Westies have an average lifespan of about 12 to 16 years.
At their largest, Westies weigh 15 to 20 pounds and measure 11 inches in height. For the most part, this is a pretty healthy dog breed and is quite low maintenance as far as health requirements go. However, there are still some issues you need to look out for and take care of for the dog’s sake. Here are a few of the main health problems that Westies have.
Westie Jaw Disease
Westie jaw disease is a rare, genetic condition that affects the structural integrity of the dog’s jaw resulting in malalignment and other complications. It may not be a life threatening condition but it negatively impacts the pooch’s quality of life by causing pain, swelling, and difficulties when chewing.
Westies are also prone to developing abdominal hernias. This is where a part of the gut enters and gets trapped in anatomic openings within the body. It often leads to constipation and other abdominal issues and may require surgery to correct.
This is where the knee bone gets loose and causes instability of the whole joint. You may notice your Westie limping or having trouble with things like climbing stairs or running where they had no problems before.
White Dog Shaker Syndrome
White dog shaker syndrome gets its name from the association with white dog breeds including the Westie. Manifestations like tremors, seizures, and eye problems start at about 1 to 2 years when the dog reaches maturity. Unfortunately, not a lot is known about the disease’s origin or cure.
Westies have a thick coat that offers sufficient protection from cold and most irritants. However, they are still prone to developing allergies especially from parasites like mites and fleas or even from pollen.