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jack russell
health issues

8 Health Issues That Frequently Impact
Jack Russell Terriers


Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most loved dog breeds for a long list of reasons. They are sweet, energetic, and intelligent. These qualities make the personality of a Jack Russell Terrier favorable. For the most part, Jack Russell Terriers tend to have quality health. Despite their tendency to have a strong immune system, Jack Russell Terriers are susceptible to tons of health problems. Here are 8 Health issues that frequently impact Jack Russell Terriers.

dog looking poorly on a black sofa

1.  Liver Issues

This dog breed is the most likely to develop PSS or portosystemic shunt. PSS is a liver disorder that causes essential blood to flow around the liver, instead of going into the organ. This lack of blood supply leads to deprivation, damaging the function and growth of the liver. PSS will eventually severely harm your Jack Russell Terrier. This is because with lack of blood supply, toxins won’t be able to be flushed out.

sad looking dog leaning on a camera

2.  Obesity

Monitoring the food intake and diet of your Jack Russell Terrier is important in preventing obesity. When this dog breed becomes overweight or obese, it leads to a vairety of health issues. These health issues include: back pain, poor metabolism, heart disease, and joint problems. Make sure that your Jack Russell Terrier is at a healthy weight, and receives a balanced diet.

3.  Cardiomyopathy

Jack Russell Terriers can develop heart diseases when they are older. Cardiomyopathy is a heart disease that causes the heart muscle to weaken over time. Signs of this heart disease can include shortness of breath, resistance to activity, and lack of energy.

older looking dog, looking into the camera

4.  Dysplasia

This health issue impacts the hip and elbow joints of Jack Russell Terriers. Dysplasia is a disease that prevents joints from fully developing. If your dog has this disease, they may also develop arthritis later on as a result of the joint pain.

Physical discomfort and yelps of pain can indicate that your dog is suffering from dysplasia or a similar joint problem. “Dysplasia can be improved through surgery. The sooner this disease is treated, the better off your Jack Russell Terrier will be,” shares Chris Ritter, writer at Eliteassignmenthelp.

Jack Russell
Health Issues

5.  Dental Disease

The most common health issue amongst pets is dental disease. During the first two years of a dog's life is when dental issues most frequently occur. Jack Russell Terriers are the dog breed most susceptible to poor dental health.

An excess of tartar build up on the teeth can create gum and root infections in Jack Russell Terriers. If not immediately treated, your dog can lose their teeth and be at risk for other health issues and diseases.

dog with mouth open showing teeth

6.  Epilepsy

Dogs are able to have epilepsy and experience seizures. There are 3 types of seizures dogs can experience: reactive, primary and secondary. Jack Russell Terriers have been known to inherit epilepsy. Seizures in dogs are often a side effect of other health issues.

Luckily, medication can be used to treat epilepsy in Jack Russell Terriers. “If your dog is having an intense seizure, access medical attention. Also be cautious of being near your Russell Terrier when they are having a seizure because they can physically harm you,” warns Harvey Dillion, editor at State Of Writing.

7.  Primary Lens Luxation

This eye condition is another disease that your Russell Terrier may inherit. Primary Lens Luxation is a disease that degrades the fibers that hold the lens of the eye. When this occurs, it blocks eye circulation.

Surgery can be counted to relieve any pain, and help prevent secondary glaucoma. Secondary glaucoma is a painful eye disease that eventually may lead to blindness. Redness, watering eyes, and squinting are some signs that your dog is suffering from some sort of eye disease.

dog with sad eyes

8.  Mast Cell Tumor

Your Jack Rusell Terrier could potentially develop a mast cell tumor. This is a type of skin cancer that affects multiple dog breeds. They can appear like normal skin lesions and lumps, so identifying a mast cell tumor is tricky. If you notice a suspicious lump, book an appointment with your vet to get it investigated.

This extra caution can help you prevent your dog from suffering long term. The quicker a mast cell tumor is identified and removed, the easier it will be for your Jack Rusell Terrier to recover from skin cancer.

As you can see, Jack Russell Terriers can develop all types of diseases. While some are impossible to prevent because they are inherited, focusing on your dog’s health will help them become stronger. Regular vet checkups, paying attention to behavioral changes, and caring well for your Russell Terrier will reduce health issues.


dog running in woodskeep your Jack Russell healthy!

Author Bio

Writer Madeline Miller works at both Custom Research Paper and Simplegrad. Madeline writes about dog breeds and blogs at Top Canadian Writers.


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