Health Update 2021
During 2021 we have been working alongside the Kennel Club to produce a Breed Health & Conservation Plan for the Russian Toy. This Plan has now been completed and will help towards ensuring the health and welfare of the Russian Toy as the breed progresses in the UK.

The Breed Club also asked the Kennel Club to include Patella and Eye Testing as a recommendation for the breed and this has now been approved. A press release from the Kennel Club will be made at some point during January 2022.

Amanda Orchard
Kennel Club Breed Health Co-ordinator

Russian Toy BHCP.pdf

Health Update 2020

To ensure the continued health of the Russian Toy in the UK and to help everyone address any health issues specific to the Russian Toy now and in the future the Club conducted a  Breed Health Survey in 2020.

The Breed Club thanks everyone for taking part in this important study and the findings have been posted on the Club Facebook page and will be forwarded to the Kennel Club Health and Welfare Team.

You can access the results of the survey by clicking the link below.

Health surveys will be conducted on a regular basis and findings reported to members.

Amanda Orchard
Kennel Club Breed Health Co-ordinator


Legg’s Calves Perthes

There has been a lot of discussion on various sites regarding a diagnosed case of Legg’s Calves Perthes in a Russian Toy in the UK.  Unfortunately some of the comments and discussions have contained accusations towards the breed club and the supposed lack of response and support from the Breed Club.  We the committee feel it is time to reply to these comments and to assure all our members that we have done everything possible within the power of the Club with information given to us at any one time.The Club sympathises greatly with anyone whose dog succumbs to a health issue and wish them a speedy recovery.  We all have our individual views and so will not necessarily agree with each other, but as a breed club it is important not to pass judgement but to collate as much information as possible, however long that may take, so that we can best inform our members.

Breed Clubs are there to offer help and impartial advice on the Breed and to promote the breed to the best of its ability. To shed some light on what the club can do in cases such as this; The Club runs an extensive database of pedigrees which include results from health tests, we also have a database of all dogs that have clear test results and suitable for a breeding programme, there is a separate database for dogs reported to us with health conditions. We have been given this information in good faith by members and owners of RT’s in the UK for the Clubs use.  Due to Data protection we are not permitted to publish these details in the public domain, but when advice is sort from members as to suitable breeding lines or lines to import to the UK the information we hold can be invaluable.

A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes with regards to this and although it may not be evident to some, the Breed Club has taken this very seriously and is acting in the best interest of the breed with the knowledge it holds and with the restrictions that behold a breed club when it comes to information in the public domain.  It was agreed by the committee and those members at the AGM that due to the very complex nature of LCP and with the facts before us at that time, we could not be certain that this case was due to a hereditary nature, it was noted there could be other causes.  It was agreed that the Clubupdate the relevant health information on thedatabase and remove the dog from the Stud dog database (this was also requested by the owner), relatives of said dog were also noted, the website was updatedafter the AGM with information regarding LCP and a notification of the updated website was posted on the Club Facebook page.From those dogs we have on our database is it our belief owners of littermates and related dogs in the UK have now been informed.

A health seminar was held in the UK several years ago, one of the subjects was Leggs Calves Perthes, From this seminar attendees were advised the following: There are many breeds that can suffer with LCP and many theories as to the reason it occurs, although as yet nothing has been 100% proven, there is no known DNA test for this condition - the cause is known to be due to a lack of blood supply to the femoral joint and hip socket  causing degeneration of the bone. The main concern is that it is believed to be a hereditary condition although  other factors have also been known to cause LCP including hormonal deficiencies, over exertion (exercise) in young puppies which in turn will cause trauma to joints,  damage to growth plates, other accident/trauma, to name a few.

The Club has researched several other breed clubs as to their advice on LCP based on it being a hereditary condition – Dogs’ hips can be x-rayed under anaesthetic or sedation after the age of approximately 9 months to check for irregularities or inflammation which may be indications that the disease is present No animal found to be suffering from this illness should be used in breeding. Other breed clubs ask for the dogs to be a minimum of 12 mths. The breed clubs only stipulate that those physically suffering from the disease be removed from the breeding programme. As with any health related condition, for which there are many, if all dogs that were potential carriers of any condition were removed from breeding then the gene pool would become so small that more serious health conditions would arise – this in turn could be the demise of a breed in a short space of time.  Many health tests are carried out in the UK and results published by the KC in the KC Breed Record Supplement.There is no requirement from the KC to remove suspected carriers from a breeding programme.The UK Kennel Club does not currently offer any breeding guidelines for LCP.On this basis the Club needs to gather as much information as possible before making any judgements or decisions with regards to the blanket banning of breeding from suspected carriers.  Off course any dog with confirmed LCP is a different matter and we would wholeheartedly denounce breeding from those dogs. 

