american pit bull terrier breed information

common health issues

In subaortic stenosis, there is a partial obstruction to the flow of blood as it leaves the left side of the heart causing the heart to work harder to pump blood to the rest of the body. This can predispose the dog to arrhythmias, sudden death, heart failure, and infection of the aortic valve. Medical treatment centers on normalizing the heart rate.

Elbow dysplasia is actually a collective term which refers to the effects of one or more diseases of the elbow joint which result in pain and arthritis. Many of these problems can affect both elbows and result in forelimb lameness and elbow pain, often requiring surgical correction.

Demodex canis mites live on all healthy dogs. In the vast majority of cases they never cause a problem. However, some breeds can pass on an immune defect to their offspring that can result in a generalized proliferation of Demodex mites. The most common signs of demodectic mange are hair loss, scaling and irritation of the affected skin.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

Atopy refers to skin allergies caused by inhaled or contact allergens. Just like us, our dogs can be allergic to pollen, dander, grasses and trees. Their allergies result in itchiness that can be seasonal or year-round. Affected dogs are prone to ear and skin infections. The condition varies in severity but is usually lifelong and often requires constant medical management.

The American Pit Bull Terrier was developed in Great Britain in the late 18th century, when breeders began crossing terriers and bulldogs to produce a dog that combined the pluck of the terrier with the strength of the bulldog. Initially bred as a bull-baiting dog, the outlawing of such “sport” led to him become a ratter – the word “pit” in his name comes from the practice of putting him into a pit with rats. He immigrated to the United States, where he was used as a catch dog for wild cattle and feral hogs and used to drive livestock.

The American Pit Bull Terrier is a muscular, medium-sized dog, weighing between 30 and 60 lbs. Though similar in appearance to his close cousin, the American Staffordshire Terrier, the APBT is less bulldog-like in his face and build. His short, smooth coat may be a variety of colors and patterns, and only requires occasional brushing to keep neat. An energetic breed, he requires daily exercise to keep him happy and fit.

Despite what some consider an intimidating appearance, the APBT is loyal and eager to please, making him a wonderful family dog. In fact, his affection for children once earned him the nickname “nanny dog” in the early 20th century. Noted as an ineffective guard dog due to his friendly nature, a well-socialized APBT can do well in homes with other pets. A natural athlete, his intelligence and endurance help him excel in a variety of sports, including agility and obedience competitions.

Athletic abilities aside, American Pit Bull Terriers can be prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your family budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Pit Bulls are prone to include joint problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia; skin conditions such as demodicosis and atopy; and heart issues such as subaortic stenosis.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your American Pit Bull Terrier has the misfortune of inheriting his father’s bad hips or his mother’s bum elbows, you’re protected.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)