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Collapsing Jack Russell

by Tal
(England )


We have a 6 year old male Jack Russell called Alfie. He's my beautiful boy and we love him dearly.

My question is about him collapsing. It first happend when he was 9 months old, we had taken him for a walk and he was catchng his ball. My Husband had thrown it once when he just suddenly collapsed and was out for around a minute. It looked like he had died, and we were just running with him to get him to a vet when he came round.

We took him to the vet, but by this time he was back to his normal bubbly, excitable self.

To cut a long story short Alfie then endured two years, of tests, different meds, inhalers etc. The heart specialist advised that Alfies heart was enlarged and he thoguht the problem was with his lungs....but still to this day we still don't have aproper diagnosis or solution to the problem.

Even an expensive heart monitor was strapped to him in abid to work out what was causing it, but still the vets came up with nothing, calling him "an inigma" in that they couldn't find anything specifically.

The vets told us to keep him calm and quiet and wanted to continue testing - no doubt because he is insured - After 2 years and still no answers my husband and I took the decision that we weren't going to put our boy through any more. That he was going to be allowed to live his life to the fullest and we would accept that one day he just might not wake up from one of these episodes.

Thankfully Alfie is now 6, he still looks like a puppy. Everybody who meets him LOVES him and other dog owners always compliment us on what a happy, healthy dog he is.

Thankfully the episodes of collapse became less, indeed the vets said he may just grow out of it.

However we have been nearly two years without an episode, but this week - yesterday Alfie collapsed again.

My theory is it's after periods of excitement as Tuesday we had 3 children over to play with my Daughter and ALfie was in the garden as one of the kids is afraid of all dogs!!

Yesterday the postman came to the door Alfie went nuts as he usually does....and collapsed immediately afterards.

I did as I usually do - sat with him, talking to him and stroked him, I gave him a few minutes then he went for a drink and a wee and seemed fine. He recovers very quickly from these episodes, but i do still worry.

Has anyone else had experience of their JRT collapsing did you get any answers or a diagnosis from the vets?

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Mar 22, 2017
by: Anonymous

my jack russell terrier also collapses out of the blue. before he collapses he lets out a long moan. hes been doing it on a regular basis for the past two years. hes 11 years old now. he always seems to be his normal boysterious self after these episodes. i was extremely worried until i read these comments as the vets couldnt find anything wrong. so thank you. you have put my mind at rest a little bit as i thought i was the only one.

Mar 31, 2016
Collapse, tremble and cough
by: Anonymous

My JR, Racquet, collapsed for the first time at age 11. She was next door visiting her neighbor dog friends, when I called her to come home. She came running, across a few acres, when she came inside, she just fell on her side with her legs straight out. Her eyes were open, she didn't lose conscienceless, but she just lay there for about 15 seconds, until my husband picked her up and held her. A few days later, it happened again. I took her to the vet. They did an X-ray of her heart,,didn't see anything. She has collapsed 5 times in the past 2 months. It is always after she has exercised in some way. It scares me to death, as it looks as if she has killed over and died. After it happens, she lays low the rest of day. Wish I had some answers!!! Also, in the past year, she trembles a lot. She also does this thing that we call a "fake cough". Do all three of these things go together??

Aug 28, 2014
jack Russell collapse
by: Karen

My Jack Russell Lucy collapsed last night after strenuous exercise, rushed her to the vets, who wasn't very forthcoming, said it could be epilepsy, but after reading that epilepsy usually occurs when a dog is relaxed or sleeping and never in exercise, this the second time it has happened and always when she has been overdoing it. Worried xx

Aug 22, 2012
by: Anonymous

I can understand how worried you must be, but it sounds as though you have given him every care in the world. My little JR was about 6 or so when he collapsed - could not walk at all, and did not get up after a few minutes. I immediately took him to the vet - he thought he might have shaking white dog syndrome. Another vet disagreed so who knows but it does appear to be an inflammation of the central nervous system, I think brought on by stress. He treated him with steroids and he recovered but did have some knuckling (can't lift his paws well when walking) for a while and unsteadiness. At his advice, I give him 500 Mg of fish oil a day and so far (this was 3-4 yrs ago) no more episodes. Perhaps that is worth considering. I do try to be sure he is not stressed. Hope your little guy lives a long, happy life.

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