Common Pit Bull Health Problems
In general, the pit bull usually lives for about 11 to 13 years. The breed is generally healthy, especially when they are fed a healthy diet, but they can have certain pit bull health problems.
If you’re thinking of getting a pit bull, you’ll want to consider pit bull health problems. All dogs can develop genetic health problems. It’s the same with people – you have the potential to inherit a particular disease or condition. But just because the dog has the potential to develop these genetic health problems, that doesn’t mean that he necessarily will.
The American Pit Bull Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies and demodectic mange. Make sure the breeder can provide documentation from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or the University of Pennsylvania (PennHip) that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide an OFA health certification for thyroid.
The American Staffordshire Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, demodectic mange, cerebellar ataxia and heart disease. Before you buy an American Staffordshire Terrier, make sure that the breeders can provide documentation from OFA or PennHip that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide an OFA evaluation by a board-certified veterinary cardiologist, an OFA thyroid evaluation from an approved laboratory and an OptiGen DNA test for cerebellar ataxia.
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier can develop genetic health problems that include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, patellar luxation, juvenile cataracts, and allergies. These dogs can also suffer from a metabolic disorder known as L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria. Before you buy a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, make sure that the breeders can provide documentation from OFA or PennHip that both of your puppy’s parents have hips that were rated in good condition. The breeder should also provide you with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) documentation that shows their breeding dogs have had their eyes tested and are free from inherited juvenile cataracts. As for L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria, there is a DNA test that tells breeders if a dog is a carrier of this condition. Do not buy a dog from a breeder that cannot provide written documentation that the parents do not have this condition.
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs. It is a hereditary defect of the joint between the hip and hind legs. Dogs with hip dysplasia may experience pain or discomfort and have an uneven gait. They may display difficulty or reluctance in rising, jumping, running and climbing. Sometimes this condition is treated with surgery and it is managed through proper weight management. To learn more about hip dysplasia, go to Hip Dysplasia in Dogs.
The pit bull is also prone to heart disease. This includes aortic stenosis (narrowing of the left ventricle and the aorta), irregular heart rhythm or a heart murmur. Your veterinarian can diagnose an irregular heartbeat or a heart murmur by listening to your dog’s heart. If the condition is more severe, your pit bull may require further testing including an echocardiogram or a chest x-ray. Treatment for this condition includes diet control and medication. Check out this recipe for homemade dog food for dogs with heart disease.
It’s good to be aware of these pit bull health problems. Many of these conditions are not detectable in a puppy and it can be hard to determine whether the puppy will have these health problems or not. That’s why you must find a reputable breeder and you must ask for independent certification that the dog’s parents have been screened for these pit bull health problems. If a breeder tells you that their dogs don’t need health certifications for any reason, do not buy your puppy from this breeder.
To learn more about pit bulls, go to All About Pit Bull Breeds.