Each dog breed has a predisposition to different diseases and health ailments. While your pit bull may well live a long, happy life without any major diseases, it's important to be aware of these conditions so you catch their signs and symptoms early on if they do appear. Here's a look at three conditions to which pit bulls are especially prone.
Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hips do not sit properly in the pelvis. Dogs are born with the ailment, but the symptoms don't always appear until they're fully grown. Hip dysplasia runs in certain bloodlines, so ask your dog's breeder if his parents had a history of this condition. Signs your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia include:
- Sudden refusal to jump onto furniture
- Walking slowly with the hips swinging from side to side
- Yelping or otherwise showing pain when you touch the hip area
There's no cure for hip dysplasia, but your vet will likely recommend exercises, pain relievers, and other lifestyle modifications to keep your dog more comfortable.
Pit bulls tend to develop bladder stones, especially in later adulthood. These stones are deposits of calcium and other minerals, which accumulate in the bladder and cause symptoms like:
- Pain during urination
- Inability to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Severe abdominal pain (your dog may yelp when you touch his abdomen)
Bladder stones can often be broken apart with a laser, allowing your dog to pass the smaller pieces in his urine. Large ones may require surgical removal. You can decrease your pit bull's chances of developing bladder stones by ensuring he drinks plenty of water and by feeding him a dog food made for urinary tract protection. (These foods are typically lower in minerals like calcium.)
Many pit bulls have sensitive respiratory tissues and will develop symptoms like sneezing, red eyes, and a runny nose when exposed to allergens like pollen or household mold. To protect your pit bull, make sure you wipe his mouth and face off after he goes outside during pollen season. Also, try to stick to natural cleaning products around the home, and keep your home as free from mold as possible by running a dehumidifier when the humidity is high. Your vet may prescribe antihistamine medications to ease your pit bull's allergy symptoms.
These three conditions are quite common in pit bulls, but depending on your dog's heritage, there may be other diseases to which he is prone. Talk to your dog's breeder like one from Blue Lycan Kennel to learn which other diseases and ailments you should watch out for.