Tibetan Terrier History

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The Tibetan terrier is a native of the “Lost Valley” of Tibet where it is considered a prized companion and luck bringer to those fortunate enough to possess them. The breed has been raised in Buddhist monasteries for over 2000 years and is considered the “Holy Dog of Tibet”. The lamas kept the dogs as watchdogs, companions and good luck charms. The dogs also did some herding and retrieved objects that fell down the mountain. The Tibetan terrier is not really a terrier but was call one due to its size.

Dr. A.R.H. Greig of England introduced the Tibetan terrier to the world outside Tibet. Dr. Greig was a physician and surgeon employed by the British government in India. In 1892, she was given a Tibetan
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Sometimes a puppy older than 9 months still lacks some teeth. Brachygnathism (overshot jaw) and prognathism (undershot jaw) have both been reported in the breed. 5(278), 6 Retained primary teeth 5 appears to be a problem in Tibetan terriers and missing teeth have also been reported. 6


VonWillebrands disease (VWD) has been reported in Tibetan terriers. 5(485), 6 VWD refers to decreased levels of vonWillebrand’s factor (VWF), a glycoprotein that when complexed to Factor VIII, is responsible for platelet adhesion. Affected dogs may have prolonged bleeding after surgery or trauma.

Mitral valve stenosis 6 is a narrowing of the mitral valve leading to increased atrial pressure, limited cardiac output and left side congestive heart failure. Pulmonic stenosis 8 is a narrowing of the right ventricular outflow tract resulting in ventricular hypertrophy, congestive heart failure, syncope or sudden death. Both conditions have been reported in Tibetan terriers.

A Tibetan terrier was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. 8 It was successfully treated with taurine supplementation.

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