Toy Fox Terriers are a long lived, healthy breed. Their ancestors on the farms in the early 20th century had to be healthy to survive! But there are certain things you need to do to keep your TFT happy and healthy. Have additional questions? Please contact our Club Health Coordinator Susan Essoe at

Make sure your puppy has had all the required puppy shots, and a rabies shot when it is old enough. Below is a recommendation of vaccinations from Dr. Jean Dodd, a well known vet that offers this protocol for dogs where minimal vaccines are desirable or advisable.

Note: The schedule is one Dr. Dodds recommends and should not be interpreted to mean that other protocols recommended by a veterinarian would be less satisfactory. It’s a matter of professional judgment and choice.

9-10 Weeks Old:
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (e.g. Merck Nobivac [Intervet Progard] Puppy DPV)

14-16 Weeks:
Same as above

20 Weeks or Older (if allowable by law):

1 Year:
Distemper + Parvovirus, MLV (optional = titer)

1 Year after the initial dose:
Rabies, killed 3-year product (give 3-4 weeks apart from distemper/parvovirus booster)

Perform vaccine antibody titers for distemper and parvovirus every three years thereafter, or more often, if desired. Vaccinate for rabies virus according to the law, except where circumstances indicate that a written waiver needs to be obtained from the primary care veterinarian. In that case, a rabies antibody titer can also be performed to accompany the waiver request. See the Rabies Challenge Fund website.

W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Hemopet / NutriScan
11561 Salinaz Avenue
Garden Grove, CA 92843


There are several health issues that breeders and perspective puppy buyers needs to be aware of to ensure they have a health Toy Fox Terrier. Please discuss testing with your breeder, who will be willing to share information and answer any questions you may have.

Primary Lens Luxation (PLL)

Primary Lens Luxation (PLL) is a well-recognized, painful and blinding inherited eye condition that affects many breeds of dog, particularly terrier and terrier-type breeds including (but not restricted to) Miniature bull terriers, Tibetan terriers, Jack and Parson Russell terriers, Lancashire Heelers and Chinese Crested dogs, also the Australian Cattle Dog, Rat Terrier, Sealyham Terrier, Toy Fox Terrier, Volpino Italiano, Welsh Terrier, Wire-haired Fox Terrier and Yorkshire Terrier.

In affected dogs the zonular fibers which support the lens breakdown or disintegrate, causing the lens to fall into the wrong position within the eye. If the lens falls into the anterior chamber of the eye glaucoma and loss of vision can quickly result.

Here is a step-by-step breakdown of how to order PLL tests…

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “OFA DNA Tests” on the left side of the page.
  3. Click on “Order OFA DNA Tests” in the center area of the screen.
  4. Scroll down to PLL test (right now its the last test on the page.
  5. Click on “Add to Cart” on the right-hand side of the screen across from the PLL test.
  6. Enter Your Dog’s information and click “SAVE” at the bottom of the screen.
  7. You can enter all your dogs in one order and pay with a credit card at the end. You will get a confirmation code, which you can use with your email to check the status of your results.

You can also order all tests from Paw Print Genetics, they are a division of genetic veterinary Sciences, Inc. Their website is


Congenital Hypothyroidism with Goiter (CHG)

Congenital Hypothyroidism with Goiter (CHG)Carrier status does NOT affect a spay/neutered pet. Only when breeding does Congenital hypothyroidism with goiter (CHG) become a potential problem. Carriers of this disease should be identified & bred carefully to Clear tested dogs to eliminate producing Affected (affected = puppies displaying the disfiguring effects of the disease). Breeding Carrier to Carrier dogs together can and does produce Affected offspring in approximately 25% of a litter … and … 50% of the litter will be Carriers … 25% will be clear. Affected puppies of CHG do not move around as much as normal pups, and the head may appear large in comparison to the body. If nursing care is given and they survive as long as 3 weeks, the eyes do not open, the ear canals remain very small, and the hair coat is abnormally bristly. By the second week of age, a swelling on the underside of the neck can be felt and continues to enlarge with time. Delay in lengthening of bones in the legs, spine, and face causes dwarfism. Eventually, even with treatment, the goiter continues to enlarge and constrict the airway. Affected puppies usually die or are euthanized by the age of 3 weeks.

