A very popular breed in New Zealand & Australia is the Jack Russell Terrier
This active busy hilarious dog is a great favourite, and an ideal companion, for an active person with a good sense of humor who wants a lot of entertainment and mischief in one small dog.
He is often seen in the company of people who favour equestrian pursuits and also in the farming community. A funny and popular event at agricultural shows in New Zealand is the Jack Russell Terrier race, where it is not always certain if the participants will run in the right direction, get along with each other, or even bother to stop at the end of the race.
The Jack Russell Terrier was developed in 19th century England by a clergyman named John Russell. This feisty little terrier was used to hunt small game, particularly fox, by digging the quarry out of its den.
The Jack Russell Terrier;
- is a cheerful, merry, devoted and loving dog.
- It is spirited and obedient, yet completely fearless, sometimes to the detriment of his own safety. This is a dog that thrives on action and adventure and in the process, it often finds itself in the middle of trouble.
- It is a true hunter at heart and will explore, wander, chase and dig when it gets a chance. It is very playful and intelligent and gets along well with children and strangers. It does well with horses, but it may chase cats and is not good with rodents – which for many farmers is considered a bonus.
Like any other breed they are prone to a variety of health problems, with Arthritis being one of them. We look after them, love them and it's very hard to see our beloved little friend suffer from pain, due to Arthritis.
- Prevent an overweight dog, as every kilo to many, is a kilo which has to be carried by his / her joints.
- Exercise will help to maintain not only a healthy weight as well as a mentally happy dog, but is crucial to the mobility of the joints.
- Provide a draft free and dry sleeping area and there is special orthopedic bedding designed for dogs on the market, which support sore joints.
- Massage & Laser therapy or acupuncture , are non-invasive but are able to relief tension of the muscles, which are often tight to compensate for joints, which are either out of alignment or inflamed due to Arthritis. In NZ we are very lucky, as we have vet clinics who provide these services.
Hydrotherapy, getting your dog in the water will allow joints to move more freely! This is a great non-drug way to improve mobility and relieve pain. Depending on your dog’s preferences and specific problems, free swimming may work great, or you may get better results with water treadmill exercise. It can also be a great way to help your dog lose weight
- Nutrition which supports healthy joints;
Most of us have heard of Arthritis in dog joints and the lameness and pain it can cause to our beloved Jack Russell.
What type of Arthritis?
Arthritis means literally inflammation within the joint. Naturally the dogs body uses inflammation as our healing process, as a defense against infections, bacteria or injuries. This type of Arthritis does the opposite and attacks via the immune system the joints. The inflammation it creates can cause damage, pain & less mobility. Tendons, ligaments surrounding the inflamed joint can be affected.
Mechanical or Degenerative Arthritis is mainly damage to the cartilage, which covers the ends of the bones. To help the joints move smoothly the cartilage is smooth. When the cartilage becomes thinner & rough, the bone underneath start repairing this damage but sometimes overgrows which alters the shape of the joint, named Osteoarthritis.
This type of Arthritis affects mainly the joints in older dogs and the ones that had most wear through heavy use like the hip joint. But it can also result from damage to a joint which was fractured or inflamed in the past due to injury, etc.
Pain can be caused by; joints, ligaments, bones, discs, muscles or even other organs inside the body. (referred pain).
It is not always possible to identify the exact cause of the pain, but when it is degenerative osteoarthritis in the spine it's known as spondylosis. This can cause sudden back pain if one of the bones in the spine crunches down and often causes bone spurs.
When the central part of a disc bulges through the outer ring, 'slipped' disc, it causes more often pain in a limb.
What causes arthritis in Jack Russell's?
What is arthritis?
Arthritis is a degenerative condition that affects one or more joints, and can effect dogs of any age, but is more commonly associated with older and aging dogs. It can result in changes to the cartilage, fluid, bones and capsule of the joint.
- A painful, progressive inflammatory disease of the joints
- The joints most commonly affected are the hip, knee, elbow, shoulder, carpus and spinal column
- Causes damage to the joint cartilage resulting in inflammation causing pain
- Pain associated with arthritis is significant. This pain has a profound impact on mobility and quality of life
- Is an ongoing degenerative condition
There are many things that can cause arthritis in dogs such as:
- Traumatic injuries that result in joint instability
- Obesity - being overweight increases the forces acting on the joint
- Genetically weakened or unstable joints e.g. hip dysplasia
- Failure of proper bone development in young dogs
Arthritis can make your dog miss out on the fun things he used to enjoy.
Signs Your Jack Russell May be Suffering from Arthritis
Limping or favouring one or more limbs after resting or being immobile, which then becomes less noticeable after moving around for a while may be a sign of arthritis.
Your dog may become reluctant to do things that he previously could do with ease. You may notice he has become reluctant to jump in and out of the car, or walk up and down stairs.
Arthritic changes can also develop in parts of the spine, which may result in a sore neck or an abnormal hunching posture. Spinal arthritis can also cause lameness of one or both hind legs.
Your dog may tire more easily than normal. This may mean that walks become shorter and more painful for your dog. Your dog may also spend more time sleeping and/or resting than usual.
Arthritic dogs may become irritable. Where once they were placid and friendly, they may become anxious or aggressive when approached or handled, particularly if the petting or handling takes place in a manner that increases their pain.
- Licking, Chewing & Biting
Dogs affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.
Arthritis Treatment for Dogs
Though arthritis cannot be cured, there are various remedies and procedures that can help ease the pain for your pet. The good news is, there are safe and effective ways to ease the pain without resorting to drugs or medications. Arthritis is considered a degenerative condition, this means there is no cure and it will inevitably progress. But there are many treatment options than can relieve pain, and may slow progression.