ASTC Health & Genetics Chairman:
The Sealyham Terrier is a hardy breed with
very few serious health problems. None are
life-threatening. Sealyhams are generally
long-lived; most Sealyhams live healthy lives past
the age of 14, some up to 17 years old. Some
health concerns affecting Sealyhams include
allergies, ear infections (often related to
allergies), bladder infections and bladder stones.
Some issues that appear sporadically in the
breed include back problems, demodectic mange and
epilepsy. When looking for a Sealyham
Terrier puppy, ask breeders if they have seen any
of these health problems in their lines.
Deafness is not seen much at all, despite
the white coat color.
One problem that was cropping up in the past was
primary lens luxation, or PLL. It is called
primary because if left untreated, it can cause
glaucoma, which would be a secondary disease.
In primary lens luxation, the lenses of the
eyes become dislodged, requiring corrective
surgery. The ASTC contributed financial
support as well as blood samples and pedigree
information to Dr. Gary Johnson’s Canine Health
Foundation research project which played a pivotal
role in identifying the genetic marker for PLL.
By finding the genetic marker, a DNA
test was developed. PLL is a simple
In many cases, the lens would luxate after the dog
was the age of two, usually after he had been bred
at least once. Sealyham Terrier breeders can
now utilize this new DNA test on their dogs before
they are used in their breeding
programs. If you’re looking for a Sealyham
Terrier puppy, ask breeders if they are using the
PLL DNA test.
Please see our Sealy
Health Guard site for more information.
In 2010 the ASTC opened a new health registry
called the SealyHealthGuard. In it, owners and
breeders can register their dogs for free and
track any health information they feel is relevant
for each dog. This information is verified by
sending veterinary information to the webmaster.
The ASTC is now also a member of CHIC, the canine
health database sponsored by the AKC Canine Health
Foundation and OFA. For a Sealyham to be a part of
CHIC, DNA results for primary lens luxation and a
yearly CERF test must be submitted.