Welcome to the ONLY Norfolk Terrier Club affiliated with the AKC.


By Marian Shaw, DVM

I would like to discuss the progress of the ongoing study of Mitral Valve Disease in Norfolk Terriers. In October of 2012 Mark Oyama
of the University of Pennsylvania published the findings of the study looking at the progression of Silent Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease
in Norfolk Terriers. This study was funded by the Friends of the Norfolk Terrier grant and Carol Falk our previous health chair worked for
many years as a liaison to the Norfolk community and the study coordinators. This study suggests that dogs found to have "silent" MVD
(normal auscultation, no murmer but leakage found on ultrasound examination) experienced significant changes in the mitral valve thickness,
area, and degree of prolapse compared to dogs previously diagnosed as being healthy. So early MVD can be detected with an
ultrasound/echocardiogram prior to the development of a heart murmer. As a club, we encourage our members to begin screening dogs by the
age of two and continue screening until the age of 8 or above. Dogs screened normal at the age of 4 were defined as normal by the NTC and OFA.
Because the disease is widespread in the breed, breeders cannot eliminate all breeding stock based on this test but instead should use this
information to breed better stock and gradually improve the breeds heart health. All breeders in our club should be encouraged to share
their health data by registering all of their dogs with CHIC.

A second study is being funded now to try to find genetic markers for MVD. Dr. Oyama has a 43,563 grant #02085 funded primarily by the
Friends of the Norfolk Terrier entitled Defining the Genetic Basis of Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease. This study aims to collect DNA
from 100 Norfolk Terriers between the time frame of 3/1/14 and 2/28/15. In this group 100 he would like 50 normal dogs defined as normal
by echocardiogram at the age of 5 years and 50 affected dogs defined as having an abnormal echocardiogram before the age of 5 years. These
tests will be done at NTC and ANTA supported events as well as at major dog shows. We would like to get as many dogs screened from
different areas and genetic pools as possible and so would appreciate input or volunteers from all of you event organizers across the country.
In addition, dogs can be screened at Tufts University in Massachusetts and University of Pennsylvania Vet schools. I would like to thank
Carol Falk for all of her work over the years as health chair and continuing to push for research into this important disease.