Bull Terriers are generally a healthy breed. But, like any other breed, some dogs may have certain health issues. The diseases and disorders Bull Terriers suffer from are deafness, Lethal acrodermatitis (LAD), Atopic dermatitis (atopy), luxating patella, heart and kidney problems. They can also suffer from obsessive compulsive actions, such as tail hunting. In males, excessive testosterone secretion can occur, causing them to become overly territorial. Castration often helps with this problem, so it softens their character a bit. They can be sensitive to flea bites and develop allergic tendencies to flea saliva.
Here we are going to briefly mention the health issues Bull Terriers might have. We will go in depth about every condition in separate articles.
Deafness can occur in both white and colored Bull Terriers, although white ones are deaf more often. Of all white bullies, about 20% are born deaf. Compared to them, the deafness in colored ones is about only 1%. Deafness can occur in only one ear or in both ears. All Bull Terrier puppies should pass a BAER (brainstem auditory evoked response) test and confirm that their hearing is normal.
Lethal acrodermatitis (LAD) is a severe inherited disorder that affects both Bull Terriers and Mini Bull Terriers. LAD is an inherited disorder of zinc metabolism - researches have identified reduced zinc levels in LAD affected dogs. The disease is hereditary only if both parents suffer from it. Each newborn has a 25% chance of being affected, a 50% chance of being an asymptomatic carrier and a 25% chance of being unaffected and not a carrier.
Atopic dermatitis is an inflammatory and pruritic allergic skin disease that occurs as a result of the formation of antibodies (IgE) by inhalation or absorption of allergens through the skin. Atopy is manifested by mild or severe itching that is mainly expressed on the face, paws and underarms, but can be all over the body. There are no primary lesions, but they occur as a consequence of scratching and autotrauma.
Patellar luxation is the dislocation of the kneecap (patella), a small bone that shields the front of the stifle joint. Ligaments hold patella in place. As the knee joint is moved, the patella slides in a grove in the femur. The dislocation can be medial - toward the inside, or lateral - toward the outside of the leg. Luxation of the patella may be the result of injury or congenital deformities (present at birth).
Heart diseases may be congenital - when the dog was born with it, or acquired - when a problem occurred later in life. A number of Bull Terriers have been identified with a congenital condition known as mitral dysplasia - when the mitral valve is leaky or, in rare cases, leaky and also narrowed. Some Bull terriers may be born with a narrowed aortic valve, making it difficult for blood to leave the left ventricle. This is called aortic stenosis. In some cases, mitral dysplasia and aortic stenosis occur together.
Polycystic kidney disease (BTPKD) in Bull Terriers is a progressive and irreversible kidney disease, often resulting in complete renal failure. This disease is specific exclusively to the Bull Terrier breed, while diseases with similar symptoms have been observed in a few other breeds. In addition to BTPKD, another kidney disease in the Bull Terrier is hereditary nephritis, but the two diseases differ in characteristics and genetic cause.
Do you have any experience with diseases and disorders in Bull Terriers? Feel free to comment your thoughts down below.