Toxicity: Warning Signs in Jack Russell Terriers
"Knowing one's dogs and recognizing differences in their behavior are vitally important and may save their lives."
Knowing one's dogs and recognizing differences in their behavior are vitally important and may save their lives. It's always wise to consult a veterinarian, rather than to treat a suspected illness oneself. Don't simply shrug off lethargy by blaming it "on the weather". Be alert, too, to other signals, such as:
- BREATHING DIFFICULTY - Labored or difficult breathing, a change
from normal respirations (reduced or
very rapid), very deep "stomach" breathing, shallow breathing or
- UNUSUAL ACTIONS - Pawing at the head, chasing its tail or trying
to bite itself. (Pawing at the ears
may indicate a ringing sound indicative of some toxicity).
Increased salivation; frequent swallowing -
increased and unusual thirst; watering of the eyes or nose; dry
mouth - numbness of tissues when pressed
with a fingernail; pale gums (indicating possible shock
syndrome); dilated pupils and bumping into things.
- DIGESTIVE SYSTEM UPSETS - Diarrhea (foul smelling); foul breath
odor; vomiting; pain on defecation or
when palpating the abdomen; cramps; constipation; blood or mucous
in feces or vomitus. (Save part of any
unusual substance the dog excretes in a clean medicine bottle and
take with dog to the veterinarian).
- TEMPERATURE VARIATIONS - High or low temperatures and unusual
swings in temperature.
- HEART PROBLEMS - Weak or irregular beat from the dog's normal
beat. (A dog's heart does not beat with the same type of rhythm as a human's. Listen carefully several times when your dog is at rest under normal circumstances). Fleeting pulse or rapid or slow pulse. To take a dog's pulse, locate the artery in the
dog's groin when the dog is at rest to find normal pulse. (This is also a pressure point in case of a bad cut below the point).
- NERVOUS SYSTEM PROBLEMS - Shivering; unusual, noncoordinated
movements; shock; coma;
- BLOOD CONTENT PROBLEMS - Your vet may need to take a blood sample
from the dog's jugular vein for
analysis of calcium, phosphorous, lead, glucose, uric acid, or
- URINARY/INTERNAL TRACT PROBLEMS - Increased or decreased volume of urine; pain on urination or defecation; blood in urine or stool; increased frequency; loose stools.
Val R. Beasley, D.V.M. Ph.D., at the Toxicology Hotline observes, "When a pet is poisoned you should contact your veterinarian before any emergency treatment is begun, and then follow the veterinarian's instructions... In most cases, poisoning can be prevented, but in instances of actual toxicosis, the correct actions often can save the animal's life." Beasley also notes that three things should be kept in mind to avoid toxicosis in a dog: 1) The personality of the dog, 2) The dog's environment, and 3) The alertness of the animal owner or caretaker.
Normal Vital Signs (Dog)
|Respirations per Minute||Heartbeats per Minute||Temperature oF|
Article posted with permission of the Pacific Northwest Jack Russell Terrier Network
May 1997 Terrier Tails newsletter
Courtesy of Jena Cornehl