You might always think that your Jack Russell dog is an example of a healthy, playful and energetic dog. But you should not always think that way. You might not be aware that he is already infected with any of the various neurological diseases.
You need to find out these diseases before it finds your dog. Let’s start first with ataxia. Cerebellar ataxia is described as a muscle or limb disorder that can lead to coordination and balance problem. Awkward movement is often seen in dogs with this disease. In severe case, dogs will have a hard time maintaining balance and, and worst, 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 do exist. Epilepsy is characterized by recurrent unprovoked seizures. This is an inherited disease and is often times diagnosed by a veterinarian through physical and neurological exam. Tests such as blood count, serum chemistry profile, urinalysis, bile tests and thyroid function tests help veterinarian determine seizures and its causes.
Hydrocephalus! Another surprising fact, isn’t it? Hydrocephalus affects not just humans but animals as well. Hydrocephalus is a condition wherein the brain accumulates too much cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This condition occurs when there is a barrier along the fluid pathway preventing the fluid from being absorbed. Hydrocephalus causes seizures, lack of coordination, abnormal behavior and blindness.
Deafness is another disease that affects a Jack Russell dog. Deafness in dogs is the result of the degeneration of the nerves within the ear. Some dogs are only partially deaf thus unnoticeable to owners while some suffers from severe loss of hearing. Dogs with this disease should be taught hand signals to prevent them from injuries and danger since they may not always hear commands or other signs of danger.
One more disease is myelodysplasia. This disease is a malformation of the spinal cord because of the irregular pre-natal development of the neural tube. This neural tube later becomes the spinal cord. This disease is diagnosed through x-rays and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. But there is always one reason to be thankful even if your JRT has myelodysplasia. This disease is not a progressive disease, meaning it does not get worse.
Though some of these neurological diseases may not get worse compared to others, it is always important to visit your veterinarian once a sign is being exhibited. Immediate and proper medical attention is needed to help prevent these diseases from progressing and harming your dog’s life.