The American Pit Bull Terrier is a relatively healthy breed with few blood problems. Some of the problems that exist are: congenital heart disease, hip dysplasia and inherited cataracts.
Congenital heart disease-There are many symptoms of congenital heart disease. Some of them are: fainting, coughing, rapid breathing, weight loss, and poor appetite. Congenital heart disease manifests itself in various ways:
1) Hole in the heart: characterized by an opening between the two upper chambers of the heart. It is corrected by surgery in the same way that a human heart is treated.
2) Aortic stenosis – Blood flow is hampered by a blockage on the left side of the heart.
3) Pulmonary stenosis: a blockage between the lungs and the right side of the heart.
4) Mitral dysplasia – A leaky mitral valve allows blood to flow back from the left ventricle to the left atrium.
Canine hip dysplasia-Characterized by reluctance to use stairs, reluctance to jump, decreased range of motion of the hip, and pain after lying down. Pitbull puppies diagnosed at a young age can be treated with a common surgical procedure before arthritis appears. The disease is caused by a ball joint in the hip that does not fit well. The resulting friction causes pain and inflammation. This can be found in dogs less than a year old or it can take many years to develop. It is genetically transmitted from parents to puppies. The diagnosis of hip dysplasia is usually made by x-rays and physical examination.
Canine hereditary cataracts-This is a condition defined by a loss of transparency of the lens or lens capsule. The lens will appear white and opaque. Cataracts form as a result of an imbalance between water and protein that occurs in the lens. As additional water enters the lens, there is a loss of transparency. Cataracts are common in dogs with diabetes. Sugar concentrations on the lens cause increased contact with water. Cataracts can be treated by surgically removing the lens. The procedure is very similar to the treatment for humans.