10 Rat Terrier Common Health Problems

Rat Terrier Common Health Problems

Understanding Rat terrier common health problems will help you know before about your Rat terrier’s health conditions.

The Rat Terrier is a healthy, active breed that’s known for its intelligence and loyalty.

They’re also prone to certain health issues, though these can be prevented or treated if caught early enough.

Here are some common Rat Terrier health problems:


Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects the thyroid gland in Rat terriers.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight loss, poor coat quality, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to colds and other illnesses.

Treatment for hypothyroidism in Rat terriers typically includes medications and/or surgery to restore thyroid function.

More: 10 Reasons For Rat Terrier Shaking.


Epilepsy is a common disorder of the brain that causes seizures. Seizures can range from mild to severe and last for a few seconds or several minutes.

They may occur at any age, but they’re more likely to affect small dogs than large ones.

In rat terriers, epilepsy is often diagnosed in adulthood when it’s already been present for some time.

This information will help you recognize signs of this condition early on so that your pet gets treatment as soon as possible!

More: 9 Rat Terrier Old Age Problems & Care.

Progressive retinal atrophy

Progressive retinal atrophy is a condition that causes retinal degeneration, which can lead to blindness.

The disease occurs in both dogs and cats, but it has been more common in pets since the 1950s.

The symptoms of progressive retinal atrophy are usually visible only during night vision tests or when your pet is looking straight ahead at an object illuminated by dim light—but you may notice some changes right away if you’re looking out for them!

You should always seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect that your pet has this condition.

Ask your vet whether they have any special recommendations on how best to handle its treatment.

Patellar luxation

A condition in which the kneecap slips out of place is called patellar luxation.

The kneecap is located at the front of each knee, and it’s responsible for cushioning and protecting that joint from stress.

Patellar luxation can be caused by trauma or genetics, but it typically occurs when there’s a problem with one or more of several bones within the legs.

For example, if your rat terrier experiences trauma to these areas while playing fetch with other dogs or jumping off of a high wall into the water.

This may cause him additional pain and make him more likely to slip his kneecap out of place again later on down the road.

And there’s no way around this happening because sometimes we just don’t know what comes next!

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is a disease that causes chronic dry eye, which can lead to corneal ulceration and corneal scarring.

It’s more common in dogs with a history of allergies or other health problems such as feline emotional stress syndrome (FESS).

KCS typically presents as a burning sensation in the eye along with redness, tearing, or stinging at times of increased activity or exposure to bright light.

Other symptoms include sensitivity to touch on one side of the face where the eyelid meets skin; itching around the eyes.

Squinting when looking at light sources; drooping eyelids that won’t close fully; and decreased vision in your dog’s right eye.

Tracheal collapse

Tracheal collapse is a condition that can affect the trachea.

It occurs when the cartilage that supports the trachea becomes weak, causing it to collapse.

Tracheal collapse can be caused by trauma or injury, or by an underlying disease such as cancer or infection.

In addition to being painful and uncomfortable for your dog, this condition can also lead to complications if left untreated:

  • It may affect their ability to eat and breathe properly (i.e., they may gag)
  • They may develop pneumonia

Allergies and asthma

Allergies and asthma are the most common cause of breathing problems in dogs.

The most common allergy is fleas, but other allergies can also be a problem.

There are many different types of allergies, including food (such as chicken), pollen (such as grass), dust mites, and even house dust.

Each type may cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, or wheezing.

Heart problems

Heart problems like mitral valve disease, subaortic stenosis, and pulmonic stenosis can be developed by Rat terriers.

Heart problems are common in all dogs, but especially in smaller breeds.

Heart disease is a major cause of death for companion animals, and it can be serious or fatal if left untreated.

Heart disease occurs when the heart does not work properly.

This happens because of a buildup of pressure (called hypertension) on the walls of your pet’s arteries, which causes them to harden and narrow over time.

The result is that less blood gets pumped through them every beat—and this results in an irregular heartbeat that causes dizziness or fainting spells.

A genetic predisposition toward developing some types of heart disease has been noted among rat terrier breeds such as Pekingese and Boston terriers.

However, this is not always true since many other factors contribute to their overall health including diet quality/quantity along with exercise routines performed regularly throughout their life span.

Both indoors & outdoors depending upon where they live geographically located within various geographic regions across the world.

Malocclusion (misaligned teeth)

Malocclusion is when the teeth are not aligned. Malocclusion can cause pain and difficulty eating, as well as infections.

It may be caused by genetics or trauma, but it can also be treated with surgery.

If you notice that your dog’s teeth aren’t quite right, take them to a vet for an examination and treatment options.

Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a common cause of back pain in dogs. IVDD is also known as disc disease, disc herniation, or slipped disc.

The discs between the vertebrae can become bulged or ruptured causing pain for your dog.

If you have an older dog with this condition it may be necessary to have them euthanized before they lose their ability to walk on their own.

Because they won’t be able to support themselves anymore without assistance from you or another pet owner.

Ways to care for a sick Rat terrier

The following are some common ways to care for a sick Rat terrier:

  1. Keep the dog clean and dry: Bathe the dog often, wipe them down with a clean cloth, and give them fresh water.
  2. Give the dog plenty of food and water: Keep their food and water bowls full.
  3. Give the dog plenty of rest: Keep the dog in a quiet place and give them plenty of rest.
  4. Make sure the dog has access to a warm place to sleep: Keep the dog warm and dry.
  5. Make sure the dog has access to fresh air: Let the dog out for a few hours a day.
  6. Make sure the dog has access to a veterinarian: If the dog becomes sick, make sure to take them to a veterinarian.


These are just a few of the most common health issues that can affect your Rat Terrier.

As with any breed, it’s important to know what’s happening with your dog and take them to the vet if you think something is wrong.

There are also some genetic conditions that require testing before treatment can begin, so get those done as soon as possible!