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HELP Jack Russell Health Concerns

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by PippaTheJRT, Nov 22, 2021 at 6:29 PM.


  1. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    Hi,
    This is going to be a long one so please bare with me.


    Myself and my partner rehomed a 7 year old (8 in March 2022) Jack Russell Terrier in early July 2021. She was rehomed from my partners family, who never took her to the vets (as far as we’re aware) despite her unplanned pregnancy (age 3) and suspected life long allergies.


    She was taken to the vets in May 2021 for her Vaccines and to discuss her allergies in preparation of us taking her. She was given Piriton, which didn’t work at all.


    We booked her in at her new vets closer to where we live in the first week of us having her, initially with the intention of discussing her allergies, instead, her allergies ended up on the back-burner for what we suspected to be a more serious issue. We discovered a lump under one of her nipples.


    The vet told us to keep an eye on it until she came into heat as it could just be a hormonal mass, and she was due in heat by the end of August. We waited as instructed, but while the lump didn’t grow, she didn’t come into heat either. Until early November 2021. She is now booked in to be spayed (as we always planned to do, despite her age) and have the lump removed in February 2022.


    Can anyone give me their experience with dogs having a lump? Was it cancerous? We are testing the lump when it’s removed to check for this. Some support of any kind is welcome.


    Meanwhile…


    Pippa was graze fed at her old home, with 2 other dogs. How much (or whether) she ate was not monitored. She was fed a low quality dry dog food, if or when she ate.


    When we took her, we decided to put her on Royal Canin Jack Russell Terrier dog food. We chose this brand in preparation of moving her to their hypoallergenic dog food if it seemed necessary for her allergies. She refused to eat it. We bought Royal Canin Wet Small Dog food to mix in, with hopes it would help. It didn’t. She starved herself for weeks, only eating when absolutely essential.


    We stopped all treats while going through this stage, presuming her refusal was due to her old owners giving her human food constantly to the point she didn’t need to eat her own dog food. Dog food wasn’t normal for her.


    As a last resort after trying numerous other brands, both dry & wet, we decided to put her on a raw food (Poppy’s Picnic). She LOVES it. I’m well aware of the risks raw food carries, but the risks of her starving herself to death are greater, or at least that’s how I see it anyway. Feedback is welcome.


    I told this story as it may be relevant to her newest health concern. She has begun urinating in the house (8 times in 1 month, beginning October 23rd). She’s had a urine sample & came back clear but has been put on antibiotics (Synulox) for 7 days before trying Cystocentesis next.


    She has never urinated in the house previously, unless absolutely desperate. I work from home so I’m available all hours of the day to take her outside, and she does know how to tell me she needs out when she does. She also doesn’t appear to be urinating because she’s desperate, it’s more that she isn’t aware she needs the toilet. She will be lay down asleep and will have an accident in her bed, or most recently, while lying on the floor playing with her toys. She licks herself obsessively, and did this when the urination problem began, not when she came into heat. I’ve had a few people presume heat to be the reason why, I don’t believe that to be true.


    Again, any help is greatly appreciated! Any advice or comparisons would be helpful.


    Pippa is fine in herself, she doesn’t seem in pain or uncomfortable. Her allergies are still a concern but I’m taking things one step at a time. I hope to begin investigating her allergies again in February/March 2022 once she has had her surgery. Her symptoms of allergies are minor, she isn’t in great discomfort from what I can tell or I would not be disregarding them temporarily.


    Thank you for any feedback you can provide. She does have a few other health concerns that the vets are aware of such as a spot/ulcer like lump just under her mouth and a cyst like lump on her head between her eye & ear. Any feedback you can provide on these would be helpful too. Apologies for descriptions being quite vague.


    Any questions, feel free to ask, I just really need some support. I thought that by rehoming her, we would be giving her a better life with access to high quality food and vet treatment when needed. I don’t know what I’ve done wrong and I’m beginning to feel very disheartened.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Can’t help with the lump but her leaking urine whilst asleep or lying down could be related to a slack bladder, as you say infection has been ruled out.

