When choosing any breed of dog you must be
aware of potential health concerns
All dogs mixes and pure bred can have health
The more popular breeds and their mixes will
have more genetic problems listed and more
likely to have puppies with problems .
Make sure your breeder offers a written health
guarantee good for one year.
Have the puppy heath checked at your
Hip dysplasia The hip joint is a "ball and socket" joint:
the "ball" (the top part of the thigh bone or femur) fits into
a "socket" formed by the pelvis. If there is a loose fit
between these bones, and the ligaments which help to
hold them together are loose, the ball may slide part way
out of the socket (subluxate). With time, as this occurs
repeatedly, other degenerative changes in the joint occur
(also called osteoarthritis) and your dog will become
painful, lame and weak in the hind end.
This disease is progressive; that is, it gets worse with
Patellar luxation: Slipping kneecap. Should be
noticeable when puppy is vet check prior to sale
zinc-responsive dermatosis This disorder causes scaling and crusting of
the skin. It is not due to a dietary deficiency of zinc; instead affected dogs
appear to have a higher than normal requirement for zinc, perhaps due to
abnormal intestinal absorption. As the name implies, the skin condition
improves with zinc supplementation Signs are usually first seen around
puberty. There is reddening, scaling, crusting, and hair loss on the muzzle
and around the eyes. The footpads as well as the area around the vulva and
anus may be affected. The lesions are itchy in about half of dogs with this
disorder, causing chewing of the feet or rubbing or pawing at the face.
ichthyosis This is a rare condition in which there is marked thickening of
the outer layer of the skin and of the footpads. Affected dogs have rough
skin covered with thick greasy flakes or scales that stick to the skin and hair.
Affected dogs have abnormal skin at birth and the condition worsens with
age. The skin is rough and covered with thick greasy scales, some of which
tightly adhere to the skin and hair, and some of which are shed in flakes.
The dog's general health does not appear to be affected, but the skin
changes are chronic and severe.
Demodicosis/ Demodectic mange is a mite that is present in
small numbers in the skin of most healthy dogs. Nursing puppies
acquire the mite from their mothers during the first few days of life,
and in most dogs there will never be any associated problems.
In some dogs however, the normal balance is disrupted due to an
immune defect. The mites multiply by the thousands in the hair
follicles causing inflammation, in a condition called demodicosis.
Demodicosis may be localized - that is, confined to 1 or more small
discrete scaly reddened areas of hair loss, most commonly on the
face or front legs. This is usually seen in pups of 3 to 6 months of
age, and most cases resolve spontaneously. Alternately,
generalized demodicosis may develop, at anywhere from 3 to 12
months of age. This is a severe skin condition.
The defect in the cell-mediated immune system which allows the
development of generalized demodicosis is believed to be inherited
It is not infectious, to other pets or to people
Hypothyroidism The changes due to gradually decreasing levels of
circulating thyroid hormone are slow and insidious. Early signs (which
are usually not recognized as being related to hypothyroidism) include
lower energy levels and increased susceptibility to infections. As the
disease progresses, you will likely notice changes in your dog's hair
coat - symmetrical hair loss with or without darkening of the skin, and
dry or greasy hair. Other signs of hypothyroidism include a slow heart
rate, lethargy, mental dullness, intolerance to cold, infertility in males
and females, constipation, and weight gain. Less commonly, a dog
with hypothyroidism may experience heart disease, a bleeding
disorder, profound muscular weakness associated with abnormalities
in the muscles or nerves, or another endocrine disorder such as
Puppies with congenital hypothyroidism will have stunted growth as
well as many other abnormalities. Severely affected puppies most
likely die before weaning
Immune System Disorders
Atopy The condition is usually first seen between 1 and 3 years of age,
although it may develop as late as 6 or 7. Initially atopy may be seasonal
(eg. from spring to fall) but most affected dogs eventually have signs all year
Dogs with atopy are very itchy. The areas most affected are the face, paws,
lower legs, groin, and, less often, the ears and eyes. In addition to
scratching themselves with their hind feet, they often lick or chew the
affected areas, or rub along the carpet to scratch the face or ears. The
intense itching can make them irritable and less tolerant of being handled.
Initially, there are no apparent skin abnormalities, except possibly slight
reddening, even though the dog is clearly itchy. (This is important because
in other conditions there is often a rash or some visible lesion.) Over time,
lesions develop as a result of the scratching and self-trauma, bacterial or
yeast infections, and seborrhea, all of which can contribute to the
objectionable odor of these dogs. The skin becomes reddened and
eventually darkened (hyperpigmentation), abraded, thickened, and wrinkled,
with loss of hair and bronze staining from saliva.
Cleft lip/palate This is an opening in the lip or the roof of
the mouth that occurs due to failure of normal fusion
processes during embryonic development. Cleft palate
and cleft lip may result from either hereditary or
environmental causes (such as the use of certain drugs
Affected pups are born with the condition. A minor defect
will cause little or no problem, while a more severe
defect will cause signs such as a chronic nasal
discharge (that may include food), poor growth,
aspiration pneumonia (from inhalation of food), or even
American Pit Bull8Terriers have 8 health concerns Disorders relatively
common in this breed are : None.
Note above disorder(s) is very common in this breed. Do not take
lightly the other disorders. Some are very serious .
Information for this presentation as a public service provided by:
www.delayrekennel.com with information provided by :
A joint initiative of the Sir James Dunn Animal Welfare Centre at the
Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, and
the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association..
Permission is granted to reprint pages from the database, provided
that credit is given as follows: Crook A et al. 2011. Canine Inherited
About the Presenter
Member of the Canine Ambassador Program with Orange Empire
Dog Club. Educating people in the joy canines bring into our lives
through their relationship, interaction, and unconditional love.
Pet Professional specializing in the training of puppies in Sun Valley
since 1974 .
Breeder of Silky Terriers and Wire Fox Terriers
My boarding, training and breeding kennel was awarded Small
Business of the Year 2000
Better Business Bureau A+ rating
I have owned and/or bred 21 Conformation Champions including 6
Member and former Vice President of the City of Angels Silky
Past President of Sun Valley Chamber of Commerce
Have also served on the boards of Associated Terrier Breeders,
Animal Safe Haven Foundation, United Chambers of Commerce