Patterdale terrier health problems is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Affiliate links may be used on this page and in articles, but they do not impact on the price that you pay and they do help me to get this information to you for free. Read my privacy policy for more information regarding affiliates.

Patterdale Terriers are fiesty little dogs that are often in good health and live till a good age of up to around 17 years old. Patterdale health problems are rare as they are sturdy and well bred. I know someone once who had a Patterdale cross that lived to 21! However, there are a few patterdale terrier health problems that you will need to be aware of. 

The Most Common Patterdale Terrier Health Problems

The most common Patterdale terrier health problems are: fleas, obesity, eye problems, joint problems, hypothyroidism and hystiocytomas (benign skin growths). It is important to seek vetenary advice as soon as possible if you suspect any health problems with your patterdale terrier.


Patterdale’s are prone to fleas due to their dense fur and their willingness to constantly explore in bushes and hedges. You should de flea your Patterdale once a month, particularly in the summer when the warmer weather allows fleas to thrive. I recommend Frontline spot on for small dogs

FRONTLINE Spot On Flea & Tick...
  • KILLS FLEAS - Fleas jumping onto your treated dog are killed within 24 hours, preventing infestations from building up
  • KILLS TICKS - Ticks latching onto your treated dog are killed within 48 hours, helping to reduce the risk of disease transmission
  • TRIED AND TRUSTED - FRONTLINE's original vet-strength formula has an exemplary safety profile and can be used on puppies weighing more than 2 kg, from 8 weeks of age


Obesity can be an issue in Patterdale Terriers. They are canine dustbins and simply don’t know when to stop eating! Although it’s not as serious as it can be in Daschunds who have extremely delicate spines, it is a serious disease that may cause or worsen joint problems in Patterdale terriers. 

Eye Problems

The most common Patterdale terrier health problems are often eye related. Keep an eye on your Patterdale’s eyes! Do they look sore? He (or she) might be suffering from conjunctivitis often known as ‘pink eye’. If he has any redness or goop in or around the eyes, get him checked out at the vets. As they grow older, Patterdale terriers are prone to cateracts and this can negatively impact on their sight. Patterdales can also suffer from a conditional called Lens Luxation. Usually, the lens of the eye is held in place between the iris and the retina. A lunated lens means that the lens is further forward or backward from where it should be. This can be mild, but sadly can also result in the loss of the eye. 

Patterdale terrier health problems

Joint Problems

Patterdale’s run and run and run! Pressure on their joints can result in a number of joint problems for example knee and back issues. Patterdales can be prone to Cranial Cruciate Disease, Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) and Hip dysplasia. These issues may need surgical correction if they are severe. 


Young Patterdale terriers can get ‘Histiocytomas’ which are small lumpy growths often under their armpits or on their legs. Histiocytomas are harmful growths that ill eventually go down on their own. However, it is important to get a vets opinion and dingoes that the lump is a histiocytoma. This is because such lumps may also be cancerous mast cell tumours. 


Hypothyroidism in Patterdales involves a decrease in normal thyroid activity. If it occurs in Patterdale puppies, it can stunt their growth. A blood test will confirm hypothyroidism in your dog, and it can be controlled by medication which will probably be lifelong. 

You might also like to read about getting a Patterdale Terrier Rescue.

You can also read about Dog Vaccinations and Why does my dog keep sneezing?

6 thoughts on “Patterdale terrier health problems”

  1. Thanks for great info. We rehomed a two year old patterdale named hunter. We are his 3rd but forever home. Been reading up on as much info before we got him but he seems fine. Had him ten days and he caught a mouse. We live in countryside so he a very happy boy.

  2. My patterdale is 11 never had no health problems with until the last few months.
    For about 2yrs now when she stands still one of her back legs shake.
    The vet has said apparently it’s common in this breed!!
    Now the last week she can’t jump up on the bed or couch.
    She not yelping and doesn’t seem to be in pain
    Do you think this might be the onset off arthritis?

    • Poor baby, I’d definitely keep an eye on her and keep in touch with your vet. Our last Jack Russell his legs started to stiffen up a bit at 11/12 but he was still happy enough and lived a good long life to the age of 15.

    • Hi, my 11 year old “Merlin” has also began to leg shake. Sometimes he can be just sat on my lap, lying on his side or even curled up in a ball and occasionally its when he’s standing or with a front leg poised mid air ready for the chase. Its almost like nerve endings are twitching? He still loves his walks/runs, jumps onto beds, sofas/chairs and into the car though and doesn’t appear to be in pain or at least i really hope he isn’t. Is it wear & tear on joints or could it be neurological? Worried for my dog but also about getting unnecessary vet bills I cant afford.

  3. I have a 6 year old Pattadale Terrier
    Who does not want to go walkies anymore, keeps sitting down. Took him to vets as we suspected arthritis
    vet gave us some liquid medicine that has not helped, we gave him a ibruprofen tablet that has helped he does not seem to limp but will not go far. I play in garden with him several times a day and he is running after his toys but still does not like walkies


Leave a Comment