Health Concerns for Jack Russell Terriers
Health Concerns for
Jack Russell Terriers
Jack Russell Terriers are adorable
miniature heart stealers that are most recognizable from the popular
show "Frasier". Even though they are so cute, they do sometimes come
with some pretty big health issues. Let us just discuss a couple of the
health issues, remembering that these issues only represent health
concerns that the breed in general are prone to.
is a condition that affects the hip joint formation. LCP is believed to
be genetic. Most often seen between four months of age to one year of
age. What happens is the blood supply to the femoral head is somehow
blocked causing bone cells to die. If the blood supply is restored the
femoral head will reform but at odds with the joint socket. The
severity of the deformation differs and how it is treated will vary
depending on the severity. In mild cases treatment consists of limiting
the dog's activity and using anti-inflammatory medications. More severe
cases will require surgery.
Patella: most simply put
is a dislocation of the knee cap. This most often happens when there is
some form of LCP putting abnormal pressure on the knee joint causing it
to become displaced. Surgery is the best course of action. The earlier
that this condition is diagnosed and treated, the less chance of the
dog developing arthritis.
condition usually occurs in fetal development, at birth, or as a result
of ear infections. When congenital deafness is a result of heredity, it
is most common in with the merle or piebald gene. These two genes
interfere with the formation of the sound-receptor cells. The
confirmation of hearing loss is done by an elecrodiagnostic procedure.
Unfortunately, there is no way to correct hearing loss.
Ataxia: this condition
results from the deterioration of the cerebellum's cortex making it a
neurological disorder. The dog will appear wobbly on its feet and/or
become disorientated. Progression takes about one to two years, and
some dogs can live relatively normal lives. Unfortunately, there is no
treatment at this time.
Willebrand's Disease: this is
a disease that is inherited and affects the platelet function. This is
a serious bleeding disorder that could cause your dog to bleed to death
if not watched carefully. Transfusions are common to attempt to replace
the blood lost until the bleeding can be controlled. Special care
should be taken when trimming your dog's toenails so as to not cut into
Toes: this condition is not
serious but mainly affects the toes of the front feet. The toes are
shorter than the other toes and appear to set higher on the foot and
not touch the ground. This is considered a breed defect and does not
affect the life of your dog.
A responsible breeder will have
their puppies hearing examined and checked for all of the health
concerns for Jack Russell Terriers. As the Jack Russell dog breeder
to provide a BAER certificate
indicating the puppy has normal hearing. The parents of the puppies
should have eye exams (CERF) and orthopedics (OFA) exams certifying
their health. This is not a guarantee that the puppy will not have eye
or bone troubles, one cannot guarantee this; this just insures that the
parents are free of health issues.
Do not let these health concerns for
Jack Russell Terriers deter you from bringing one of these bundles of
love into your heart and home. Do your research; see the parents and
their vet records, and most importantly take your new bundle of energy
for a vet check-up as soon as possible after you bring him or her home.
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