    Propalin syrup can help with that … it tightens the bladder sphincter.

    Ask the vet about prescribing.

    The raw diet is unlikely to be having any impact on this ime.

    If she’s happy and thriving on raw then carry on with it. I don’t see there being any particular downsides to a good raw diet if it suits dog and owner tbh. Vets can sometimes be negative about it though for some reason, I believe.
     
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  3. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    We tried changing her to a wet food more recently, and once again she refused to eat. If it’s between raw food and not eating at all, I have to choose raw, regardless of Vet opinion.

    I’ll definitely bring up Propalin Syrup when I’m back at the Vets next week if the antibiotics haven’t helped. I’m only sticking with it in case it’s Vaginitis which based on Dr. Google, sometimes doesn’t show up in urine samples, and therefore may still be remedied by antibiotics (I hope).

    Thank you for your help!
     
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  4. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    I had a Parson Russell Terrier who began urinating in her sleep and the cause was diabetes. Do you know whether your Vet tested for that?

    So far as food is concerned, I would continue to give her the food she enjoys.

    I'm not aware of any major concerns with a raw diet. My Jack Russell bitch has IBD and has to be on a very restricted diet, mainly chicken. It isn't a complete, balanced diet, but all she can have, and she is now thirteen and as fit as a puppy.

    As regards the lump your bitch has, of course there is the possibility it could be a mammary tumour. Again, I had a bitch develop one when she was thirteen and, as she was very fit, my Vet was keen to remove it. He did so and she lived another three years, with no recurrence.
     
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  5. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you!

    No, I don’t think she was tested for this but she is having a blood sample done in the next month or so, I did think diabetes initially but didn’t know if I was being dramatic as she does seem otherwise healthy.

    If diabetes is the same in dogs as in humans and can be triggered by a poor diet, it wouldn’t surprise me based on her previous home and the food she was fed there. She was fed everything from chocolate chip cookies to entire slices of pizza.


     
  6. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    The mammary lump is easily removed and common in older unspayed bitches, so I'd not worry too much about that.
    In terms of the peeing in her sleep I agree that it's likely loosened muscles which comes with older dogs. I actually think the raw might have had an effect, only because it is full of moisture and she might just be getting enough liquid in her diet (dry food is very low in moisture so some dogs don't drink enough) meaning her bladder is fuller and so it's more likely to leak out. I'm in no way saying stop the raw (my dogs are raw fed) but just putting a possible reason for the leakage across.
    Obviously rule out any real health issues, but Propalin syrup is used a lot for a bit of leaking if that is the problem.
     
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  7. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    I just wish she had been spayed all along, I’m very glad we’ll be having her spayed at the beginning of next year!

    She has been on raw since mid August, and didn’t begin to have problems going to the toilet until late October. Is it possible to begin having that affect over 2 months after starting raw food?

    I will definitely be be bringing up Propalin syrup with the Vet next week when Pippa is next in.

    Thank you for your feedback!

     
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  8. Sarah H

    Sarah H Grand Empress of the Universe

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    Ah right! No I can't imagine it would have taken that long to have an effect (but I'm not a vet!), I expect it's just coincidence that you changed her food and it started afterwards. It's not an uncommon thing for older bitches to have, so as long as other issues have been ruled out I'd not worry as the syrup is very good.
     
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  9. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    The fact that shes urinating in the house isn’t an issue (though, is very annoying), myself & partner understood what we were signing up for when we rehomed an older dog, we’re just beginning to wonder what the long term solution is in regards to the fact she’s allowed on all the furniture as she has been her entire life and what we will do if there isn’t an ‘easy fix’.

    She’s accidentally urinated on our bed twice now, but I don’t want to tell her she’s not allowed when she knows no different, and it’s not like she’s being naughty, she can’t help it!

    I hope the Propalin syrup works! Thank you again!

