2001-Tue Jan 24 00:16:05 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
His movie career may be wrapping up, but Uggie the
Jack Russell Terrier should enjoy a long and happy retirement — despite the “mystery disease” that led
The Artist star's trainer to announce that the charismatic dog’s appearance at the Academy Awards would be his last public performance.
“It’s very sad, but he is suffering from a mystery shaking syndrome. It is a neurological disorder, and we’ve spent thousands on vets’ bills trying to figure out what is causing it. But the experts don’t really know,” the 10-year-dog’s trainer, Omar Von Muller, told the Daily Mail. “After all the scans and tests, [what we know] is that it is neurological and he is not suffering."
On that point, world-renowned veterinary neurologist Dr. Richard A. LeCouteur of the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, is inclined to agree. Dr. LeCouteur also agrees that it’s likely difficult to figure out exactly what the illness might be for the little dog who stole the show at the Golden Globes.
“While these [neurological] conditions are well understood and well documented in humans, they’re very difficult to document in animals,” says Dr. LeCouteur.
This is why veterinarians will sometimes refer such pets to a veterinary neurologist, such as Dr. LeCouteur, who can thoroughly assess a dog like Uggie using specialized equipment, as well as nerve and muscle biopsies.
Although Dr. LeCouteur notes that some Jack Russells can suffer from neurological problems — such as myokymia, a condition that causes involuntary muscle movements — he said that Uggie is unlikely to be afflicted with what's commonly called “white shaker syndrome,” a condition related to a dog’s coat color. "That’s a problem seen frequently in white dogs like Maltese,” he said, “and only rarely in Jack Russell Terriers.”
Patrick Burns, an expert on working terriers who blogs as “Terrierman,” says that Jack Russell Terriers are generally hardy and healthy — and many live well into their teens, especially if they're kept at an appropriate weight.
“Jack Russells are a very, very popular breed, so we tend to see more of them," says Dr. LeCouteur. “But I wouldn’t say that means they have more problems than other breeds. Compared with the number of Jack Russell Terriers in the community, they may even be underrepresented for neurological issues.”
To find out more about this precocious and clearly talented breed, check out Vetstreet's Jack Russell Terrier breed guide.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Want to choose the best food for your
pet? Here's why you shouldn't fear
preservatives or fall for marketing…
Electronic cigarettes may be growing in
popularity, but their higher concentrations
of nicotine can poison cats and…
Are you handling your pet the right way?
Our vet shares five things your pup wishes
you knew about picking him up.
We combed through 505,270 kitten
names to determine the hottest male
and female monikers of the year.
We scoured our database of 1.1 million
dogs to find out which male and female
monikers reigned supreme this past…
The laid-back American Wirehair’s crimped, coarse coat requires almost no brushing or combing.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.