Jack Russells/Depression


My daughter had a 1 yr old Jack Russell Terrier. I'm not sure specifically which type, and there might be another breed mixed in. She was great with my grandchildren; my 3 yr old would play with her all day. When she didn't, the dog would look for her. She somehow got lost about 6 months ago. A reward was offered, but after a month my daughter got another dog (don't know type). Of course, that's when Isabella (the Jack Russell) was found. They kept both dogs for a couple months, but finally decided 2 dogs was too much for the household. They sold the other dog a couple weeks ago. Isabella was fine for a few days, but then started acting sad. She quit eating and rarely drank water. The day they were taking her to the vet, she died. My daughter feels terribly guilty. We all had told her that while depressed, we didn't think Isabella would let it continue to the point of death, but that she still should get her to the vet. Isabella had absolutely no symptoms of anything else. Is it your opinion that her death was caused by depression? If so, what would a vet have been able to do for it? Thanks for your time.

Hi Ed,
I am SO sorry about Isabella. Your daughter, and your family must be devastated. It is unbelievable the way things happen sometimes.
Dogs can die from depression, although it is pretty rare.  The number one cause of depression in dogs is losing their other dog, or losing their owner.  I don't know how many days she went without eating or drinking but anything over a couple of days is long enough to wait before taking her to the vet.
Did you try giving her extra attention, taking her out, changing the scenery, special treats etc.?
Do you know if for the six months that she was missing, did she have another dog companion during that time?
Truthfully Isabella may have thought the other dog was coming back and when that didn't happen, she got very sad. If she hadn't drank any water in 3 days, she could have died from dehydration, water is crucial.
Food is even less important than water....
You said there were no other symptoms of illness (vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, crying, etc) -
and unless a veterinarian does an autopsy, you will unfortunately never know what happened (bad heart?).
It is possible for dogs to die from depression, but it could be some underlying medical cause that you just didn't know about.  Dogs with depression are treated the same way we are, with antidepressants.
I hope your daughter isn't too hard on herself, it's just the way life is sometimes, she shouldn't blame herself.  Best of luck and love to all of your family members over this sad sad tragedy. Please forgive the delay in writing, I am dealing with an elderly father right now and got to this as soon as I could.
Take care.  

Jack Russells

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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.

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Veterinary Technician - Newbury College 1982 - 1985

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