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How to Be Alert For Health Problems in Jack Russell Terriers

Shelly Seigler

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Jack Russell Terriers gained in popularity as a pet once appearing on the hit show Frasier. We all saw Eddy's quirky personality and feisty intelligence and the breed grew on us. Although this breed will bring you much joy during your life together, be aware that the breed is not without its health concerns. Read below to make yourself more familiar with health issues commonly found in Jack Russell Terriers.

Step 1: If you feel your Jack Russell Terrier is exhibiting signs of difficulty with his sight, trust your instincts and have him tested by your veterinarian. This breed has been known to be affected by cataracts; the sooner the diagnosis, the better the chances for surgical treatment and a full recovery.

Step 2: Pay special attention to the appearance of your terrier's eyes as well. If they appear red or opaque, it could be an indication of the inherited disease lens luxation, which is fairly common. When this condition exists, it causes one or both of your terrier's lenses to become dislocated from their position behind the cornea. As you can imagine, this condition is painful for the dog and if left untreated can lead to blindness. If you intend to breed your terrier, it's a good idea to have the Canine Eye Registry Foundation test to check for hereditary defects such as lens luxation.

Step 3: In male terriers you might find a condition which is relatively easy to detect and affects his testicles. If he is afflicted with Cryptorchidism, one or both of his testicles will have not descended into his scrotum. The way the dog owner can tell this problem exists is to examine the scrotum of his male terrier. If it appears as though the dog has one testicle in the scrotum, it's likely he suffers from this problem. ("Suffer" is probably too strong of a word as the condition is not life threatening, however might increase the dog's proneness to cancer. )

Step 4: After exercising your Jack Russell pay attention to his breathing. If at any time he has difficulty catching his breath or if he wheezes, he could be experiencing Cardiomyopathy. This abnormality of the heart muscle has serious effects, including death. If you notice any irregularities in your dog's breathing, set up an appointment with your vet immediately.

Step 5: If you notice your dog appears to stagger when he walks, he seems uncoordinated or has difficulty standing, he could be experiencing small tremors. The tremors could be a result of Ataxia, a progressive neurological condition that can occur in Jack Russell Terriers. If you see these symptoms, get him into the vet for a diagnosis.

Step 6: Be aware that a condition that affects many small breeds, Legg Calve Perthes, can also affect your Terrier. This degeneration of the thigh bone won't show up before 6 months of age, but generally manifests while the dog is still a puppy or a young adult. If it seems one of his legs is sore or he is experiencing lameness of the hind legs, he could be suffering from this disease.

Step 7: Because Congenital Deafness can also make an appearance in this breed, you'll want to insist your vet perform the BAER test for hearing if you suspect your dog has hearing loss.

This article was written by Shelly Seigler. Enjoy unbeatable quality and prices at Discount-Pet-Mall on dog beds and indoor pet gates .


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