     
  10. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Keep the door shut and she can't pee on the bed.
    If the propolin works, it may be better to get a keyhole spay done, where the ovaries are removed but the uterus left in. Spaying tends to increase the leakiness in older bitches, but less so with the keyhole spay (although quite early days in terms of relative statistics). It costs a bit more, and you may have to find a different vet to do it. Recovery is much quicker too, which is why I have had it for my last 3. As she's leaky now, the spay may well make it worse.
     
  11. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    I understand your point of not allowing her in the bedroom, but her entire life she has slept in the same room as the people she lives with. She has severe separation anxiety that we’ve been working on since July, but there’s no way I’d feel comfortable forcing her into a separate room overnight when she’s only just beginning to be calm when left downstairs on her own for half an hour or so. This is likely more my problem than hers, and definitely something we will likely have to do if it continues long term, but as of right now I know she would spend the night howling if she wasn’t with us. I do not indulge in her anxiety, but her previous owners allowed it for 7 years, to reverse that behaviour is taking a long time, I don’t believe throwing her in the deep end & just locking her in a separate room is the answer, unfortunately.

    We’re hoping to get her crate trained for after her surgery but she’s not taking to it well at all so far, but because of how jumpy she is, she will need to be contained in the week or so following her spay & tumour removal. Perhaps that could be a long term solution for not allowing her on our bed, but still in the bedroom, though it isn’t looking likely she’s going to adapt to it.

    I’ll mention the keyhole spay possibility to my Vet, I’d rather pay more and have her healthier afterwards than make the problem worse. I hope we find out if there’s an actual issue causing it through the blood tests etc. But I understand it may just be old age & something we have to live with.

    Thank you for your help!

     
  12. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    So does she pee on the bed when you're in it?
    My dogs sleep with me - the 2 older ones on the bed and the puppy in a crate by the side. The older ones can go in the bedroom when they want, so long as they're clean and dry, but the pup only goes in the room at night (a stairgate prevents access during the day which I'll open for the older 2).
    If she is peeing on the bed when you're in it, 2 options spring to mind. First is to have a dog bed on the bed, with a waterproof liner. One of mine is in a dog bed on the bed, as she's rolled off in the night before and landed with a thud on her side on the floor. A rail stops the bed sliding off. Or you can get doggy nappies.
     
  13. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    Yes, technically she does.

    The first time she wee’d on the bed was about a month ago. My partner got home from work late (around 1am) and I had waited up. I took Pippa outside for the toilet and she seemed pretty certain she didn’t want to go, I did think that was odd because she hadn’t been to the toilet since that morning but after being outside with her for 15 minutes, I had to just accept she didn’t need to go. We go up to bed, she was asleep (under the duvet) and she wee’s all over. I’m very confident this was not intentional in any way.

    The second time (a few weeks ago) I was upstairs making the beds, putting laundry away etc. and as she jumps onto the bed, wee’s herself. It was as if the physical jump onto the bed caused it, again, very confident this wasn’t intentional at all.

    She often sleeps under the duvet, I don’t believe a bed, on the bed, would do much use. I think it would have to be a total ban of being on the bed altogether or continuing as normal. I don’t think she’d understand being restricted to a dog bed on/attached to the bed when she’s so used to sleeping under a duvet when she chooses to.

    We have dog nappies for her being in heat but she absolutely hates them. We persisted with them while she was bleeding but she often found a way to either remove them altogether or to get to herself through the tail hole, which ended up with blood everywhere anyway. I think they worked okay for us short term but can’t see them being a long term solution. She doesn’t mind her winter coat, I think she just hates her inability to lick herself, probably magnified by how much she’s been licking herself since this urination issue started.

    Thank you again for your thoughts!

     
  14. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I understand why you don’t want to stop her being on the bed.

    Try waterproof covers on your mattress and duvet and have a puppy pad under a blanket where she normally lies.

    At least then accidents won’t spoil your bed or duvet … bedding can be washed easily enough.

    If she’s not taking to a crate, maybe use it to create a pen instead … being open on top might stop her feeling anxious?
     
  15. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    We already have a waterproof mattress protector, thank god! I don’t know what we would’ve done without it. I’ve been looking to buy one for our duvet too but just hadn’t got round to it yet, I hadn’t thought of the puppy pad idea though! Thank you!

