You can always think of your Jack Russell dog as an example of a healthy, playful and energetic dog. But you shouldn’t always think that way. You may not know that you are already infected with any of the various neurological diseases.
You need to discover these diseases before you find your dog. Let’s start with ataxia first. Cerebellar ataxia is described as a disorder of the muscles or limbs that can lead to problems with coordination and balance. Uncomfortable movements are often seen in dogs with this disease. In severe cases, dogs will have a difficult time balancing and, worse, a dog will not be able to walk or stand.
Another disease that affects your Jack Russell Terrier’s nervous system is epilepsy. Canine epilepsy may seem surprising to some, but it does exist. Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. This is an inherited disease and is often diagnosed by a veterinarian through a physical and neurological examination. Tests such as blood count, serum chemical profile, urinalysis, bile tests, and thyroid function tests help the veterinarian to determine seizures and their causes.
Hydrocephalus! Another surprising fact, isn’t it? Hydrocephalus affects not only humans, but also animals. Hydrocephalus is a condition in which the brain accumulates too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This condition occurs when there is a barrier along the path of the liquid that prevents the liquid from being absorbed. Hydrocephalus causes seizures, coordination, abnormal behavior, and blindness.
Deafness is another disease that affects a Jack Russell dog. Deafness in dogs is the result of degeneration of the nerves within the ear. Some dogs are only partially deaf, so they go unnoticed by owners, while others suffer from severe hearing loss. Dogs with this disease should be taught to signal with their hands to avoid injury and danger, as they may not always hear commands or other danger signals.
One more disease is myelodysplasia. This disease is a malformation of the spinal cord due to irregular prenatal development of the neural tube. This neural tube then becomes the spinal cord. This disease is diagnosed by X-rays and analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid. But there is always a reason to be thankful even if your JRT has myelodysplasia. This disease is not a progressive disease, which means that it does not get worse.
Although some of these neurological diseases may not get worse compared to others, it is always important to visit your vet once a sign shows. Immediate and appropriate medical attention is needed to help prevent these diseases from progressing and damaging your dog’s life.