The Kennel Club Breed Health Co-ordinator for Norwich Terriers is Eileen Needham, who can be contacted on any health matters relating to the breed at

Members of the Norwich Terrier Club
Health Sub-Committee 2014

Mrs. Eileen Needham
Mrs. Beverley Watkins, Mrs. Pat Barrell, Mrs. Ruth Corkhill,
Mr. Barry Day, Mrs. Nicky Graves

and Mrs. Mary McLaughlan

Norwich Terrier Club Breed Health Update ~ February 2015

This Notice concerns all UK owners of Norwich Terriers born after 01/01/2000

In 2014 The Animal Health Trust/The Kennel Club Canine Genetics Centre circularised some UK owners of Norwich Terriers which were born after 01/01/2000 asking them to take part in an online comprehensive survey on the health of Norwich Terriers.

The Norwich Terrier Club and the Animal Health Trust (AHT) were very disapponted at the poor response to this Questionniare. The Norwich Terrier Club then sent a paper copy of the same Questionnaire to all UK members , 206 in all, stressing how important this was to the breed to fill in and return the Questionnaire. (Up until 10/02/2015 there had been only 90 individual owners responding on 150 dogs.)

Some time ago the AHT had completed a Whole Genome Scan (WGS) from samples in the Norwich Terrier Club's Research database, but, owing to the complexities of the Epileptoid/Cramping Syndrome the results were not conclusive.

Towards the end of 2013 the AHT decided to do a replication WGS with the new cases collected .

Due to advances in the technology since the last WGS, the numbers of DNA markers will be significantly increased, allowing the AHT to build up a much clearer profile of each individual dog.

In the replication study they plan initially to use UK samples only which will help to reduce the complexity of the data analysis.


This Questionnaire has been designed based on examination of videos of affected Norwich Terriers and information provided by the Breed Club and owners of affected dogs.

PLEASE help Norwich Terriers by completing this Questionnaire

It is of the utmost importance that both
affected and unaffected Norwich are reported on,

and, with a good response rate, this survey could provide information on the prevalence of this disease in the Breed in the UK.
To this end the deadline for this Questionnaire has been extended
to 30th March 2015

If you have already completed and returned this Questionnaire on all your Norwich ( affected & unaffected) we would like to thank you.
You do not need to do it again.



You can take part in this study online or by downloading a paper copy

Online: Go to then type 'Norwich' in the search bar, click on the survey questionnaire at the top of the dropdown list.

Or Click here to download the paper questionnaire.


Please report on your Norwich whether it is affected or not


Page Updated: February 27, 2015



The following updates from the Animal Heath Trust are in response to questions raised by Eileen Needham , Kennel Club Breed Health Coordinator for Norwich Terriers, on behalf of the Norwich Terrier Club.


Oliver Forman

29 June 2015


Dear Eileen,

............. We are going to discuss the results of the Questionnare with Luisa this week, after which we will have a better idea of how we can proceed. For this condition, which is quite complex, a clear case definition is vitally important to improve the chance of positive results in any future genetics work. The difficult situation which we face is due to epileptoid cramping syndrome being genetically complex, and is therefore likely to be caused by many genetic variants and other non-genetic factors. Our study design will have to be spot on to give us the best chance of producing a good result. DNA tests for complex conditions are tests for risk, rather than the clear/carrier/affected genetic status seen for single gene conditions. There is currently only one test available for a genetically complex canine disease. Information on this can be found on the link given below


To develop a risk test, it is critical that any positive results are replicated using a large independent sample set. Whole genome sequencing of one of the robust cases is a good idea as it will provide us with a future resource.


Before we reapply to a funding body we will need to confirm our usable sample set of robust cases, and we should hopefully have a good idea of this after our meeting later this week.




From Oliver Forman

14 July 2015


Norwich Terrier Research Programme

Dear Eileen,

Luisa (Luisa de Risio) has worked extremely hard and has identified 26 robust cases, the owners of which have all been contacted by telephone. In total there were 198 responses to the Questionnaire , 83 dogs have also been identified as controls. The next stage is to collect DNA from as many of these dogs as possible.


Luisa is now preparing a Paper which will be published in a veterinary journal.


For the genetics, as we have a much more robust set of cases we can feasibly start thinking about performing a small pilot study, with 26 cases and 34 controls if we can successfully collect DNA from all the cases. The cost of this study would be approximately £8000.Although it might not point us directly to the mutations causing this condition it will be a much better database than previously generated and one that we will be able to add to in the future as more cases and controls are identified.


From Luisa de Risio

31 July 2015

I will be able to release a summary of the results of the clinical study on the last week of September 2015 and I am hoping to have the full publication submitted to a scientific journal by the end of this year.

UPDATE on this item: 22nd. January 2016 from Oliver Forman who wrote: Luisa has just answered some questions that the reviewers had about the Paper. The Paper is now back with the editor of the scientific journal and will hopefully be accepted for publication soon and I am sure that Luisa will send you a copy of the paper as soon as it has been accepted and published.