Cairn Health

  CTC Victoria current Health Watch Committee Report can be viewed here.  

The following motion was passed at the Club meeting of 2 June following consultation with members. 

The Committee wishes to make it perfectly clear that this is NOT intended in anyway to be mandatory. The Puppy Sales Officer will continue to recommend members’ puppies when she is advised of them but will tell the enquirer of the Club’s position. Those members who don’t test can then discuss the matter with the purchaser and if they decide to proceed with the purchase then that is a matter entirely for them. 

“The Cairn Terrier Club of NSW recommends that all puppies be tested for liver function.  
The Club further recommends that buyers only purchase puppies that have tested clear using an accepted testing method. Such advice should be given to any prospective buyer when they approach the Club as to puppy availability.”

Download Health Form here.
The Cairn Terrier Club of Victoria Inc formed a Health Watch Committee in July 2005 as a result of a small number of Cairns being reported to the Club as having been diagnosed with Porto Systemic Shunt.

The Cairn Terrier Club of NSW Inc gave the matter considerable thought but decided that it would encourage its members to lodge appropriate information with the Victorian Club’s Committee rather than set up one of its own. It was felt that it was more appropriate to have a central body collecting and collating information on the breed in Australia.


Reports are accepted from all over Australia and the owners need not be a member of either breed club. Breeders/owners are encouraged to report to the Committee all health issues affecting the breed but most specifically those which may have a genetic component. Owners may choose to allow for identifying information to be released or they may opt for confidentiality.


The Committee produces an annual report which is freely available to those in the breed interested setting out the health issues reported to the Committee during the year and any outcomes known and to date two have been issued.


A list of PSS tests including actual scores is included in the report. It is the Committee’s hope that, in time, the data base will build in to an important record which may assist in further research. We believe that it is too early to form any opinions at this stage, particularly when researchers here and overseas are still undecided as to the mode of inheritance and at present our sample of tested puppies remains small. Each year more breeders are sending in their litter reports and it is hoped this trend continues to grow to build up a more accurate picture of the nature of the problem in Australia. It must be stressed that the Cairn is a remarkably healthy breed and results from the first two reports would indicate that the vast majority will lead long, healthy, happy lives. In being proactive the two breed clubs are determined to play their part in ensuring that remains true.