When purchasing a new pup it is nice to know what to expect health-wise. Rat Terriers are a relatively hardy breed; but there are some health concerns that a new owner should be aware of.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has a protocol where your health test results can be submitted to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) and be recorded to help the evolution of a breed's health.
When purchasing your Rat Terrier puppy; make sure the breeder has tested their breeding stock. The Rat Terrier breed club has suggested the following tests be completed so your Rat Terrier can attain their CHIC number.
Congenital Cardiac Database -- OFA Evaluation
(note: there has been a few dogs that passed an auscultation, but failed an echocardiogram -- they have been older when diagnosed, and are still fairing well) I have chosen to echocardiogram a number of my females. While it is unclear what a failed echocardiogram means for the Rat Terrier breed (not much at this point), it is not something I care to double up on, and if using bloodlines that may have an occurrence, I would prefer that one side be cleared.
Hip Dysplasia -- OFA Evaluation - OR - PennHIP Evaluation
Patellar Luxation -- OFA Evaluation
Legg-Calve-Perthes -- Legg-Calves-Perthes OFA Evaluation
Eye Clearance (Optional) --CERF Evaluation - Annual exams until at least Age 8ys (96mo)
Congenital Deafness (Optional) -- OFA evaluation based on BAER test/GDC evaluation based on BAER test
Elbow Dysplasia (Optional) -- OFA Evaluation
Primary Lens Luxation (Optional) -- PRIMARY LENS LUXATION OFA/University of Missouri DNA Test: OFA Online Store.
If you would like to know the health of your Rat Terrier's sire and dam, and any relatives; you can search the OFA website both by registered name, by breed and by test.
As responsible breeders and owners of the Rat Terrier and American Hairless Terrier breed, we now are recommending you request your breeder to test for PRA-PRCD recently (October 2016) discovered to be present in the Rat Terrier breed.
Please read the following document.