You might always think that your Jack Russell dog is an example of a healthy, playful, and energetic dog. But you shouldn’t always think of it that way. You may not be aware that he is already infected with one of the various neurological diseases.
You need to find out about these diseases before he finds your dog. Let’s start with ataxia first. Cerebellar ataxia is described as a muscle or limb disorder that can lead to problems with coordination and balance. Awkward movements are often seen in dogs with this condition. In severe cases, dogs will have difficulty maintaining balance, and even 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. It is an inherited condition and is often diagnosed by a veterinarian during a physical and neurological exam. Tests such as blood count, serum chemical profile, urine tests, bile tests, and thyroid function tests help the vet 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 fluid path preventing fluid from being absorbed. Hydrocephalus causes seizures, in coordination, abnormal behavior and blindness.
Deafness is another illness that affects a Jack Russell dog. Deafness in dogs is the result of degeneration of the nerves in the ear. Some dogs are only partially deaf and therefore imperceptible to owners, while some suffer from severe hearing loss. Dogs with this condition need to learn hand signs to avoid injury and danger, as they don’t always hear commands or other danger signs.
Another disease is myelodysplasia. This disease is a malformation of the spinal cord due to the irregular prenatal development of the neural tube. This neural tube later becomes the spinal cord. This disease is diagnosed by X-rays and analysis of 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.
While some of these neurological conditions do not get worse compared to others, it is still important to see your vet once a sign appears. Immediate and appropriate medical attention is needed to help prevent these diseases from progressing and damaging your dog’s life.