Patterdale Terrier Health Problems

Patterdale Terriers are, on the whole, pretty healthy dogs. They live to ripe old ages and don’t usually require frequent trips to the vet. However, no dog breed is entirely perfect, so let’s discuss the most common Patterdale Terrier health problems.

As long as they are correctly cared for, Patterdale Terriers live for an average of 12-15 years. However, it’s not uncommon for Patterdales to live longer than this, reaching ages of 17-19 years old!

It’s common for smaller dogs to live longer than larger breeds as they tend not to develop as many unfortunate health problems over time. Patterdale Terriers do fall into the category of small dogs, which helps to explain their above-average lifespan. 

Bred to be a hardworking and dependable dog, the Patterdale is just that, rarely needing medical attention unless an accidental injury occurs. That being said, it is hard to determine the average number of vet trips that a breed needs, as it ultimately depends on outside factors. 

For example, if your Patterdale Terrier is a working dog, they may be more likely to sustain an injury than another Patterdale who only leaves the house to visit their local park. 

But, all in all, the Patterdale Terrier isn’t a dog you would expect to see regularly in the vets.

Patterdale Terrier Common Health Problems

As previously mentioned, no dog breed is without its flaws. For example, Pugs and French Bulldogs commonly suffer from breathing difficulties due to their flat faces. In contrast, larger dogs are known to develop arthritis as they age due to the stress put on their joints by their large frames.

While the Patterdale Terrier is an overall healthy dog breed, they are still more prone to particular health problems. The following are health problems to look out for in your Patterdale:


Worms are, of course, not an ailment specific only to the Patterdale Terrier. Dogs can pick up worms by eating their eggs in contaminated faeces in the grass, eating poorly handled raw meat, or coming into contact with other infected animals. 

Patterdales are working dogs commonly used to find rats and other rodents, which places them at a higher risk of contracting worms. To counteract this, you should regularly give your Patterdale worm treatments. 

If your Patterdale begins to lose weight yet shows an increased appetite, you should visit your vet for help.


Similar to worms, fleas can affect all animals. Regular grooming of your Patterdale can help to prevent fleas, as well as help you to spot them. 

If you do spot fleas on your Patterdale Terrier, or you notice they are scratching more than usual, you should give them a flea treatment. A regular flea treatment, often combined with a wormer, is ideal for preventing both problems.


Ticks are commonly found in forests and grassy areas – i.e. places your Patterdale probably loves to run around!

Ticks will bite, and these bites may contain Lyme Disease. So if you notice a tick on your Patterdale’s coat, you should immediately remove it. Make sure you don’t leave the head in or squeeze the tick’s body, as this can increase the chances of Lyme Disease.

If the problem is recurring, why not try a tick repellent spray? Then, give your Patterdale a quick spritz and enjoy a walk in the fields without the fear of ticks.

Eye Problems

Unfortunately, Patterdale Terriers seem prone to eye conditions, including conjunctivitis, glaucoma and lens luxation. So regularly check your dog’s eyes, and inspect for any redness or pus. 

If your Patterdale is having problems with its eyes, you should visit your vet immediately. Failure to remedy these illnesses, as well as time and ageing, can lead to blindness. Sadly, it’s not too rare to see a Patterdale Terrier with only one eye.

Joint Problems

Patterdale Terriers are incredibly active dogs due to their high levels of energy. However, excessive exercise can, over time, lead to joint problems. Surgical treatments are available; however, treatment for joint problems ultimately depends on the dog’s age. 


Hystiocytomas are small, lumpy growths that can develop around a Patterdale’s armpits and legs. Although they are completely harmless, like a skin tag on a human, it’s still worth getting them checked by a vet.

This can help to determine whether the lump is a Hystiocytoma or a cancerous growth. 

How to Keep your Patterdale Terrier Healthy

To help prevent any of these health problems from developing in your Patterdale Terrier, there are a couple of things you can do:

  • Good Diet – As with all dogs, a good diet is key to a long and healthy life. Many Patterdale owners swear by a raw diet instead of processed dog foods or dry foods. A raw diet has been proven to maintain excellent bone and joint health, strengthen the immune system and create a healthy, shiny coat. Try a raw diet with your Patterdale Terrier, and see if you notice a difference!
  • Exercise – Patterdale Terriers are intelligent working dogs with high levels of energy. To keep them stimulated and in great shape, they require plenty of physical activity. Multiple walks every day or a long run off the lead should do the trick. 
  • Stimulation – Don’t forget that mental exercises are just as necessary for Patterdale Terriers. They love a challenge, so providing them with puzzles involving food is a great way to keep their minds active and alleviate any stress – resulting in a happy, healthy Patterdale!

Look after your Patterdale Terrier well, and you’ll have a best friend for life!

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