Manchester terriers, as the name implies, were developed in the area in and around the northern English city of Manchester. They were originally bred to kill vermin and rabbits but later were bred as companion animals and show dogs. According to the "Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds," the American Kennel Club allows two types, the standard and the toy. Both types can be prone to health problems.
According to "The Veterinarian's Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms," both types of Manchester terriers are prone to Von Willebrand's disease, which is a genetic bleeding condition where the blood will not clot. A small cut can cause the dog to bleed to death. Genetic tests can be done to see whether a dog is a carrier, even if it does not currently show any symptoms.
According to Canine Inherited Disorders Database, Manchester terrier puppies, particularly the toy variety, can be prone to hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. The puppy's head will suddenly appear to be growing. This is due to excess fluid building up in the spinal cord and the brain. This is an emergency situation because the puppy can die quickly from the pressure on the brain.
Toy Manchester terriers are also prone to hypoglycemia, although it may sometimes occur in the standard size. It is often seen in puppies between six and 12 weeks old. Hypoglycemia is when a puppy's blood sugar levels suddenly plummet. This can often cause seizures, coma and sudden death. Even if a dog survives multiple attacks, they can suffer brain damage as a result.
Standard and toy Manchester terriers are also prone to the heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, which can cause a dog to drop dead. There usually are warning symptoms, however, before a dog reaches that state. The dog will cough and sometimes cough up blood. The abdomen will look pot-bellied. Dogs are tired far more than usual and they may pant, even though they have not done any exercise.
Because of their narrow waists, some female Manchester terriers are at risk of dystocia. The pelvis will not open wide enough to let puppies pass through. This causes death of the puppies and the mother. Performing a Caesarean section is the only way to help save the mother. If the mother is known to have a narrow pelvis, then a Caesarean section can be scheduled with a veterinarian in order to save both mother and puppies.