Eyesight of Jack Russell Terriers

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Introduction to the Eyesight of Jack Russell Terriers

For every owner of an animal, their health is of the utmost important. While there are huge amounts of different considerations that need to be made regarding this factor, perhaps the most common serious ailment for this particular breed of dog is the eyesight of JRTs. Although there are no specific problems with eyesight that only Jack Russell Terriers suffer from when compared to other breeds, there are still a few general illnesses that every owner should remain vigilant over.

As with any illness, a potential problem with the eyesight of JRTs should be quickly examined by a qualified vet. This means that every owner should ensure that they have comprehensive pet insurance to make sure that they can afford any unexpected trips to the local practice. So what are some of the more common problems that the eyesight of Jack Russell Terriers can suffer from?


As in humans, many older dogs get cataracts and these can present a serious problem to the vision of the dog. Should the eyesight of JRTs affected by this problem become so bad that they are seriously visually impaired, a vet will usually perform an operation whereby the lens is removed. It is extremely important to know whether the parents of a Jack Russell Terrier suffered from this problem, as the condition is often hereditary. Breeding of Jack Russells with a history of cataracts is not recommended at all.

The detection of cataracts is often tough, but they are usually discovered should a dog stop reacting to obvious visual stimuli. They can also often be seen by the naked eye, appearing as small dots on the lens.


This is a condition of the eyesight of Jack Russell Terriers whereby hairs grow on the inside of the eyelid, therefore causing massive irritation to the cornea and usually infection. Should this problem not be treated – usually by a process known as electro-epilation – blindness can occur due to the infections that are present.

Detecting this problem in the eyesight of JRTs is usually easy, as the affected eye will become sore and often exhibits a discharge. The dog will also often blink a lot and will often constantly scratch the area of their eye with their paw. In particularly bad cases, the eye could also become ulcerated – something that will be obvious to even the most unobservant of people.


Glaucoma is a very serious problem for the eyesight of Jack Russell Terriers and usually ends up causing the dog to at least go partially blind. It is caused through an excessive amount of fluid building up in the aqueous humor, which therefore exerts pressure on the rest of the eye. It can either be a genetic trait that the specific Jack Russell has, or can be caused due to another problem with the animal (therefore making glaucoma a secondary problem).

Catching glaucoma in the eyesight of JRTs is something that is not always easy; however it is possible if the owner performs regular checks on the eyes of their pet. Some symptoms are the dog rubbing its eye, squinting, having a dilated pupil or having a cloudy cornea. The eye will also not react to light in as quicker fashion as it previously did. Unfortunately, if the signs are not noticed within, at most, a few days, the affected eye will usually end up going blind.

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