VetGen DNA testing for CHG for many breeds

You can also order all tests from Paw Print Genetics, they are a division of genetic veterinary Sciences, Inc. Their website is

von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD)

von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) Canine von Willebrand’s disease is an autosomal recessive genetic disease. Affected animals suffer a condition which makes them more likely to bleed abnormally, similar in symptoms to Hemophilia. This can lead to life threatening consequences in situations such as accidental injuries, spaying, or neutering. Because it is an autosomal recessive disorder, “Carriers” of the disease show no signs of vWD, yet can pass the gene along and perpetuate the disease through breeding. Ultimately, the result is more affected animals.

VetGen DNA testing for vWD for many breeds

You can also order all tests from Paw Print Genetics, they are a division of genetic veterinary Sciences, Inc. Their website is

Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is a dislocation of the kneecap (patella). The kneecap may dislocate toward the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the leg, or may move in both directions. It may result from injury or congenital (present at birth) deformities. Both legs may be affected. The crippling effects of patellar luxation are related to the severity and duration of the luxation. The milder forms, especially in small breeds, show little or no signs, and only minimal treatment is required. Severe cases cause more intense pain, with limping. Treatment ranges from rest (decreasing your pet’s activity for 1-2 weeks) to surgical reconstruction of the knee joint. All dogs should be screened for this prior to being bred.

You can also order all tests from Paw Print Genetics, they are a division of genetic veterinary Sciences, Inc. Their website is

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

This condition is generally a disease of small breeds and is often confused with congenital hip dysplasia but, although the final result is the same, a hip joint with arthritic and osteopoetic changes, the primary lesion is different. Legg-Calve-Perthes disease is due to the aseptic death of the head of the femur. This causes wearing and promotes arthritic changes. Thus, after the condition has progressed for some time it is difficult to diagnose whether the resulting degenerated joint is a manifestation of hip dysplasia or Legg-Calve- Perthes. This condition is congenital and has no known cure. The accompanying pain and arthritic changes can be controlled with cortisone compounds. Restricted exercise while under treatment, or during an attack of pain, is helpful. An operation for the removal of the head of the femur, thus leaving a muscle joint in the area, has proved successful for prolonging the useful life of your pet. Please contact your veterinarian for an exam and recommendations.


DNA Testing for Spinocerebellar Ataxia

Ataxia is a condition relating to a sensory dysfunction that produces loss of coordination of the limbs, head, and/or trunk. There are three clinical types of ataxia: sensory (proprioceptive), vestibular, and cerebellar. All three types produce changes in limb coordination, but vestibular and cerebellar ataxia also produce changes in head and neck movement.

Sensory (proprioceptive) ataxia occurs when the spinal cord is slowly compressed. A typical outward symptom of sensory ataxia is misplacing the feet, accompanied by a progressive weakness as the disease advances. Sensory ataxia can occur with spinal cord, brain stem (the lower part of the brain near the neck), and cerebral locations of lesions.

The vestibulocochlear nerve carries information concerning balance from the inner ear to the brain. Damage to the vestibulocochlear nerve can cause changes in head and neck position, as the affected animal may feel a false sense of movement, or may be having problems with hearing. Outward symptoms include leaning, tipping, falling, or even rolling over. Central vestibular signs usually have changing types of eye movements, sensory deficits, weakness in the legs (all or one sided), multiple cranial nerve signs, and drowsiness, stupor, or coma. Peripheral vestibular signs do not include changes in mental status, vertical eye movements, sensory deficits, or weakness in the legs.

Cerebellar ataxia is reflected in uncoordinated motor activity of the limbs, head and neck, taking large steps, stepping oddly, head tremors, body tremors and swaying of the torso. There is an inadequacy in the performance of motor activity and in strength preservation.

SCA Breeds

Spinocerebellar Ataxia may be tested in any breed and is recommended for the following breeds

  • Jack Russell Terrier
  • Parson Russell Terrier
  • Russell Terrier
  • Toy Fox Terrier
  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Tenterfield Terrier

Go to for information on testing.

You can also order all tests from Paw Print Genetics, they are a division of genetic veterinary Sciences, Inc. Their website is