    I’ve been looking into pen’s instead of the crate, I just haven’t been convinced because I know how she acts when there’s a baby gate. When she can see over it, she tries to jump over it. Which obviously wouldn’t be helpful when she’s recovering from a surgery, which is the only reason we bought it in the first place! That’s why we generally just opt for having doors shut, which luckily we have at the bottom of the stairs to stop her running up when we don’t want her to, as apposed to a gate.

    My logic with the crate was that she might prefer that over a pen if she can’t see a way out, similar to when doors are shut. She’s much calmer when she has no way out. I’ve only tried shutting the crate door a handful of times since we got it a few weeks ago. She doesn’t mind the crate when the doors open, or if you give her a chew to keep her occupied while the door is shut but demands out the second she finishes, and since I don’t want this to be a negative experience, I let her out. But it does mean she isn’t tolerating the door shut at all too. I’m really not sure how to move forward with it, I don’t have any previous experiences with crates at all.

     
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  16. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Puppy pads have a scent on them designed to entice a dog to pee on them, so I wouldn't use those. Instead, the bed pads for elderly people are bigger in area and have a better absorbtion capacity (as you'd expect, to hold the pee of an adult human). I used them with one of my dogs, her problem was a tumour on her kidney that would flop over onto her bladder when she moved sometimes, and squeeze the pee out.
    Start with just making her wait a few seconds, then gradually increase the time. My dogs are used to 'in a minute', know I've taken on board what they want and I'll do it soon. Drop treats into it. Look at Susan Garrett's 'crate games' for other ideas about making a crate a positive place to be.
     
  17. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much! I’m sending my partner to go buy some today! She had another accident last night in my partner’s office room. Had only been taken outside for the toilet (and did have a wee) only an hour before, she hadn’t given me any sign she needed out again either. It doesn’t appear the antibiotics are working, we’re on day 4 of 7 and have seen no improvement at all, which is disappointing but not surprising either so looks like we’re moving on to have a
    Cystocentesis and mentioning Propalin Syrup.

    Pippa understands “soon”, eg “outside soon” or “food soon” to tell her something will be happening in the short term but despite trying this with the crate she still doesn’t seem to settle. It’s still early days though. I do wonder if she may have a predisposed fear of the crate. The only time she had been in one previously was almost 4 years ago when she had her litter, rather than a welping box (I think that’s what they’re called?) she was put in a crate almost consistently for 8 weeks but was never introduced to it beforehand, she was just forced out into it when the puppies arrived (I didn’t agree with this in the slightest). Luckily, she doesn’t seem to actually be scared of the crate but scared of being left in it, if that makes sense? She isn’t happy when the crate door is shut but once I move out of sight it’s a million times worse, probably because this was also the only time she was forced to sleep downstairs alone too.

    I think if I can’t get her comfortable with a crate my next option will be to try and train her not to jump on furniture without permission for after her surgery which will at least keep her on the ground. I’m not sure how well that will go either but we’ll have to wait and see. She is very smart and understands many tricks and description words to communicate what she wants/needs but to reverse an almost 8 year old behaviour won’t be easy. Thank you again!


     
  18. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    I wonder if she would be ok in the crate with the door pen, with it set inside a pen from which she could not escape? You could test that out by making a pen from cardboard boxes, or sheets draped over chairs.
     
  19. PippaTheJRT

    PippaTheJRT PetForums Newbie

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    We just changed the bed that was in the crate today. The one that was originally in there was very thick and took up a lot of the room, I don’t think she liked how little movement there was. It is a medium crate so she had plenty of walking space, it was height that she didn’t like having so little of. She seems to be doing much better now that a ‘thinner’ bed is in there.

    I’ll test how she would be with a pen area around her tomorrow, as weird as it sounds to describe, I have a long fold out clothes rack that we’ve used as a gate a few times when we’ve had to, I’m going to try making a pen out of that and see how she does. Thank you for the advice!

     
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