The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is undoubtedly one of the most loved dog breeds in the UK. It’s little wonder because they are devoted to their human family, including children.
Staffies are not generally considered weak dogs; they have a pretty robust constitution and don’t suffer from many typical hereditary diseases afflicting many other dog breeds.
Having said that, Staffies have several health conditions and hereditary disease problems that they sadly suffer.
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One of the Staffy’s distinguishing characteristics is its short, single-layered fur, which makes their coats low maintenance and easy to care for. The flip side also means that Staffies are susceptible to cold and hot temperatures.
In addition, some Staffies appear to have more than their fair share of skin and coat issues, which we will discuss in greater detail in this article.
Do Staffies Have Sensitive Skin?
Unfortunately, skin issues are prevalent in Staffies. The cause of their red, itchy skin may be an allergy brought on by something they ate or came into contact with that triggered an unintended immune response.
To figure out what is causing the issue with the assistance of your vet, try keeping a journal of everything your dog has eaten or tracking variables like the pollen count. Your vet might suggest a hypoallergenic diet if your Staffy has a wheat intolerance.
Are Blue Staffies More Likely to Have Skin Problems?
It’s estimated that up to 50% of Staffies will suffer from skin conditions. However, this is not due to them being blue; it’s a widespread issue with many Staffies.
However, dogs with diluted coat colours, mainly blue and fawn, are more likely to have a genetic hair-growth defect. It begins between the ages of six months and three years, and it causes a gradual loss of hair. Although secondary bacterial infections occasionally result in itchy or scaly skin, they typically only affect appearance.
You can see colour dilution alopecia in several breeds, including Staffies. Still, it’s incredibly rare and doubtful that you’ll ever encounter this genetic disease.
Staffy Skin Problems [Symptoms]
Symptoms of Staffy skin conditions can include:
- Constant scratching
- Rubbing themselves on the carpet
- Hair loss
- Smelly, greasy or flaky skin
- Chewing and licking their paws
- Fur has red/brown staining from constant licking
- Redness inside the ear
- Skin colour changes, noticeable in areas with no fur
- Rashes and red spots on the belly
Common Staffy Skin Conditions and Allergies
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that frequently returns in dogs and causes skin irritation, inflammation, and itching. Your Staffy is likely to become quite uncomfortable, which will cause them to scratch, lick, and nip at their skin a lot to get some relief.
The skin-based symptoms of atopic dermatitis, a type of allergic reaction, can be pretty distressing for your Staffy. You must work with your vet to curtail the signs and your Staffy’s response. If at all possible, you should also identify and get rid of the allergenic trigger.
Even though Staffies have very short hair, they shed throughout the year and more heavily twice a year when the seasons change. Normal shedding doesn’t leave your Staffy with bald patches or areas with less hair than usual. Several different problems can bring on bald patches.
To get relief from fleas or ticks, your Staffy may rub and scratch, which, if excessive, can result in small patches of baldness. Alopecia and hormonal conditions can also cause hair loss.
Due to their relatively sensitive skin, Staffordshire Bull Terriers may require special consideration when selecting shampoo and grooming supplies. Due to overgrooming, hot spots, and irritations, Staffies are also prone to developing skin infections.
As previously mentioned, atopic dermatitis is an allergic skin condition that typically results from topical or environmental allergens. However, Staffies can also experience other types of allergies, and some appear to be particularly prone to them.
In addition to possibly causing a runny nose and itchy eyes, contact allergens and pollen can cause skin symptoms in Staffies. Suppose your Staffy has a food allergy or sensitivity. In that case, this is likely to result in digestive problems and skin-related symptoms.
If you don’t treat your Staffordshire Bull Terrier with an appropriate, effective flea treatment, they risk developing flea bite hypersensitivity. This hypersensitivity results in a severe localised reaction anywhere your Staffy is bitten by a flea and is extremely itchy and sore.
It is essential to be vigilant about eradicating and preventing fleas. Once a Staffy shows signs they are sensitive to flea bites, they will continue to exhibit adverse reactions to bites in the future.
Hot spots are localised areas of the skin that end up sore, irritated, and reddened spots or patches; these patches can appear individually or in small clusters.
In most cases, when something irritates the skin in a specific area, your Staffy is likely to lick, scratch, and probe the site until it becomes red and sore.
This can also mean your Staffy will lose fur from the irritated area and can result in secondary infections because of the dog’s damage to its skin.
Best Food for Staffies with Skin Problems
Staffies are typically not picky eaters and tend to eat what you put down. However, should your Staffy suffer from skin conditions, one thing you can do is provide hypoallergenic food. We highly recommend James Wellbeloved Complete Hypoallergenic Natural Food.
This dog food is a single source of animal protein and excludes common allergens in dogs such as wheat, eggs, dairy, soya, beef and pork. The animal protein essential for your Staffy’s health and vitality comes from duck, fish and lamb. In addition, there are no added artificial flavours, colours or antioxidants.