Jack Russell Health Problems

I remember when I got my first dog and had him home for a while.  Everything was going along just great for a few months, and then I noticed he was getting lethargic, and was moving very slowly.  I didn’t know what was wrong and my dog couldn’t tell me. A friend stopped by and told me to get the dog to a vet, which I did and found out he had an infection.   That’s when I learned that not all Jack Russell health problems can be detected by the owner.  When you think your dog is sick it’s always best to get it to a vet right away.  If you don’t, the results can be devastating and expensive. 

Dealing with potential problems can be problematical at best.  It’s better to learn what you can do to avoid them in order to keep your dog happy and healthy. 

Potential Jack Russell Health Problems 

If your Jack Russell has health problems it can’t tell you, which is different from a human being.  Except for babies, a human can say; “I have a stomach ache”.  Babies will cry to let you know something is wrong.  Most often, dogs will suffer in silence until there is a real pain that needs to be treated.  It’s important that you recognize the symptoms of your Jack Russell health problems so that you learn to avoid these issues in the first place. 

Jack Russells have a reputation for being healthy, compared to other breeds, with long lifespans.  However, that’s not to say that you should disregard any of the following Jack Russell health problems. 


Cataracts may be the most common of all Jack Russell health problems, just as they may be in humans.  The dog will have blurred vision which can eventually lead to blindness.  Normally this is considered an inherited disease, but it can also be caused by diabetes, old age, radiation, eye injury or exposure to high temperatures. 

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Lens Luxation 

This is when the lens of one or both eyes becomes displaced.  It can happen very quickly and is extremely painful.  Blindness can follow quickly. 

Dislocated Kneecaps 

Dislocated kneecaps occur when the kneecap slips off the groove on which it normally sits.  This can be a temporary condition which may correct itself.  When complications occur, such as; arthritis or torn ligaments, surgery may be required. 

While these are the most prevalent Jack Russell health problems there are others which are common to most dogs, namely: infections, allergies, diabetes, arthritis and hip dysphasia, and obesity.  If you make sure your Jack Russell gets plenty of exercise, eats well, is kept clean and is well groomed, many of these health problems will not be an issue.  Visit your vet at least once a year to check for any potential problems.  The earlier you catch a disease, the better it can be treated.

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