Spending time with your companion as you do, it is possible to take it for granted whether or not your JRT is healthy.  However, this is very important part of being your companion’s caregiver and should be one of the questions that you think about more often than not.  There are signs, symptoms and subtle tells that will let you know if they are healthy or if a problem is brewing.  A few of them are listed below:

Eating habits JRT’s can be finicky eaters—any JRT owner can attest to that.  However, your companion is usually a big eater, or is finicky more so than usual there may be cause for concern.  Also, if your JRT has gone of their food or water for more than 24 hours it is definitely time to contact your veterinarian.  This is usually a good indication of a problem.

    Full Body Checks Once a month, while grooming or just loving on your JRT, you should run your hands over every part of their body.  You are checking for any noticeable changes such as cuts, lumps, growths or displays of discomfort when a certain area is touch or rubbed.

  Changes in their Gait When you and your JRT are out for a walk, watch and notice how your companion carries themselves.  Do they walk stiff?  Drag their toes? Limp?  Also, do you notice more panting than usual or perhaps a cough?  If so then there is definitely a need to see your veterinarian and follow up.

Watch their Weight       Obesity and being overweight can cause a multitude of physical as well as health problems for your JRT.  Although most JRT’s are very active, a lot can have to do with their environment and their exposure to the chance to exercise.  Make it a priority to keep your JRT on a well-balance, healthy diet, and if things begin to get out of control it is better to handle them sooner than later.

 Monitor their Potty Habits This is one area that is helpful in detecting a problem with your JRT.  There are several warning signs to be on the lookout for such as: diarrhea, constipation, blood or even mucus are the four top warning indicators that may be in your companions stool.  Their urine can be a signal as well if it is dark, cloudy or contains blood.  The key word to remember is that everything is consistent.  If not, then see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

      Check their Teeth As with us, your JRT’s teeth can tell you a lot about how they are doing health-wise.  You should make it a routine to check your companion’s teeth at least every month.  If you notice any change in their teeth and make sure none are loose or cracked.  Check their breath noting if there is an odor.  An odor can indicate anything from digestive issues to tooth and gum infection.  Finally check their gums as healthy gums should appear pink; if they appear dark red or dark in general make sure to have them looked over by a veterinarian.

Look them in the Eyes Look your JRT directly in the eyes and make sure they are clear and the pupils are round and even.  Also, check for any ingrown eyelashes that may come to pose a problem, and make there is no excessive discharge or signs of redness or irritation.  If any of these symptoms are visible, make sure to get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. 

Don’t forget the Nose In most cases your JRT’s nose should be moist and cool, will be free of visible discharge, no evidence of sneezing and no sounds of obstructed breathing.

Check out those Feet Make sure when you do our monthly checks that you include your companions feet in that routing check.  Make sure there are no cuts, scrapes, or sores either on the pads of the feet or between the toes.  Also make sure that your companions toenails are kept as short as possible as long nails can cause problems and discomfort.  Caution: when trimming the nails make sure to be extra careful because if they are trimmed too short, you may hit the quick causing both pain and bleeding.

Lastly, check their Ears Look in your JRT’s ears and make sure there is no wax build-up or swelling.  Smell them as well, because if there is an infection starting you will smell it before you see physical signs of it.  You may clean around the outer area of your companion’s ears, but at no time do you insert anything into the ear canal itself.  If you find anything unusual make sure you see the veterinarian to have it checked out.
If you make sure to do a monthly routine checking these areas, if a problem were to crop up you will notice it well in advance of it becoming a major problem.  It is all about being diligent and keeping the best interest of your JRT in mind.  A healthy companion is a healthy and long living companion which is a win-win situation all the way around.   





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