2401: Characterization of the Clinical Features of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis in the West Highland White Terrier

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $34,160
Brendan M. Corcoran, PhD; University of Edinburgh
July 1, 2003 - June 30, 2005

Sponsor(s): Staffordshire Terrier Club of America

Breed(s): West Highland White Terrier
Research Program Area: Lung and Respiratory Disease
Donate to Support this Research Program Area


A chronic respiratory condition has been noted for some time in West Highland White Terriers, and typically affects middle to old-aged dogs resulting in reduced exercise ability, respiratory difficulty and coughing. Eventually the condition results in respiratory failure and the dogs have to be euthanized. The condition develops slowly and consequently the changes are often assumed by the pet owner to be attributable to normal aging. However, on chest auscultation distinct crackling sounds are heard which are indicative of significant lung abnormality. Many veterinarians are aware of this condition and often refer to it as Westie Lung Disease. However, we have recently described this disease in more detail and have evidence to suggest it is caused by scar tissue formation within the lung. The underlying cause is unknown and so we have termed the condition Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. Because we have limited information on this disease, the aim of our proposed study is to investigate the clinical aspects of this disease with a view to improving understanding of the disease and improve diagnostic accuracy. With that information we can move forward with studies to investigate the cause and explore novel therapeutic approaches to management of the disease.


Corcoran, B. M., King, L. G., Schwarz, T., Hammond, G., & Sullivan, M. (2011). Further characterisation of the clinical features of chronic pulmonary disease in West Highland White Terriers. Veterinary Record, 168(13), 355–355. https://doi.org/10.1136/vr.c6519

Thierry, F., Handel, I., Hammond, G., King, L. G., Corcoran, B. M., & Schwarz, T. (2017). Further characterization of computed tomographic and clinical features for staging and prognosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in West Highland White Terriers. Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound, 58(4), 381–388. https://doi.org/10.1111/vru.12491

Help Future Generations of Dogs

Participate in canine health research by providing samples or by enrolling in a clinical trial. Samples are needed from healthy dogs and dogs affected by specific diseases.

Learn How to Help

Get Canine Health News:
Please leave this field empty
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, Inc

8051 Arco Corporate Dr.
Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27617

Tax ID# 13-3813813


© 2021 AKC Canine Health Foundation | Privacy Policy | Site Map

Site by Blackbaud, Inc.