Aside from being total love-bugs, Pitties have another great thing going for them: they are a fairly healthy breed compared to other larger dogs. However, this does not mean they are free from any issues. Prospective Pit adopters and those who already own one or two should be aware of the common problems that they can have. Knowing about them can lead to early detection, which can benefit both dog and owner. The following are 3 of the top health concerns for Pit Bulls.
#1 – Hip Dysplasia
Like many larger breeds, Pitties are prone to hip dysplasia, a genetic defect that can lead to costly surgeries and a lot of pain for your dog. Arthritis is a common side effect of dogs afflicted with dysplasia. If you are purchasing a puppy from a breeder, make sure they do OFA (Orthopedic Foundation For Animals) testing on all breeding animals. If not, have radiography done on your Pittie so you and your vet know if he has it, the severity, and what you should do to help your Pit Bull live a long, comfortable life.RELATED: Is Your Dog Suffering In Silence from This Ailment? 8 out of 10 Dogs Are!
#2 – Heart Disease
Pit Bulls are also prone to heart disease. Like hip dysplasia, this is genetic and parents can be tested for heart disease through OFA prior to breeding. Again, if you are buying a puppy from a breeder, make sure they are responsible and performing these tests. It will save you vet bills as well as heartache as your dog grows up. If you are not, have your dog’s heart checked out regularly by your vet to make sure everything is fine.
#3 – Allergies
Pitties seems to be particularly prone to allergies – both environmental and food-related. These are usually genetic, so it doesn’t hurt to ask the breeder if dogs in her lines have any allergies. However, some dogs just seem to develop allergies, even as they age. Depending on the severity and number of allergies, this can add quite a cost to your dog expenses, especially if your Pittie needs to be on a special diet or medication for their entire life.
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