How to Prevent Recurrent Rectal Prolapse in a Jack Russell Terrier

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When it comes to certain illnesses, dogs can become highly sensitive. If your dog has been affected by this, or if you are interested in learning more about it, you may wonder how to prevent recurrent rectal prolapses in a Jack Russell Terrier.

How to Prevent Recurrent Rectal Prolapse in a Jack Russell Terrier

When a dog has a rectal prolapse, it can be quite affected if not treated properly. This is because this problem exposes part of their rectum through their anus, which can be extremely uncomfortable. Not only physically yet mentally as well.

Jack Russell Terrier

Your Jack Russell Terrier’s behavior may change in certain aspects if their disease is not treated correctly. This condition can make your dog sad, develop phobias, and even become aggressive towards other dogs. All of this is due to high levels of pain and discomfort.

You must intervene in your dog’s diet if they have a recurrent rectal prolapse affecting their life. This frequent prolapse could indicate that your Jack Russell suffers from constipation, diarrhea, and stomach issues. All of these can be caused by poor nutrition or deficient food.

Changing Your Jack Russell’s Diet

To give your dog a more balanced diet, ensure their food contains carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. You should also ensure that he drinks enough water to stay healthy. If your dog doesn’t drink water too often, you need to encourage them to do it.

A dehydrated dog will have difficulty going potty, leading to prolapse. Therefore, you need to push them to drink more water by placing more water bowls around the house, carrying a water bottle when walking, and adding water to their food.

If none of this works, you need to check their health. It is common for Jack Russells to stop drinking water if they have a urinary tract infection. If you notice this on your dog, you need to ask for a vet’s opinion as soon as possible.

What to Feed Them

Although commercial dog food is reliable (only if approved by AAFCO), not all dogs are well adapted to it. Not all dogs are the same; some dogs’ stomachs may be more sensitive than others. Therefore, you should recognize which is the healthiest food for your dog.

Jack Russell Terrier trying to stand up

This means that their diets should be highly personalized; if you see that it doesn’t work, you should try another. To make a balanced diet, you must look more at the nutrients and not the ingredients. For example, feeding your dog a bowl of plain rice with a bit of chicken is not convenient.

Dogs, like humans, require protein and other vitamins to stay healthy. Therefore, this diet will not sustain them. Alternatively, you can feed them kibbles, wet food, or homemade food (such as meat, vegetables, and fruits). Keep in mind that some ingredients are toxic and should be avoided.

When to Feed Them and How Much

Sometimes I could overfeed my dogs by accident. Therefore, you should always think about how much food they should consume every day. This is because if they overeat, they can develop diarrhea and an upset stomach, leading to prolapse.

Small dogs, such as the Jack Russell Terrier, require no more than two cups of food per day. You should also never give them treats or food while you are cooking. Not only could this develop bad habits, yet it can make them gain weight and have stomach issues.

Reduce the food you feed your dog if you wish to give them treats. For example, you may give them one and a half cups of food and the rest in snacks. This way, you will be making sure of not overfeeding them. It is also important to remember to never give your dog chocolate as a treat.

Obesity in Dogs and Rectal Prolapses

Obesity is one of the most common and often underestimated conditions a dog can suffer. The worse thing is that an obese dog can develop a lot of illnesses that affect its liver, stomach, and anal muscles, making them more prone to developing rectal prolapse.

Veterinarian checking exam results

Even though it could be quite apparent when your dog is obese, there are methods to check it yourself. To do this, you must weigh your dog and write down its weight. Then, you need to check the optimal weight of their breed; in this case, Jack Russell’s optimal weight is 15 pounds.

Lastly, you must notice if your dog is 20 percent over its optimal weight. The 20 percent of 15 pounds is 3, therefore, if your Jack Russell weighs more than 18 pounds, it is overweight. 

Here you can see how obesity can further deteriorate your dog’s health.

  • Diabetes can have an impact on your dog. This is a challenging illness since you must supply enough insulin to keep them alive.
  • Osteoarthritis can damage your pet. Because of this disease, they may have difficulty walking and running.
  • Heart illness might impact your Jack Russell.
  • Your dog is at a higher risk of acquiring hypertension. This health problem could affect their vision, blood circulation, and legs. A hypertensive dog may also be less active than others.

Other Causes for Rectal Prolapses

Although many cases of prolapse are caused by poor nutrition, other causes can affect your dog. One of them can be pregnancy. If your dog is in labor, rectal prolapse may occur if she has problems giving birth.

Ingestion of a foreign object is another cause of prolapse. If your dog ate a sharp, huge, or thick object, he might develop stomach and intestine lacerations. This can progress over time and cause them to have potty issues, leading to prolapse.

Woman holding her Jack Russell Terrier

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a foreign object, you need to immediately take them to a vet. Lastly, a dog with cancer is likely to have a prolapse, especially if the cancer is located in an organ that affects the digestive system. For example, the prostate.

Related Questions

Here are some related questions about rectal prolapses in dogs.

Can a Dog Die From Rectal Prolapse?

Yes, if the issue is left untreated for a long time, it can evolve and develop into necrosis. This is the death of the anal tissue due to a lack of blood flow. In this situation, the dog must be sent to a vet and have an emergency operation.

Can a Rectal Prolapse Heal Itself in Dogs?

Mild cases of rectal prolapses might resolve themselves over time. However, it is highly recommended that you take your dog to a vet as soon as you notice that they have a protuberance sticking out of its anus.

As I mentioned before, if this issue is left untreated for too long, it could develop into a bad situation. Therefore, it is better to take them to a vet as soon as possible.

What Does Rectal Prolapse Look Like in a Dog?

When a dog has a rectal prolapse, it looks like a sausage-like mass protrudes from its anus. It is often bright red, and it could hang from its bottom. This protuberance is part of their rectum.


Regarding health issues and dogs, owners must be vigilant and cautious about what their dogs eat. In this situation, repeated rectal prolapse may be caused by an unbalanced diet or another condition, such as obesity.