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Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton, Dog Trainer, Breed Selection Consultant, Author of 15 Dog Books

Last Updated: October, 2019

Miniature Bull Terriers

Start your Bull Terrier off on the right foot by feeding the right food, giving the right vaccinations, finding the right vet, and if you're going to spay or neuter, don't do it too early.


Jump down to this list of
Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier Health Problems


Or check out my advice for raising a healthy Bull Terrier puppy or adult dog:

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Real homemade dog food A Quick Way To Make Homemade Dog Food
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Information on booster shots for your German Shepherd. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Bull Terrier puppy really need? Does your adult dog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you... [read more]

Information on spaying Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Should your female Bull Terrier be spayed? Current research says, "The AGE at which you spay can be vitally important to your dog's future health." So what's the best age? [read more]

Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Have you been told that you must neuter your male Bull Terrier? Current research shows that the issue is not so simple. Pet owners are not being told about some risks associated with neutering male dogs, especially neutering too early... [read more]

Information on choosing the best vet Make Sure Your Vet is the Best!
Is your current veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Here's how to tell... [read more]

Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review
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Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier

Complete list of Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier health problems

Heart disease (especially mitral valve disease and subaortic stenosis) is a serious concern in both Standard and Mini Bull Terriers.

Kidney diseases are another major problem – Bull Terriers suffer from several types of kidney disease.

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. This behavior is neither playful nor harmless – it is a neurological disease.
  • Sudden-onset aggression, often called rage syndrome. In this tragic disorder, a normally good-natured Bull Terrier wakens suddenly with a burst of uncontrollable aggression. It's not been conclusively proven that this behavior is neurological, 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 – especially white dogs.

Joint diseases occur in both sizes of Bull Terriers. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 100 Bull Terriers and found 7% dysplastic. Luxating patella (loose knee joints) occurs at a 3-4% rate. Osteochondritis also occurs in Bull Terriers.

Also this breed is very prone to tearing the cruciate ligament in their hind legs. This usually requires expensive surgery to repair.

Skin diseases are very 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 disease 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.

Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if your dog inherits from his parents the genes for an eye disease called PRA, he will go blind and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

Dog feeding and health book by Michele Welton But most health problems can be prevented by the ways you raise your dog.

My best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to raise your Standard & Miniature Bull Terrier in all the right ways that help prevent health problems. Become your dog's health care champion!

Michele Welton with BuffyAbout the author: Michele Welton has over 40 years of experience as a Dog Trainer, Dog Breed Consultant, and founder of three Dog Training Centers. An expert researcher and author of 15 books about dogs, she loves helping people choose, train, and care for their dogs.

To help you train and care for your dog

dog training videos Dog training videos. Sometimes it's easier to train your puppy (or adult dog) when you can see the correct training techniques in action.

The problem is that most dog training videos on the internet are worthless, because they use the wrong training method. I recommend these dog training videos that are based on respect and leadership.

book coverRespect Training For Puppies: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved puppy. For puppies 2 to 18 months old. Your puppy will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
If your dog is over 18 months, you'll want book coverRespect Training For Adult Dogs: 30 seconds to a calm, polite, well-behaved dog. Again your dog will learn the 21 skills that all family dogs need to know.
book coverTeach Your Dog 100 English Words is a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your adult dog to listen to you and do what you say.
book cover11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy helps your dog live a longer, healthier life.
book coverDog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams will help you find a good-tempered, healthy family companion.