If you are you raising a dog with a big blocky-head and a tail that won’t stop wagging, I bet you are eager to know all about common Pit Bull health issues.
Every breed can have their own set of medical problems. Overly-large breeds, like the Saint Bernard or Great Dane, can have shorter life spans due to big bodies and organs that can’t quite keep up. They can also have arthritis because they tend to carry around too much weight.
Tiny breeds, like Boston Terriers or Lhasa Apsos, can have upper airway problems due to their short noses and flat faces. It could be hard to breathe like that right?
Are there any Pit Bull health issues you need to be concerned about?
I thought I would put together a list of conditions that a Pit Bull can be more vulnerable to. Keep in mind that just because a disease or illness is listed here does not mean your Pit Bull will suffer from it. I think it’s best to be prepared for anything, just in case. Sound good?
They love to please their humans!
As we know, a Pit Bull is an adaptable and easy going dog. These jokers are a bundle of energy so they require daily exercise and training. They react very well to positive reinforcement and praise, lots and lots of praise.
When raised by calm and strong leaders with positive intentions, they are very trustworthy family members. Even when raised by people who would do them harm, a Pit Bull will still be loyal. We also can’t forget that they can be dog aggressive, which is why we stay vigilant.
A Pit Bull, on average, can live anywhere from 12-14 years. (of course, there are dogs who don’t follow these guidelines and we’ve all had one). As puppies, Pit Bulls are susceptible to parvovirus which if not treated quickly, will be fatal. You can learn more about that here.
As adults, Pit Bull health issues range from allergies to hereditary cataracts. Here are a few issues you should be aware of:
- Allergies– Symptoms of allergies include itchy or scabbed skin, lots of scratching, itchy base of tail, runny eyes, sneezing, snorting, paw chewing, constant licking, vomiting and diarrhea. Our dogs can be allergic to many of the same things we are; trees, weeds, grass, dander, cigarette smoke, fleas, perfumes, cats. (ok, thats pretty rare) 🙂 If you suspect your dog has allergies, your vet will run tests and discuss the different options you have to help your buddy feel better.
- Hip Dysplasia– This is one of the most common skeletal diseases seen in dogs. It is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, when at its most severe, can cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. Dysplasia can begin at any age; early-onset usually develops after 4 months of age. Causes? Genetics, obesity, nutritional factors and pelvic-muscle mass. If you see that your dog is having problems with his back legs, or he is reluctant to run, jump or climb stairs, a trip to the vet is necessary.
- Cataracts– A cataract is cloudiness in a dog’s eye that causes his vision to be blurry. If the cataract is small, it should not impair his vision too much however if you do not monitor his eyes, cataracts can cause blindness. Check your dog’s eyes regularly. Older dogs eyes can get cloudy with age however it is best to take him into the vet to know what is going on for sure.
- Mast Cell Tumors– Tumors are scary because veterinarians have a hard time diagnosing them. They look like warts, large pimples, or swollen lumps on the skin. Sometimes hair goes missing around the area and sometimes it will be itchy. Although more than 80% of skin bumps on dogs are benign, it’s still very important to have any new or old lump checked out by your veterinarian. Never assume a skin tumor is just a “fatty tumor”. Your vet should perform tests to determine the cause of the lump.
Always pay attention to anything that could be ailing your dog, no matter what it is. Also, check out my list of foods that your dog should never eat.
If it doesn’t look right to you, have it checked out with your veterinarian. Trust me, he has seen it all.
I have taken my dogs in for some seriously crazy reasons but I am ok with it. Definitely better safe than sorry.
If you have ANY questions, please drop me a comment. I am eager to hear what you think.