Admittedly, we often choose a dog breed based on the level of care required on a daily basis as well as in veterinary care. Thus, asking about possible Jack Russell health problems is considered perfectly normal for prospective owners of these energetic, intelligent and tenacious canines. The following possible health issues in Jack Russells are neither an all-inclusive list nor an all-definitive guide for diagnosis and, thus, expert veterinary attention is still required when certain physical problems do crop up in the dog.
Jack Russell Ear Infections
The ear infections in dogs can be the result of foreign bodies, tumours and parasites in the ear canal; allergies to foods, drugs and chemicals; yeast, fungi and bacteria in the ears; thyroid, metabolic and immune disorders; and excessive hair growth or hair removal in and around the ears. Symptoms will include vigorous shaking of the ears, yeasty smell coming from the area, inflamed ear canal, and sensitivity to the touch of the ears. Immediate veterinary care is necessary to prevent health complications arising from a relatively simple issue.
Jack Russell Eye Issues
Many of the Jack Russell health problems can be seen in the eye area, of which the causes can be genetic or acquired. Keep in mind that even with the best efforts of breeders to exclude the so-called bad genes, problems will still crop up in the dog. For the Jack Russells, the following are the most common eye problems:
- Lens luxation is an inherited disease where one or both lenses become partially or completely dislocated. When left untreated, it can result to blindness. Symptoms include painful, red and opaque eyes.
- Cataracts refer to the opaqueness of the lens, which can either be inherited or acquired as well as juvenile or late-onset types.
Other eye problems include entropion, cherry eyes, ectopic cilia, dermoid, follicular conjunctivitis, and puppy strangles. Only a veterinarian will be able to diagnose these health issues with the use of tests, techniques and tools.
Jack Russell Allergic Reactions
Probably the most common of Jack Russell health problems are allergies, which can be caused by foods, drugs, plants, insects, pollens, moulds, mildew and fleas. The symptoms often depend on the allergen but will almost always include severe itching, swollen skin, digestive problems, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty in breathing. Fortunately, these symptoms can be cured by steroids, antihistamines and immunotherapy depending on the identified allergen.
Jack Russell Heart Diseases
A Jack Russell may not suffer from a human-like heart attack but it is still subject to many other coronary diseases. The causes can range from sudden obstruction of the brain’s blood flow to the poor heart blood supply. Depending on the causes, the Jack Russell can either collapse in an unconscious heap or become stiff but remain conscious although we must emphasize that both cases require veterinary attention to prevent serious health complications. This is especially true for cases of cardiomyopathy as sudden death has been known to happen.
One of the more overlooked Jack Russell health problems is heat stroke, which can be diagnosed when the dog is extremely salivating, panting and slowly losing consciousness along with dry gums and wide eyes. Heat stroke is aggravated by water deprivation, enclosed spaces, excessive humidity and obesity, all of which can be avoided with the proper care and attention by the owner. Of course, if heat stroke does happen, immediate veterinary care is critical in saving the life of the Jack Russell.
Jack Russell Obesity
Just like in humans, obesity presents many health complications in Jack Russells. These complications include compromised immune function, musculoskeletal problems, cardiovascular diseases and abnormal sugar intolerance, to name a few. The sad thing is that obesity can be avoided and, thus, the above mentioned Jack Russell health problems can also be prevented. Pet owners are advised to provide for measured amounts of dog food, for sufficient time for physical exercise and for regular feeding to increase the metabolic rate.
Jack Russell Skin Diseases
Jack Russells may also suffer from various skin diseases like abscesses, sores and dandruff. Treatments are available for these types of skin diseases including special dog shampoos, antibacterial medications, and simple hygiene. Again, veterinary care is important in full recovery.
There are other Jack Russell health problems like cerebellar ataxia, hydrocephaly, cryptochidism and hernias. However, these diseases be also present in other dog breeds, thus, there is no sense in being afraid to own a Jack Russell because of these. Just give it the good care of a good father of the family and everybody should be fine for a long time.