English Bull Terrier Health Problems and Raising an English Bull Terrier Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
The most common health problems in English Bull Terriers:
Heart disease (especially mitral valve disease and subaortic stenosis) is a serious concern in both Standard and Miniature Bull Terriers.
Kidney diseases are another major problem and Bull Terriers suffer from several different forms.
Neurological diseases are the third serious concern. These include:
- Epilepsy (seizures)
- Compulsive tail chasing, often called spinning. The frantic compulsion to spin in circles is inherited, but is triggered by stress. Thus, some genetically-susceptible dogs may not spin if their environment is kept stress-free. But that's easier said than done, since all kinds of events can cause stress – travel, boarding, vet visits, illness, even the hormonal changes of puberty or heat cycles. Any of these might cause a genetically-susceptible Bull Terrier to spin. You just need to be aware that this behavior is neither playful nor harmless. It is a neurological disease.
- Sudden-onset aggression, often called rage syndrome. This is a tragic disorder, fortunately rare, where a good-natured Bull Terrier awakens suddenly from sleep with a burst of uncontrollable aggression. It's not been conclusively proven that this behavior is a neurological disease, but that is the leading theory. Every time these poor dogs go to sleep, they're ticking time bombs, and since the disorder can't be controlled with training or behavior modification, euthanasia is typically the only answer.
The most feared eye disease in Miniature Bull Terriers is primary lens luxation (PLL) leading to secondary glaucoma. Other eye diseases in Bullies include dry eye and eyelid abnormalities (ectropion and entropion).
Inherited deafness is common in Bull Terriers – much more so in Whites than in Coloreds.
The most common orthopedic disease in English Bull Terriers is luxating patella, although hip dysplasia, osteochondritis, and cruciate ligament rupture also occur. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 100 Standard Bull Terriers and found 7% dysplastic.
Skin diseases are common in Bull Terriers, especially allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial skin infections called pyoderma) and demodectic mange. Elbow hygroma is occasionally reported.
A severe skin disease that can occur in Bull Terriers is a form of zinc deficiency called lethal acrodermatitis. It shows up in very young Bull Terrier puppies and does not respond to any treatment.
The most common hormonal/endocrine system diseases is hypothyroidism. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of English Bull Terriers have low thyroid levels. Occasionally Addison's disease and Cushing's disease occur in Bull Terriers.
Other health issues in English Bull Terriers include pyloric stenosis, laryngeal paralysis, cerebellar ataxia, and hernias.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR English Bull Terrier?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in English Bull Terriers today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an English Bull Terrier puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your English Bull Terrier puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy English Bull Terrier puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Bull Terrier lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your English Bull Terrier
The best diet for feeding your Bull Terrier is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your English Bull Terrier
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Bull Terrier puppy really need? Does your adult Bullie need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Bull Terrier.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2014 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.