Because you care so much about your Staffy, we know you’ll do everything possible to ensure their well-being. In this article, we’ll discuss a Staffy’s leading health issues you should be aware of as your Staffordshire Bull Terrier ages.
A dog’s breed can play a significant role in developing many diseases and health concerns. Dog geneticists and veterinarians generally agree that the problems we mention have a high incidence and influence on the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed.
That doesn’t imply that your Staffy will have these health problems; it indicates that they are at a higher risk than most other dog breeds.
NOTE: This page may contain affiliate links, which means Staffy Dog may receive a small commission for anything purchase via these links, at no cost to you. This keeps our tails wagging.
You can build a preventative health plan by learning about Staffordshire Bull Terrier-specific health concerns. Doing so, you can hopefully prevent some predictable health issues.
We’ll go through some of the most prevalent issues with Staffordshire Bull Terriers, so you’ll better understand what could occur down the road.
Staffy Life Expectancy
The Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s life expectancy is twelve to fourteen years. How long a Staffy lives has a lot to do with the type of life they lead. Are they appropriately exercised, given a healthy nutritional diet, taken for regular health checkups, etc.
Oldest Ever Staffy
The Kennel Club doesn’t keep records for the oldest dogs, and the Guinness Book of World Records only looks at the most senior living dog on record. But it seems the oldest Staffy in the UK is Sophie, a Staffy from Long Eaton who reached over nineteen years of age.
What Do Most Staffies Die Of?
Once Staffordshire Bull Terriers get into their senior years, heart failure is the leading cause of death.
A weakening of a valve is the most common cause of heart disease in Staffies.
As the heart valve deteriorates, the valve and heart chamber seal weaken. The heart is then strained as blood flows back around this valve. A heart murmur is a symptom of heart valve disease (also referred to as mitral valve disease).
Vets run tests on dogs with heart murmurs or other indicators of heart disease to establish the extent of their illness. Vets must perform the same tests at least once a year to ensure no rapid deterioration.
With proper medical care and medication, vets can extend a Staffy’s life by many years if heart valve illness is detected early enough.
Proper dental care and fatty acid supplements can help prevent heart disease. A healthy diet and exercise regimen can help alleviate its symptoms.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality when Staffies reach their senior years. In addition, Staffies are more susceptible to certain types of cancer earlier than other dog breeds.
Some malignancies can only be treated with chemotherapy, while others can be surgically removed. Once cancer is detected, there’s never any time to waste. Vets will take blood samples during regular checkups and look for any lumps or bumps.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are susceptible to mast cell tumours, a particularly deadly form of skin cancer that vets prefer to remove as soon as possible.
To make matters more confusing, many of these bumps and lumps are mistaken for others that may or may not threaten the dog’s health.
If the vet suspects a suspicious lump, they typically want to screen for cancer. If vets surgically remove the lump quickly enough, the survival rate is generally pretty high.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are more likely than the average to develop hemangiosarcoma, a bleeding tumour. This type of tumour typically develops in the dog’s spleen but can develop in other organs.
When the tumour splits, internal bleeding occurs, and the dog owner is unaware the dog is experiencing internal bleeding. Tumours can be pretty large before there are any symptoms appear.
It’s a good idea to have a senior Staffy’s blood checked once a year, and you can also ask the vet to perform an ultrasound scan.
L-2 Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria
Errors in metabolism are the cause of L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria. The cause of the sickness has not been determined. Seizures, ataxia (loss of muscle control), dementia, and tremors are all signs of the illness, which is rare but exceedingly deadly.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier ancestry studies have revealed that the disease is autosomal recessive. This means that even healthy dogs can have the gene and pass it on to their puppies. A DNA test can identify infected or carrier dogs. Spaying or neutering will prevent the disease from spreading.
Staffordshire Bull Terriers are prone to obesity, which can be a severe health issue. Joint discomfort, metabolic and digestive difficulties, back pain, and heart disease are possible side effects of obesity.
We all love our dogs; however, overfeeding and indulging them with too many treats isn’t the way to show your affection. Plenty of hugs, exercise, and games are more effective and healthier for your Staffy.