Your Airedale Terrier and Health Problems

Airedale Terriers are a pretty tough breed. They’ve been used for hunting, and they were even one of the first breeds of dog used by police officers. As far as terriers go, they’re very strong, and are up to plenty of challenges.

However, this doesn’t mean they’re immune to having health issues.

running airdale breed

Most of them live an average of 10-13 years, though of course there can be exceptions to that rule. Just like any other breed of dog, it’s always important to have them regularly checked by your veterinarian for signs of illness. By the end of this article, you’ll hopefully be more informed about the different health problems Airedale Terriers can face, and how to keep an eye out for them.

airdale dog babies

Hip Dysplasia

This breed is susceptible to canine hip dysplasia, or CHD. What this means is that the ball-and-socket hip joint isn’t formed properly. As a result, the “ball” rubs against the hip “socket”, causing grinding and pain for your dog. Eventually, the hip joint can deteriorate, and the Airedale can lose joint function. Here are some signs of this disease:

-Difficulty standing up

-difficulty climbing stairs, or reluctance to do so

-Running and jumping less

-Enlarged shoulder muscles (shoulders take on more of dog’s weight due to weak hips)

-Decreased hip range of motion

-A swaying or hopping gait

If you notice these symptoms, take your Airedale to see their veterinarian. They’ll most likely perform an X-Ray and work with you from there on treatment options.


This is another disease that is common in Airedales, and is most likely genetic. Your dog’s thyroid is important in helping it metabolize the nutrients it receives in a day. When a dog has hypothyroidism, it means that the thyroid itself isn’t producing and releasing enough thyroid hormones (called T3 and T4). This can reduce its energy, and make it more prone to weight gain.

Some signs are:



-Unexplained weight gain

-Excessive shedding or hair loss

-Dry coat

-Skin infections that are recurring

-Over-sensitivity to cold

 Gastric Torsion

This can happen to any large-breed dog, and the Airedale falls under that description. Again, it’s thought to be a genetic issue, though a variety of other factors can cause it. In the case of this illness, the dog’s stomach will bloat with air, foam, or fluid, and then roll over on itself. It should be treated as an emergency, and needs to be taken care of immediately. A lot of times, the dog will need to be kept at the clinic for a while to be treated. Treatment is often performed by inserting a tube orally, and removing the cause of bloat. The stomach and spleen may need to be manipulated back into their original positions, possibly through surgical methods.


-Excessive drooling


-Visibly bloated abdomen

-Abdominal pain

-Fast heartbeat

-Labored breathing



loving your airdale soccer

These types of illnesses are always frightening to think about, especially because we love our pets so much and hate to see them in pain. Knowing about them, though, is half the battle, and now you’ll be able to spot some of the signs and symptoms that accompany them. Acting on anything suspicious and taking your Airedale to the vet as soon as possible might even save their life.

About Airedale

Proud owner of two brother Yorkshire Airedale Terriors. Both brothers were proud competitors in some dog competitions and have since retired with me to our farm in Wales England.
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