The Countryman's Weekly

Bedlington Terriers

Bedlington Terriers
June 03
07:06 2020

Exploring ways of dealing with the Bedlington disease

By John Glover.

THE Bedlington show world was on a mission, they had a goal. One clear dog for every breeder was the aim and highlighted in The Liver Malfunction Report, 1985 written by Fiona Craig of the Bedlington Terrier Association. The show world was naturally overjoyed when Steve Lockett’s Bedlington ‘Fantastic Lucky Blue’ was proven and named as the first clear dog within the breed via biopsy and test matings.

‘Fantastic Lucky Blue’ was a Foggyfurze-bred dog but he was very much a show dog and thus extremely unlikely to be used by the working Bedlington fraternity. ‘Fantastic Lucky Blue’s’ sire was the dog ‘Ch. Foggyfurze Fenman’, a much-used show dog at stud as show champions – irrespective of any given breed – often are.

This is a trend with many breeds, not just Bedlingtons, and is just one of the major contributory factors in diminishing gene pools. The fact remains ‘Fantastic Lucky Blue’ was the first proven clear Bedlington dog.

The Bedlington disease

Copper toxicosis – dubbed the Bedlington disease – is a problem which causes the liver to be unable to rid itself of excess copper which builds up in that organ. Animals can have the condition but live a normal life and eventually die of old age but in some dogs a stressful situation can bring on the condition. Under such circumstances the jaundiced terrier can be dead within four days!

It should be pointed out the condition has also been found in some Dobermans and West Highland White Terriers too (among other breeds) but was first noticed in Bedlingtons where it’s still of most concern.


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