American Staffordshire Terrier Health Problems


While normally a healthy breed, the american staffordshire terrier can suffer from genetic issues, primarily caused by unwise breeding patterns. Some are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts and congenital heart disease. Other health problems can be environmental and be caused by the way the dog is brought up.

This is a short haired breed and does not do well in extreme temperatures.

The average life expectancy of the healthy American Staffordshire Terrier is around 10-12 years.

Some of the most common American Staffordshire Terrier health problems include:

Some of the More Common American Staffordshire Terrier Health Problems Include:

Allergic Reactions

Dogs can suffer from Allergic reactions, just like we do, When their immune systems recognize something as a possible danger. These allergens may be common and harmless but a dog with allergies will have an extreme reaction to them.

Allergens may cause a problem when they are inhaled, ingested or come into contact with a dog's skin. As the dog's immune system tries to get rid of these substances, skin, digestive and respiratory symptoms may appear.

Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs:

Constant licking
Ear infections
Increased scratching
Itchy skin, back and ears
Paw chewing
Runny or inflamed eyes


Causing cloudy vision. Eventually leads to blindness if not treated.

Cerebellar Ataxia

An inherited problem of cell degeneracy in the cerebellum of the brain. This is called hereditary ataxia when just one cell type deteriorates and the dog can still walk and can live with the handicap. Some severe conditions will totally disable the dog.  

Cranial Cruciate Ligament tear

A ruptured cranial cruciate ligament impacts on the hind leg and is very painful. It will prevent the dog from walking or placing any weight on his back legs. This will cause the American Staffordshire Terrier to limp badly. 

Limping will occur directly after the injury but may subside in a few weeks, but could return subsequently. Some symptoms include reduced range of leg motion, back leg extended when sitting, baulks at exercise, or movement.


This condition could be inherited or caused by excessive loud noise, intolerance to anesthesia, drug poisoning, and ear infection, In some cases one ear can be completely deaf from birth and the other ear can degenerate over time.


Dry skin and Loss of Hair

Hair loss and dry skin is a common American Staffordshire Terrier Health Problem. This could be caused by Hypothyroidism, flea allergies, dust or mite allergies. Hair loss can be treated with a medication if it's a fungal infection, ringworm, or other forms of dermatitis. Dry skin problems are often related to hair loss so look at both together. Once the source is determined, you can then treat the hair loss or dry skin on the dog with a medication or a herbal remedy or special diet changes.

Elbow Dysplasia and Hip Dysplasia

This is something some American Staffordshire Terrier's have from birth. Wear and age can cause problems with the elbow joints. If you have a dog prone to this disease, surgery may avert further damage to the joints.

In hip dysplasia, the femur does not fit correctly into the pelvic socket causing pain, lameness and difficulty in walking. The problem really originates as a young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and develops increasingly.

This can be discovered by diagnostics testing.

Generally, there is no remedy apart from surgery but there are some things you can do

Keep your dog at his preferred weight by feeding him a healthy diet.

Use anti-inflammatory medication.

Stem-cell technology, although a new and expensive process, can help to restore cartilage to induce the bones to align the right way again.


This condition is an eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes inverting and growing into the eye. Usually an inherited condition and found in young, adult dogs. Both eyes will generally be affected. Treatment for the condition necessitates eye surgery.

Gastric Torsion

This is commonly called bloat or twisted stomach. A dangerous condition that usually occurs in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Symptoms include anxious pacing, unrest, inordinate slavering, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, weakness, bulging stomach area, shock or collapse. Consult your vet immediately.


Caused by an underactive thyroid gland that produces too little thyroid hormone. Thyro-Pet is a Herbal remedy to promote healthy thyroid functioning and support energy levels, metabolism and digestion.

Hypothyroidism has it's roots in the American Staffordshire Terrier’s immune system which attacks the tissues of the thyroid gland. Some symptoms include skin infections and/or dry skin, lethargy, weight gain, hair loss and ear infections.

Get more info on Thyro-Pet - Proven herbal dog hypothyroidism solution

Lick granuloma

A skin problem caused by the dog licking excessively at the same area. Could be caused by separation anxiety, boredom, or an allergy. The wound is licked nearly to the bone and can't heal. Covering the wound is not a solution as the dog starts to lick in a different place.

Mast Cell Tumors

Mast cells are encountered throughout the body and help sustain the dog’s normal immune reaction, health and body functions. These tumors can be cancerous and circulate through the body. There is no recognized cause of mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. 

The best way is to keep the dog's immune system as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog comes through or not hinges upon how progressed the malignant tumor is.

Patent Ductus Arteriosis or PDA

Canine congenital heart failure. Before the dog is born, blood from the heart passes the lungs by a small vessel called the ductus arteriosis. This vessel should disappear after birth so the young dog breathes by itself. Sometimes the vessel remains and this impedes the proper circulation of blood.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina impacting upon both eyes inducing blindness. Begins with night blindness and advances as the retina gradually degenerates.

Though these are the most common American Staffordshire Terrier health problems, a healthy, well screened dog is unlikely to suffer from the majority of these diseases.

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