Now recognized as the Parson Russell Terrier by the American Kennel Club, the Jack Russell Terrier is a friendly and energetic breed. These dogs were originally bred in nineteenth-century England for fox hunting and, today, are often used as companion animals for horses and trained for agility and obedience competitions. Though they are relatively small, Jack Russell Terriers have a tenacious personality and require regular exercise and attention. These dogs can be very affectionate and though they may not respond well to rough handling by toddlers, they generally do well with children.
The Jack Russell Terrier is a breed relatively unspoiled by many serious health defects, but they are prone to eye problems like glaucoma and cataracts as well as musculoskeletal conditions such as patellar luxation. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Jack Russell Terriers are susceptible to a number of eye problems including cataracts, glaucoma and distichiasis. Cataracts involve the loss of transparency in the lens which may correspond to partial or complete loss of vision. Glaucoma is a condition in which increased fluid pressure within the eye can lead to blindness or damage to the optic nerve. Surgical repairs are an option for both of these conditions and costs range from $1,000 to $2,000 for cataract surgery and from $2,000 to $4,000 for glaucoma surgery.
Distichiasis is a condition in which small hairs grow abnormally on the inner surface of the eyelid. These hairs cause discomfort and irritation of the eye which often leads to inflammation and discharge. If untreated, the cornea may become ulcerated and infections are likely to develop. The abnormal hairs can be removed through electro-epilation or cryotherapy for between $500 and $1,000, after which antibiotic eye drops will most likely be prescribed.
Patellar luxation is a condition in which the knee cap, or patella, slips out of its normal location intermittently. In mild cases, the knee cap may fall back to its proper location unassisted but, in severe cases, it may become such a frequent problem that surgery is necessary to repair the joint. Surgery to correct this condition generally costs between $1,200 and $4,000 per leg. Another condition common to Jack Russell Terriers is Legg-Calve Perthes. This is a condition in which blood flow to the femur is interrupted, causing degeneration in the hip joint. Legg-Calve Perthes can result in muscular atrophy, pain and lameness. The favored treatment for this condition is a surgical repair of the femoral head and neck which can cost between $1,000 and $3,000.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.