Genetic Disorders of Parson (Jack) Russell Terriers
"We need to quit whispering about defects, and gossiping about defects, and instead set up a sound program that allows the standard selection procedures to go on so that we breed good dogs and avoid major defects."
Lens luxation: a condition where the lens in the eye is displaced into an abnormal position.
Myasthenia gravis: a syndrome characterized by muscle fatigue due to an autoimmune disease, which produces chemical abnormalities of the muscles and nerves. An enlarged esophagus called megaesophagus can result and causes regurgitation of food.
von Willebrand's disease: a type of bleeding disorder caused by defective blood platelet function. An autosomal trait affecting both sexes.
Hypothyroidism: Destruction of the thyroid gland due to an attack from the animal's own immune system causes rough, scaly skin; hair loss; weight gain.
Cryptorchidism: Absence of testicles due to retention in the abdomen or inguinal region, may be one or both sided or may slide in and out of the scrotum.
Hermaphrodite: Presence of gonadal tissue for both sexes due to the presence of a full compliment of both male and female chromosomes.
Short or "High" Toes. This is a developmental condition where the outside toes, usually on one or both front feet, do not grow to normal length, giving the appearance of being a "short" or "high" toe that does not touch the ground when full the terrier is full grown.
Absence of premolars (one or more). Terrier is missing one or more pre-molars; does not have full denture.
* Dr. George A. Padgett, DVM is a veterinary pathologist at Michigan State University with a special interest in canine genetics. He recommends open record keeping and that breeders should report ALL evaluations to databases, including abnormal and normal. Without such open and honest reporting, we cannot expect to improve the genetic health of our breed as a whole.
All rights reserved. Copyright 2005 by Annette Gilliam