While Tervuren generally are healthy dogs, certain conditions occur with some frequency. The most notable of these would be seizure disorders, cataracts, hypothyroidism, allergies, dysplasia (hips and elbows), and osteochondritis. Recently, cases of PRA and Von Willebrands disease have surfaced. The ABTC has long been at the forefront of improving the overall health of our breed by encouraging responsible breeding, and regular health screening through OFA and CERF registry. The Club is making a concerted effort to track the incidence of health problems in Tervuren, and takes positive steps to develop and encourage use of screening tools to control them.

Current Terv-related research projects 

  • Epilepsy genetic marker study--Researchers at UC-Davis are working to identify the major gene effecting epilepsy in Tervs. We hope this will lead to a genetic screening test for epilepsy! See articles below.
  • PRA genetic marker study-- Researchers at Michigan State University are working to identify the gene causing PRA in Tervs. We hope this will lead to a blood test for PRA in our breed! See articles below.
  • White blood cell count determination of Tervuren--Cathy Greenfield, DVM conducted a survey of Tervuren at the 1998 Specialty in Delevan, WI to determine the normal values for white blood cell counts in Tervuren. Normal WBC values of Tervuren appear to be lower than the values reported for the average canine population. The results of the study will be published in TNT.
  • 1998 Health Survey--Don MacManus conducted a survey of ABTC members to develop an overview of the incidence of health problems in Tervuren. The results of this survey were printed in Tervuren News Tales Dec/Jan, 1999, and are available in the on-line library below.

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Health Learn More

  • Reading CERF & OFA #'s
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Anesthetic Primer
  • Thyroid and the Tervuren
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hematologic Analyses

IF a dog has an OFA number this means that the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has reviewed x-rays of the dogs hips and has found them to be clear of hip dysplasia, and assigned them a rating. OFA numbers are good for the lifetime of the dog.

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PRA is a progressive disease of the retinas that leads to blindness. It is inherited, and has been diagnosed in Tervuren of a number of litters over the course of the past ten years and more, with new diagnoses made within this past year. Without a blood test, our breed faces a likelihood of increasing numbers of new cases of PRA. We are pleased to announce that we now have a wonderful opportunity before us

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Having your beloved Belgian go under anesthesia can be a nerve-wracking experience. Understanding exactly what will take place and what questions to ask may help ensure your dog’s safety and your peace of mind.
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The thyroid is considered a "master gland" as it is involved in so many metabolic processes in our dogs. While it may not be obvious when things are going well, if your dog becomes hypo or low thyroid, you can see a number of clinical signs.

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Why is the elbow an important joint?

The dog carries about 65% of his weight on his front end. Not only do the front legs bear most of the concussion when a jumping dog lands, they also provide a good deal of the propulsion necessary to launch him into the air. The shoulder and elbow joints absorb most of the impact during movement. Those "turn on a dime" movements our Belgians are so fond of

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*Objective*—To determine reference ranges for results of hematologic analyses of healthy Belgian Tervuren, to compare results of hematologic analyses for healthy Belgian Tervuren with results for healthy dogs of other breeds, and to determine prevalence of physiologic leukopenia in Belgian Tervuren.

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