Common Diseases of Bull Terriers
Animal file: English Bull Terrier
Are thinking about adopting a Bull Terrier? You've made the right choice - Bull Terriers are strong, muscular dogs known for being brave, smart and friendly. These dogs require the company of their human family to the point that if they spend much time alone they can end up developing stress, depression and behavioral issues.
Taking in a Bull Terrier requires having the time to train them. It is your responsibility as the owner to inform yourself about the specific care the breed needs, including what are their most common diseases. This way, you'll be able to prevent them and notice them in time. Stay with us at AnimalWised and learn all about the common diseases of Bull Terriers.
Are Bull Terriers healthy dogs?
The Bull Terrier's average life expectancy is of about 10 years, but it is of great importance that they are able to reach that age with a good quality of life. Health, comfort and happiness make all the difference in the lives of senior dogs.
Obviously, optimal care from a young age into adulthood will also result in a healthier old age with fewer complications. Therefore, it is important to know what common diseases are likely to affect your dog so as to prevent and if necessary treat them as early as possible, improving their prognosis.
Deafness in Bull Terriers
Approximately 18% of Bull Terriers are born with hearing problems, making this disorder the most common in white individuals due to hereditary causes.
Hearing loss can affect both ears or just one side. If it is unilateral, the Bull Terrier can have a normal life without major complications, but always with veterinary monitoring specifically tailored to the partially deaf dog's health and needs.
Before adopting your Bull Terrier you should ask the breeder for the certificate confirming that the BAER test has taken place at five weeks old. The Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response test consists in stimulating the dog with sounds whilst evaluating the brain's response to these stimuli. This test is essential for Bull Terriers, as it is the only test that is completely able to determine deafness in a dog and its degree of severity.
Kidney diseases in Bull Terriers
The Bull Terrier breed is especially predisposed to suffering from kidney disease. In some genetic lines the kidney develops in insufficient proportions, resulting in a very small organ that may lose functionality.
Bull Terriers can develop renal insufficiency when the kidneys do not properly filter the blood, which will lead to an accumulation of toxins throughout the body. This situation will require a specific treatment and an adequate diet; stay with us and learn how to plan a homemade diet for dogs with kidney failure.
Another kidney disease that is characteristic of the Bull Terrier is polycystic kidney disease. In this case, the condition can be so severe that the animal has direct kidney failure, with the consequent risk to the whole organism.
To detect the previously mentioned kidney problems as soon as possible, it is recommended that your Bull Terrier has a simple urine test to measure the amount of proteins in this fluid to determine kidney function once a year.
Patellar luxation in Bull Terriers
In this common condition, the kneecap comes out of its place producing symptoms such as pain when moving, lameness and weakness. It originates during the dog's development and growth because of a misalignment of the limb. This inadequate development of the patella may be due to an inherited problem or trauma; it is essential to control the amount and type of exercise your Bull Terrier does throughout their various life stages.
In most cases, patellar luxation requires surgery. It is of great importance to go to the vet if you find your pet has any of the symptoms we noted above, as this will prevent the aggravation of the condition and facilitate the response to the treatment.
Here you can learn more about the symptoms and treatment of patellar luxation in dogs.
Heart conditions in Bull Terriers
Among the most common diseases in Bull Terriers we find heart conditions. Some of them are aortic stenosis and mitral valve dysplasia.
Aortic stenosis occurs then the outflow of the left ventricle is narrowed. This obstruction of blood flow implies a very high pressure to the ventricle that ends up suffering from hypertrophy, that is, increasing its size. This condition affects the circulation in the heart and can generate areas with ischemia where the heart tissue is not nourished because the blood does not reach it, as well as syncope and sudden death.
In the case of mitral valve dysplasia the defect is in the left ventricle valve separating the atrium. In this case, the blood flow returns to the left atrium. This translates into an increased workload that must be supported by the heart to maintain circulation.
In both cases treatment will be pharmacological, but it will also be oriented towards changes in diet and controlling the dog's physical efforts.
Skin allergies in Bull Terriers
The Bull Terrier is prone to skin problems associated with allergic reactions. Faced with a mosquito or flea bite, the dog's organism can respond with widespread itching, rashes and inflammation.
Depending on the degree of allergic response the veterinarian will recommend one treatment or another, using a topical antihistamine in mild cases and oral cortisone in severe ones. This will reduce the activation of the immune system and release of histamine, a substance causing the manifestation of the allergy.
You should always choose topical products suitable for dogs when you're treating your Bull Terrier, and make sure they're specifically formulated for sensitive skin.
These are the most common diseases in Bull Terriers. If we missed one, please tell us in the comments section!
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Common Diseases of Bull Terriers, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.