Health Problems With Fox Terriers

A fox terrier can suffer from eye and ear maladies.
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Smooth wire terriers and wire fox terriers are high-energy dogs, constantly on the go. They enjoy physical activity and plenty of time playing with family. While fox terriers' love of adventure can keep them physically fit, you should be on the lookout for a few potential health problems that fox terriers are prone to suffer.

Knee and Leg Disorders

The fox terrier is prone to knee and leg problems, primarily patellar luxation. With this condition, the dog may have trouble straightening one or both of his back legs due to misaligned tendons and weak ligaments that create a floating kneecap. The pup may hop or limp as a result. This disorder can be genetic or develop as the result of an accident. Physical therapy or surgery are typically the prescribed methods for treating the problem. Fox terriers are susceptible to a condition known as Legg-Perthes, a joint disease in which the top of the femur is deformed.

Eye Problems

The lens of the fox terrier’s eye can dislocate, a condition known as lens luxation. A hereditary disorder, the condition presents as red, weepy eyes that can be painful for your dog. Medication can typically address minor forms of the disease if caught quickly, while surgery can help with more advanced stages. The fox terrier is also prone to cataracts, as well as eye ulcers that develop from ingrown eyelashes rubbing the cornea.


Deafness is a common disorder affecting the fox terrier. Deafness can be genetic, or develop slowly over time, or come on suddenly by an ear infection or even loud noise. You can evaluate your pup’s hearing by asking your vet about conducting a brainstem auditory evoked-response test.

Dermoid Sinus and Dermatitis

Fox terriers can suffer from an infected sinus condition called dermoid sinus, an inflammation of sinus tubes. If infection spreads to the spinal cord, it could create abscesses or encephalitis, which require surgical treatment. The fox terrier is also prone to different forms of dermatitis. Various degrees of this skin condition typically develop in the dog’s first few years of life and are triggered by different allergens.

Other Health Issues

The fox terrier is susceptible to bladder cancer, which can spread quickly. He is also prone to develop epilepsy, as well as myasthenia gravis, a weak muscle condition that can cause an enlarged esophagus. Affected dogs vomit their food and then accidentally inhale it, which can lead to pneumonia.