is necessary for the test to be performed annually on your breeding stock.

There are members in the club who do perform a multitude of tests on their breeding stock including, but not limited to, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cardiac testing, thyroid, Legg-Calve perthes, dentition, degenerative myelopathy, and Primary Lens Luxation. Each individual has the final decision on what tests they believe are valuable.

Interpreting DNA testing isn’t always clear or simple. Researchers are still trying to figure out how to apply what the results mean and how to apply the results from breed to breed. As much as they know there are still a lot of unknown factors which is one of the reasons why continued research is important!

Please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Canine Health Fund / WTCA Donor Advised Fund. Your donation helps fund studies that are pertinent to all Welsh Terriers. For more information, open the PDF below:

Download, view, save, and/or print full PDF by clicking here.