We the committee hope this information allays any concerns that anyone may have with regards to the Breed Club and how we are dealing with this situation, we are doing everything we possibly can and will review as information becomes available. If anyone has any concerns regarding this or any other matter please contact any member of the committee who will be able to help and advise.

Caring for your Russian Toy                                             Known Health Issues in Russian Toys

Smooth coated Russian toys require less grooming than long haired Russian toy terrier breed dogs. Long haired Russian toy terriers require daily grooming, smooth Russian toys require grooming 2 to 3 times a week. Both varieties can bathed once a month. 

Russian Toys may require veterinary assistance during the teething phase. 

Although it is tempting to carry these dainty creatures about, these are active little dogs that benefit from a daily walk. 

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)

The cells of the retina receive light from the external environment and transmit the information to the brain where it is interpreted to become vision. PRA causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die, even though the cells may have developed normally early in life.

Owners of affected dogs first notice that their dog becomes night blind, but this eventually progresses to total blindness. The age of onset of first signs varies from breed to breed, however, in all cases puppies are born with perfect vision and their sight begins to degenerate later in life, from around 3 years of age or later.

The disease is described as an autosomal recessive condition. This means that a dog must inherit two copies of an abnormal gene (one from its mother and one from its father) before its health is affected. A dog that inherits only one copy of the abnormal gene (from its mother or its father) will have no signs of the disease, but will be a carrier and may pass the gene on to any offspring.

Patella Luxation

Patellar Luxation is one of the most common skeletal problems found in small dog breeds and among the most common serious conditions in general. Patellar Luxation occurs when a dog’s kneecap shifts to an improper location within the leg.

Dogs are likely to limp or refuse to put weight on a leg with a luxated patella, or may not be willing or able to move at all if both patellas are luxated. Chronic problems, even if each individual occurrence is very mild, can have long-lasting and permanent effects.  

It is paramount that patella grading takes place before breeding from your Russian Toy,  Most vets are able to carry out this check as part of a normal examination. 

The grading system for patellar luxation is based on the how mobile the knee cap is relative to the groove at the base of the femur. 

Grade 1: A knee cap that can be luxating with manual pressure but is otherwise is within the groove.
Grade 2: The knee cap spontaneously luxates, is typically associated with a skipping lameness when the knee cap moves.
Grade 3: The knee cap is permanently luxated but can be manually replaced in the groove.
Grade 4: The knee cap is permanently luxated and cannot be manually replaced in the groove.

Surgergical treatment is often recommended for Grade 3 and 4. 

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP) 

Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease (LCP) is a disorder of hip joint conformation occurring in both humans and dogs. In dogs, it is most often seen in the miniature and toy breeds and most typically in dogs that are less than 1 year of age (5 to 8 months of age is most common with peak incidence around 7 months of age) although it can be diagnosed at a later stage.
What is it?

A disease of the hip joint that results in abnormal deformity of the ball of the hip joint

The disease starts with an insult to the blood supply to the head of the femur bone. As the blood supply is damaged, the bone dies off

The bone in the femoral head collapses and the cartilage coating of the femoral head becomes cracked and deformed

Arthritis or inflammation of the hip joint results, which causes pain and lameness

·    Not completely understood
·    Genetics - can be autosomal recessive gene in some dogs
·    Injury - compression of the vessels of in the femoral head
·    Abnormal sex hormone activity - precocious

Because of the potential heritability of this disease, affected dogs should not be bred

We understand it to be a rare condition in the Russian Toy, with to our knowledge only a few reported cases worldwide, the Breed Club strongly advise that prospective owners seek Breeders advice regarding the health status of LCP in their lines and also when seeking the services of a Stud Dog.