Copper Toxicosis is a potentially fatal condition among a small number of dog breeds, including the Bedlington Terrier.
The condition relates to an accumulation of copper in the liver which can cause liver disease and often leads to the animal's death at a young age.
Dogs can be tested and scored as 1:1 - Normal, 1:2 - a carrier though unaffected and 2:2 - an affected dog. Appropriate breeding ensures as far as possible that Normal bitches mated with Normal dogs have a low probability of producing higher scored CT puppies and this is a strategy adopted by responsible and reputable breeders to remove or reduce the incidence of the condition in the line. Any dogs scored higher than 1 on either side will have a higher probability of producing CT affected puppies and therefore should never be used as breeding stock.
Owners should always have their dog tested, even if they are not going to be used for breeding. If the disease is detected early then there is a good chance of controlling it with medication and the correct diet.
Anyone looking for a puppy should ensure that the parents have been DNA tested and are 1:1 Normal. The 3 breed clubs maintain a register of available litters from responsible breeders. Never buy a puppy through websites such as Gumtree or Pets4homes
Copper Toxicosis and BTR Dogs
BTR does not routinely test our rescue dogs for Copper Toxicosis. However we strongly recommend that new owners have their adopted dogs tested for peace of mind. Frances Fuller, our Group Coordinator will talk to you about this during the adoption process. Test are relatively cheap (around £48) and can be obtained from the Animal Health Trust.
Our Rescue Dog Welcome Packs, which go out to our new owners now have information about Copper Toxicosis and where to obtain Test Kits.
Further details regarding Copper Toxicosis can be found at: