Staffies, on the whole, are sturdy, healthy, and not prone to minor diseases and disorders. But, like all dog breeds, several health concerns and hereditary difficulties are more widespread within the breed than others, which all potential Staffy owners need to know. So let’s look at some common Staffy skin conditions.
Are Staffies Prone to Skin Conditions?
One of the Staffy’s distinguishing characteristics is its short coat. Being single-layered, it does help with maintenance and makes for an easy grooming experience for owners. But it also means that Staffordshire Bull Terriers are susceptible to cold during winter.
In addition, many Staffies have more than their fair share of skin and coat issues, which we’ll discuss in further detail later in this article.
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It can be pretty distressing for a Staffy when they have skin problems; they’ll likely be constantly scratching and licking themselves. Naturally, this only worsens the situation, but the dog doesn’t know this, and you simply cannot get them to stop.
In addition, it’s not a happy time for owners either. No one wants to see their dog suffer, and getting to the bottom of the problem can be time-consuming and costly.
What Causes Skin Allergies in Staffies?
The most common causes of Staffy allergies are flea, food, inhalant, contact and allergy to the skin’s normal bacterial flora and yeast organisms.
Skin infections, “hot spots,” or allergic dermatitis, commonly known as atopic (atopy) dermatitis, are among Staffies’ most common skin issues.
Common Staffy Skin Conditions
The most common Staffy skin problems include:
- Contact allergies
- Bacterial infections
- Fungal infections
- Parasite allergies
Increased itching, which frequently affects the face, feet, ears, and bottom, are symptoms of a possible Staffy food allergy and one of the most common skin disorders in dogs.
Staffies can get food allergies because of the type of protein eaten in their diets, such as beef, eggs, poultry, and dairy. Although some Staffies also have allergies to wheat or vegetables.
If your Staffy suddenly develops scratching, especially to the face, feet, chest, and stomach, this may suggest an environmental allergy. An allergy of this type typically appears if your Staffy comes into contact with the source of irritation.
This allergy is an atopic type allergy similar to hay fever in humans. However, dogs don’t exhibit watery eyes and sneezing; they end up with itchy skin.
Impetigo is more of a puppy issue than for adult dogs. As with any condition in a young dog, get professional help as soon as you suspect something is amiss.
Impetigo lesions on the dog’s tummy appear as blisters that eventually burst and cause a scab. Vets treat puppies with impetigo with antibiotics or shampoos if the condition is mild. Your vet might decide to run further tests to check the severity of the problem.
As with all yeast infections, they thrive in warm, sweaty areas of the body. Typically, these body areas are challenging to reach and not easy to spot unless you look for them. And they include the ear canal, between your Staffy’s toes, groin area, and between the thighs. The skin can thicken from a yeast infection, causing your dog to itch and bite at the infected region.
Ticks & Fleas
Ticks and fleas can irritate your Staffy’s skin by biting and sucking their blood. Flea saliva enters the body through the bites, triggering an allergic reaction that irritates your Staffy’s skin and causes them to itch excessively.
Inflamed, red skin is one of the indications of severe parasite allergy in Staffies. Pets frequently scratch bite marks and may chew on their fur to relieve itching. In certain situations, their hair may fall out in patches.
Mange is a severe skin condition caused by mites living on the dog’s hair and skin.
There are two varieties of mange: one caused by the Demodex mite and known as ‘demodectic mange,’ which affects dogs under one year old, and senior dogs.
Sarcoptes mites cause Sarcoptic mange and is very irritating. Sarcoptic mange begins on the dog’s ears. Mange symptoms include hair loss on the face and legs and extreme itching and redness surrounding the affected areas.
Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means the body’s immune system targets its own cells. Sadly for our Staffies, open, crusty skin sores that take too long to heal might indicate an immunological problem. You will typically see the sores around the nose, eyes, and paws.
Staffy Skin Condition Prevention + Treatments
Your vet must diagnose the underlying cause to treat skin problems successfully. Unsurprisingly, many vets choose to treat skin conditions topically (applied directly to the skin’s surface).
It’s usually the preferred approach to specific skin problems or a helpful supplement to oral medications or injections.
Treatments for Staffy skin conditions include corticosteroids, other anti-inflammatory medications, hormones, antifungals, antiparasitics, and whole-body antibiotics.