Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Jack Russell Terrier Allergies?

Jack Russell Terrier allergies are due to a greater chance of contracting atopic dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis has been studied in a variety of experimental procedures and laboratory testing and this condition has been shown to occur more frequently in specific breeds, including the Jack Russell Terrier.

This particular breed lends itself to a higher risk of allergies, and the types of allergies range from a variety of inhalants to food allergies. The reactions usually are revealed on the skin as their immune systems are overreacting to the particular allergens. Although Jack Russell Terriers will not all be allergic to the same triggers that cause reactions, treatment of atopic dermatitis is the same. The only difference is the specific offending allergen that needs to be removed from the dog’s environment; this is the one definitive method of treatment.

Not every Jack Russell Terrier will have allergies, and if they do get allergies it will usually present between one and five years of life. Every dog is different, and every dog reacts to specific triggers in a different way.

Jack Russell Terriers are susceptible to a variety of allergens in the environment such as pollen or mold. Most develop a form of dermatitis known as atopic dermatitis. Jack Russell Terrier allergies may also be due to a specific food allergy.

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Jack Russell Terrier Allergies Average Cost

From 512 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

Symptoms of Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

An allergic Jack Russell Terrier will show a variety of symptoms. The severity of symptoms will depend on the particular dog and the specific type of allergy. Symptoms of Jack Russell Terrier allergies include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Hotspots
  • Excessive licking and chewing of the skin and feet
  • Chronic and recurrent skin infections
  • Ear infections
  • Loss of hair
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Anal gland impactions and infections

Types

Atopic dermatitis can occur for a variety of reasons. Types of allergens that can trigger a Jack Russell Terrier’s atopic dermatitis include:

  • Food Allergens
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Insect Bites
  • Flea saliva
  • Trees
  • House dust mites
  • Etc
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Causes of Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

Causes of atopic dermatitis in Jack Russell Terriers are very similar to the causes of many allergies. Specific causes for the reaction to the allergen include:

  • An overactive or hypersensitive immune system in general
  • Immune system being oversensitive to a specific allergen
  • Immune system responds to non-threatening substance as a threat
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Diagnosis of Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

If your Jack Russell Terrier is exhibiting the above symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will do a complete physical examination which may include bloodwork, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile. The reason for these initial tests is to check for any other conditions which your dog may have. The veterinarian may also examine your dog’s ears to check for any infection. He may also opt to do some skin tests, which are procedures such as swabs, plucks and scrapes that can possibly determine the cause of the skin irritation. A very small piece of the inflamed skin may be sent off to the laboratory to be tested; this is called a biopsy and can rule out other causes of skin disease.

Allergy testing including specific blood tests and intradermal allergy skin testing may be performed.

Your veterinarian will ask you many questions pertaining to your dog’s lifestyle. The medical professional will gather information about your dog’s diet, daily routines, whether he is mostly inside or mostly outside, the plants in which you have growing within your home as well as on your property, how long he has been suffering from the allergies, and if they just flare-up on occasion or if he has had the skin condition or other symptoms for some time. All this information will help the veterinarian begin to decipher what may be causing the atopic dermatitis.

Oftentimes, the veterinarian chooses to rule out specific food allergies using an elimination diet trial. Your veterinarian will give you specific instructions on how to perform this elimination trial; this is usually accomplished by only feeding your dog specific ingredients and halting all bones, treats, table food, or any flavored medication. Your veterinarian will also suggest the type of dog food to feed him for 8-12 weeks. For most, a hydrolysed diet is prescribed. After this time, you will introduce one food at a time and check for a reaction.

Usually after the elimination diet, and after a specific food is ruled out, the veterinarian will perform allergy testing. However, the veterinarian may have previously performed the skin test during the initial visit. The decisions made by your veterinarian will vary from dog to dog and symptom to symptom. Atopic dermatitis can be effectively diagnosed; however, it does take time and patience to determine precisely what your Jack Russell Terrier is allergic to.

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Treatment of Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

When it comes to treating atopic dermatitis in your Jack Russell Terrier, there are a few methods that can be used to treat flare-ups. Treatment methods include:

Medications

Anti-inflammatory and anti-itch medicine, topical ointments, specific type of shampoos that are medicated, and sprays can be used to help the dog feel better. These treatments, however, are only temporary. Unfortunately, they do not “cure” your dog’s allergies. Any secondary infection will also need to be medically treated.

Injections (Immunotherapy)

Desensitization injections not only mask the symptoms, but they do help your dog develop a bit of a resistance to the allergen. This is a pricier option, but it can help for a longer period of time. Choosing desensitization injections depends on your dog and how much he tends to flare-up, the severity of the skin irritation, what he is allergic to, his age and overall health.

Removing the Trigger

The only action you can take to rid your dog completely of the allergy or allergies is to remove it from your dog’s environment. Whether it is food, pollen, specific plants, or anything else, this will be determined after testing is complete. It may take some time before you realize what is affecting your dog, but once you do, removing it from his life will be the one thing you can do to put an end to the allergic reactions. Of course, this is not always possible.

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Recovery of Jack Russell Terrier Allergies in Dogs

Once you figure out what your Jack Russell Terrier is allergic to, things may improve once we reduce his exposure to the offending allergen. In terms of managing his allergies, a bath once a week may help relieve the itching and irritation of the skin and will further remove any allergens from the environment from his skin and fur. Your veterinarian will give you suggestions on shampoos or mild cleansing agents to keep your dog fresh and clean and allergy-free. Once the allergen is removed from your dog’s environment, consult your veterinarian if any other flare-ups occur. Skin supplements can help strengthen the skin barrier and minimise itching. Many dogs will require long-term anti-itch medicine to keep symptoms at bay. Never give your dog any medications, especially antihistamines, without consulting your veterinarian.

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Jack Russell Terrier Allergies Average Cost

From 512 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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Jack Russell Terrier Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Jack Russell Terrier

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Twelve Years

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16 found helpful

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16 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Rash

My female Jack Russell has a couple of bumpy skin rashes on her left leg. I feed her Science Diet sensitive skin salmon not sure what it is.

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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16 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Rashes can be caused in dogs by parasites, topical irritations or allergies, or bacterial or fungal disease. One thing you can try is to wash the area gently twice a day with an antibacterial wash like hibiclens, and see if that helps. If it does not help over a day or two, then it would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine her, see what might be going on, and get the right treatment for her. I hope that all goes well for her.

Oct. 6, 2020

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dog-breed-icon

Jack Russell

dog-age-icon

Seven Years

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11 found helpful

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11 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Superbad Redness, Chewing On Feet Constantly Licking Feet And Chewing On Feet, Redness And Ears Around Mouth, Scratches Under His Belly A Lot.

Can I get this prescription? We used to do the steroid shots, but it just masks the problem helps with the itching, is this medication their advertising going to really help him?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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11 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm not sure what medication you are asking about, but Apoquel is one that is commonly used for allergies,and does help some dogs. I cannot write you a prescription, but you can call your veterinarian and see if that is something that they can do.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Jack Russell Terrier Allergies Average Cost

From 512 quotes ranging from $300 - $3,500

Average Cost

$1,200

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