Common Health Issues With The Jack Russell Terrier

Published: 02nd April 2011
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One of the most upsetting parts of dog ownership will be when they get ill. As some dogs are more inclined to certain illnesses than others, owners should prepare themselves accordingly. While the Jack Russell isn’t associated to too much illness, there are certain issues owners should be prepared for.

Jack Russell Medical Conditions – Pay Attention

One of the leading health issues among Jack Russells is difficulty with the patella luxation. In other words, the kneecap disconnects form the primary joint. As a result, dogs who suffer from this will be lame, partially lame, or have an affected gait, but these mobility issues tend to be clear from birth, giving you advanced warning.

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A similar leg joint issue is known as Legg-Calve-Perthes disease. A deformity of the hip, this disease is common in smaller dog breeds and often promotes arthritis. Surgery can remedy this condition provided the dog undergoes therapy and frequent check-ups afterwards.

Difficulty seeing and other vision issues are also associated with the Jack Russell. Cataracts can sometimes develop as can glaucoma, and a hereditary condition known as lens luxation is also sometimes seen in Jack Russells. Lens luxation occurs when the eye lens grows displaced, leading to blindness if not properly cared for. Owners of Jack Russells should be prepared to have regular eye examinations for their dogs to make sure their eyes are okay.

Steps To Stop This

If you’re using a breeder to get your puppy, be careful about who you select. All reputable breeders should be able to show you proof that the parents were free from any of these conditions, thus lessening the chance that your new puppy will suffer from them. But, you’ll still need to take your dog to have regular health checks, and always keep a lookout for anything suspicious.

If you’re adopting a rescue, the same principles should be applied. You won’t know much about your rescue’s medical history, so take him to a vet as soon as possible for a check-up. Regretfully there’s nothing you can do to prevent all of these potential health problems, you can only adequately care for them if they arise.

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Regular Check-Ups Are A Must

Not all Jack Russell problems can be avoided, but regular vet appointments will help increase your dog’s health many times over. Check-ups can identify issues early enough to treat, often times when the problem is noticeable only to a trained veterinarian, so be sure to make these appointments.

Apart from these health issues, take your Jack to the vet, keep an eye on him at home, and your dog will be in good hands. If possible, get some insurance for your pet to protect against costly procedures. Medical costs shouldn’t be an overwhelming concern however, as Jack Russells tend to be happy and healthy canine companions.

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