Health Monitoring in The Jack Russell Terrier


The Jack Russell Terrier Club encourages health testing with a particular focus on minimising any potential issues within breeding programmes.  

For the Jack Russell Terrier, the Kennel Club records results for the following diseases (further information below); late onset ataxia (LOA), spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) and primary lens luxation (PLL).

Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available KC Breed Records Supplement.

Further information can be obtained from The Animal Health Trust  and The Kennel Club website - both reliable sources of information with information relevant to the Jack Russell Terrier.

To report any conditions within the breed, please fell free to contact the KC Breed Health Co-Ordinator for the Jack Russell Terrier, Dr Sarah Broadberry, via



Dogs affected with PLL have painful glaucoma and blindness due to a dislocation of the lens due to a breakdown or disintegration of the zonula fibres. PLL can be inherited or acquired.


LOA is a genetic disease characterised by progressive gait incoordination and loss of balance. Early symptoms are usually seen at the age of 6-12 months, the disease progresses, gait becomes increasingly in-coordinated with difficulty in moving around or complete loss of mobility. This disease is caused by a mutation in the calcium activated neutral proteinase 1.


SCA is an inherited disorder of the cerebellum in which affected dogs suffer a poorly coordinated movement, goose stepping gait when getting excited or when exercised, sometimes there is lack in balance and frequent falling.

The above information is taken from Laboklin brochures.

Tests are available to identify DNA mutation.

These tests are useful for those breeders, or pet owners who want to breed, to distinguish the status of their breeding stock, so that they are not breeding from affected animals as affected dogs should not be bred from.