The Wire Fox

Home of Wireville & Rolliecon Wire Fox Terriers

Health & Care

Wire Haired Fox Terriers are tough little dogs with hardly any breed problems, but they do get ill just like any other variety of dog - or, in fact, just like any human being. It's because they are so brave and uncomplaining that by the time you recognise there is a problem, they can sometimes be very poorly  little dogs.  

We are not going to attempt to diagnose any dog illnesses on this site; that's what your veterinary surgeon is trained for. Many breeders and kennel owners have a good layperson's working knowledge and experience of dogs, and can recognise the onset of many dog illnesses. This is useful in a first instant, but dogs can't tell you what's wrong with them - so an amateur diagnosis really should be followed up by a visit to the professionals.

What we can and will do on here, is pass on some hints and tips about keeping your dog healthy.


Fox Terriers love catching hedgehogs. Unfortunately, hedgehogs are usually covered with fleas, and if your dog catches one - usually at night and forty yards down the garden where you can’t see him - he needs to be sprayed immediately. It goes without saying that this should be done outside.

Frontline is a good flea remedy spray and can be used safely on dogs and puppies as young as three weeks old, although ideally - particularly in the case of puppies - it should be used early in the day, and outside, so that any vapours and chemicals have chance to evaporate.

Travel Sickness

Normally, Fox Terriers make enthusiastic motorists – and sailors - but occasionally we get reports and telephone calls about dogs suffering from travel sickness. Often, this passes once dogs become familiar with the car and their new home and owners. Occasionally, though, dogs simply don’t like travelling. There is a herbal remedy called BACHS RESCUE REMEDY, which is available - as it says - in liquid form from Boots The Chemists.

Vet Bed

Kelly recommends the use of vet beds for your new puppy. A very durable material which is comfortable for your puppy to lie on, and easily washed when necessary. Kelly says it also dries very quickly.

Aloa Vera

Aloa Vera is a very good gel, suitable for treating minor injuries, bites and scratches. It is available from Herbal and Health stores

Cushing's Disease

Owners Beware: Cushing’s Disease Can Suddenly Strike Down Your Perfectly Healthy Dog

Recently The Editor’s wife was concerned to find Peggy was unwell. One of the general symptoms were excessive drinking, which - as can be imagined – resulted in excessive piddling. As Peggy has complete run of the house, this proved to be a bit of a problem. Needless to say she was taken immediately to her veterinary surgeon, Richard Wignall – who has a vast working knowledge of Fox Terriers due to the fact he’s been looking after all of the residents and visitors of Little Foxes for years. He quickly made an initial diagnosis of Cushings Disease, which was confirmed by a blood test. As The Boss now knows four dogs with this disease (Emma, Peggy and two regular visitors) we decided to do a general informative article on the subject.

Cushings Disease means that the dog’s adrenal glands are producing too much corticosteroid hormone (cortisol). This is usually caused by over-stimulation of the adrenals by the pituitary gland, but is occasionally due to an abnormality of the adrenal gland itself.  At Normal levels Cortisol has many beneficial effects on the metabolism water balance, dealing with stress and as a natural anti-inflammatory. However, at prolonged high levels in the body such as those associated with Cushings Disease, the hormone has undesirable effects on most body systems. Owners usually notice some or many if not all all, of the following symptoms:-

Increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, development of a pot-belly and hair loss. Other effects which are less obvious include weakness, muscle wasting, thinning of the skin, poor wound healing, and reduced efficiency of the immune system, leaving the dog more susceptible to infections.

Your Vet. will suspect Cushings Disease from the symptoms shown by your dog and from the results of a general health screening and blood sample. A second blood test to measure the levels of Cortisol is usually needed to confirms any suspicions. In Peggy’s case the tests were done in the morning and The Editor’s wife had the unwelcome results after lunch.

Once diagnosed, your Vet. will initiate treatment of the dog using a drug called Mitolane (Lysodren). This drug destroys the cells in the adrenal gland which make Cortisol, and so stop its over-production - bringing the blood levels back to normal.

Treatment will involve an initial introduction phase when thedog will need a daily dose of the drug. This usually lasts ten days or so. Once stabilized, your Vet. will adjust the dose to a maintenance level, where treatment is given much less often; for example - once a week. The dog will usually remain on this low-level treatment to keep Cortisol levels normal.

Because of the high levels of Cortisol to the much lower levels which occurs when treatment is started, some dogs may show withdrawal-type signs. These manifest most commonly as lack of appetite, shaking, lethargy and vomiting. To guard against this your dog may be given a a low dose of steroid tablets to take during the induction phase of the treatment, as well as the Lysodren tablets. If any of these withdrawal signs are noticed the dog should be given an extra steroid tablet. If the signs are still present, or worsen, 30 – 40 minutes later, the Vet. should be contacted immediately for advice.

                      Dog Crates

Wire dog crates - available from most pet stores - are a must for any new dog owner. All dogs like their own place and with a little training will look upon the crate (box) as their property. If they are introduced to it when a puppy, they’ll treat it as somewhere to eat their meals and go for a bit of peace and quiet.

Assuming you actually allow visitors to your house who don’t like being greeted by the family pet (and you know how friendly Fox Terriers are) your dog will happily go to his box for a while. Also, when something disappears - slippers, books, the odd cup etc. – you can narrow the search field significantly. It’ll be in his box.

 Daffodil Bulbs

  Don’t Let Your Dog Get Them!

Daffodil bulbs are very poisonous to dogs, warns The Boss. This was brought home to her when The Editors dog, Sam, managed to dig up a load of them. He got them out of a plant pot, ate them, made himself sick and – being the son of Bruno - naturally went back for a second helping. The second lot quietened him down considerably, although there weren't many of them. Although it was obvious he wasn’t very well, following a bit of peace and quiet and some excellent advice from the Vet., Sam managed a full recovery.

The Boss said he was very lucky.

Daffodil bulbs are notoriously poisonous to dogs.



Not many dog owners know that chocolate in any  quantity can be very dangerous for a dog; even fatal.

Don't feed your dog chocolate as a treat.


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