You are here:

Jack Russells/JR back knee problem


My JR is 10 years old and I adopted him a few months ago. At the time he had several problems...some digestive, constipation, not eating well, breath that would floor an elephant, holding up one back leg when he ran. Immediately, I had a vet do dental, clearing up the breath, and subsequently started homemaking his food with lean beef, fresh veggies, and rice, and adding water and fiber to every meal. His digestion problems are solved. After researching the back knee issue, I feel sure the kneecap moving in and out of place is his problem. At his age, and low level of affectation so far, I'd like to avoid surgery. Has no brace or support that is easily applied and removed been developed?

Hello Janice,

That was a very kind and honorable thing for you to do, adopting an older animal takes a lot of patience and love.  
The condition you describe is called a Luxating Patella which is unfortunately a common condition in some Jack Russells.  Unfortunately it isn't a condition that is self-correcting and usually requires surgery to correct it.  It's a relatively common surgery and dogs recover quickly (30 days) from it.  At 10 years old, your jack could live another one to eight years.  It will have to be your personal decision whether to move forward with the surgery.
Wrapping the knee works to keep it stationary but will not correct the problem permanently as surgery would. Unfortunately with age and wear, the problem will only get worse unless surgically corrected.  Best of luck with your decision, and again, he and I thank you for your kindness and gift of a home with love and care!

Jack Russells

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Carol F


Questions on "Jack" Russell Terriers pertaining to their health, well being, general questions on breed, types, size, shape, health, personalities, behavior problems, genetics, so called standard, what to look for when purchasing, and if you would be a good match with this wonderful and unique dog. Too many times, people buy jack puppies because they are absolutely adorable, and then a few months down the road they own this dog that they know nothing about and haven't prepared or trained for. I love the breed and everything about them and hope to provide some help, education and advice to current and prospective owners. I am a veterinary technician, dog trainer and breeder of Jack Russells.


I own four Jack Russells and I have been working with dogs for 30 years. My personal interest is in helping educate people about the very special qualities of this breed. I advocate education and research of the breed before you buy one, they are wonderful pets if suited with the right person/family. Do your homework first! I can help you determine if you are a good match with this breed. I want people to know also that there are two types of Jack Russells, the Parson hunter with long legs and the Shortie or Russell Terrier and their very distinct differences. I also hope to allay fears about their CRAZY reputations - which is not always the case. ~*~*~*IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ*~*~*~ PLEASE NOTE: I DO NOT ENDORSE THE SALE OF ANY JACK RUSSELLS OR JACK RUSSELL PUPPIES THAT MAY BE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. BEWARE OF PUPPY MILLS OR OTHER PLACES THAT SELL MANY DIFFERENT DOGS OVER THE INTERNET. ALSO I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY VIDEOS OR TRAINING TAPES THAT ARE ADVERTISED ON THIS PAGE. I WILL BE HAPPY TO HELP YOU PICK OUT A REPUTABLE TRAINER/VIDEO SERIES OR EVEN PUPPIES IF PRIVATELY ASKED. I DO NOT ENDORSE ANY SALES ADVERTISEMENTS ON THIS PAGE.

Jack Russell Meet Up Russell Terrier. net Attleboro Dog Park Committee No Puppy Humane Society

Veterinary Technician - Newbury College 1982 - 1985

©2016 All rights reserved.