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08/13/2010 09:20:12 AM by Dr.Greg   Send Message to Dr.Greg  1450  views, category: Pet care, safety and insurance view all blogs


I wrote this article for a breed magazine, but in general it is applicable to many breeds with genetic problems including cats!

The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is prone to some skin problems, heart problems, bowel irritability and gas, eye and eyelid problems, a weird metabolic problem causing damage to the brain, and hip dys
plasia but isn’t nearly as prone to genetic problems as the other bulldog breeds. I will address the most common genetic predispositions in this short article.

Everyone always asks me the question? Is my dog’s problem genetic? All traits are passed on from parents to offspring and if any specific defect appears with regularity, the problem is genetic. An example of how some other nutritional or environmental stress could cause hip dysplasia would involve near starvation or feeding completely unbalanced nutrition like an all grain or all meat diet without the bones.  In the case of hip dysplasia in Staffies, it more than likely came about from selectively breeding for another trait or “look“in the bulldog breeds that lead to them. Breeding for rapidly growing big dogs have definitely tweaked the symphony of bone growth causing defective parts in many breeds

Young dogs may show signs of limping early and can be screened for hip dysplasia with x-rays. The stamp of approval from the orthopedic foundation has to wait till 2 years of age, with normal x hip x-rays. Orthopedic studies show that 25% of staffie have the dysplasia traits. Screen for affected passers and breed away from the disease is “the cure”.

 Staffies also have some skin, ear, and bowel problems. In fact your staffie may have bouts of diarrhea or gas that can clear the room. Believe it or not, those three problems are related to diet. Allergens in the diet cause hives and itchy skin. Once the hives are scratched open or raw, a staph infection sets in and the cycle may repeat itself till the cause is with grasses, pollens, and molds. Same goes with the gas and bowel problems. Some dogs cannot tolerate grains or allergens in the diet. These dogs need less grain, more moisture, canned, holistic, or a raw food diet with the right ingredients. Sound easy? It really is if you pay attention to ingredients and healthy food more than a brand name. Perrier is a fancy name for water. It will cost more but has the same ingredients as other distilled water products.  Some dog foods have pretty pictures and a good advertizing campaign but lack good wholesome ingredients. Every dog is different. Just because one staffie can eat beef, wheat, or corn, doesn’t mean they all can. Every dog with a dry flaky coat needs more oil in the diet. You can add canola, olive, eggs, avocado and other oily things to make that coat shine. I talk a lot about both allergies and dull flaky coats in my book.





About the author: I love animals and their bond with us. My new book Dog Dish Diet: Sensible Nutrition for Your Dog's Health is out and available on my website ( ). I have been an animal lover my whole life. As a teenager, I worked at a pet sh... more >>

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