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Re: Eye problems in JRT'S

Posted by:  Claudia A. Costa
Posted on:  May 31, 2001 at 16:27:26

In Reply to: Eye problems in JRT'S
Posted by:  John R. Sloan
Posted on:  May 31, 2001 at 15:17:36


: I have a 2-1/2 year old male JRT and he is experiencing a problem with his right eye. He keeps squinting with it and it looks glassy when he is squinting. I have had him to the Vet to check this out. I was told he has a calcium deposit on his eye. A little white spot. The vet dosen't belive this is the cause and gave him drops. I then took him to an ophthalmology doctor and he changed the drops to another type. He checked the pressure in the eye and said it was low. He then said to try the drops for two weeks and see what happens. He said it could be the original drops, it could be lyme desease, or the spot causing the problem. He does not squint all the time. Only once in a while just recently. Other times the eye looks great. Has this happened to any other JRT's out there? Help! It sounds like they are guessing at my little buddies expense! I love my dog. Buy the way, his name is Rimshot.

------------------ Response Area -------------------
Hi John.

Yes, jrts are known to have eye problems and some of them if not handled immediately can lead to blindness.

You said you went to an opthomologist. Is he board certified? If not, please run--do not walk--to a board certified opthomologist. Go to for one near you. Did you have a CERF test performed? Only a board certified opthomologist is to administer one and a jrt should have one performed every year from ages 1-8.

It may be nothing -- but there are things like primary lens luxation which when the lens detaches you only have 72 hours to get the dog surgery or it will go blind. Besides lens luxation is painful.

If the pressure in your dog's eye is low--something is going on and you must get a handle on it right away.

Please visit and you can read about primary lens luxation; juvenile cataracts; glaucoma and PRA--all eye problems which are affecting the breed.

Once you get a handle on what it is, PLEASE tell the breeder about it. These diseases are inhereted (there may be other causes--but they are inherited mostly). Your breeder should know that the sire and dam produced a dog affected with a genetic defect (if it turns out to be one of the above). Also under no circumstances should your dog be bred if it turns out to be one of the inheritable eye diseases. If it poked its eye or has an infection--that is different. But, lens luxation, juvenile catracts and PRA are serious.

I cannot urge you enough to get to a board certified opthomologist right away and find out exactly what is going on and why the pressure is low.

To everyone, PLEASE get those jack russells CERF tested once a year whether you are breeding or not. A CERF tests may pick up on what is going on in their eyes and give you a head start on the precious hours you have to save their eyesight.

Please CERF tests your jrts annually.

Please contact me with any questions you may have,

Claudia A. Costa