Sunday, January 8, 2012

Unique Pitbull Health Challenges

Pitbulls are amazingly loving, devoted companions and some of the strongest dogs in the world. However, the very breeding that has made them such good pets has also left them predisposed to some unique health challenges. Learning what these challenges are and how to overcome them is key to being a responsible owner for these dogs.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a disorder affecting the way the hip joint fits together. As a ball and socket joint, the hip is somewhat more fragile naturally than other types of joint. The "ball", the top of the thigh bone, must fit snugly within the socket in the hip, but must not have too much protrusion or roughness which can prevent it from moving freely. In hip dysplasia, the joint's ball is typically loose and has protrusions which make movement painful. The joint attempts to repair itself, but damage simplx becomes too severe. There is no way to treat hip dysplasia; the best you can do is to ameliorate the discomfort.

Luxating Patella

In this Pitbull health condition, the dog's kneecap, or patella, becomes dislocated or is able to move too freely. It is a fairly common condition, but it is also one that has an easy fix. Almost all incidents are able to be resolved with surgery or physical therapy. The treatment will depend on how long the patella was untreated and how severe the issue was to begin with.

Thyroid Complications

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are common in larger breeds of dogs, including the Pitbull. Health can be maintained even with one of these conditions, but it will require maintenance. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesn't produce sufficient quantities of regulating hormones, leading to lethargy, chills, dry skin, and hair loss. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormone, causing them to lose weight, consume more food, and eliminate faster. In addition, they may experience vomiting or diarrhea. Diagnosing either of these conditions is a simple matter of measuring the thyroid's output. Correcting the condition requires your dog to take thyroid medication.

Pitbull Mange

Caused by an uncontrolled infestation of mites within the dog, Pitbull mange is one of the most common health challenges your pet is likely to face. There are two types of Pitbull mange: demodectic mange and sarcoptic mange. Both are characterized by skin irritation across the body, but only sarcoptic mange is contagious to other dogs (neither can spread to humans.) Demodectic is the more common type of Pitbull mange and is typically treated simply by giving the infected ivermectin until symptoms disappear and the infestation is controlled. Sarcoptic mange requires a lot more intensive treatment and veterinary intervention.

Knowing the causes and symptoms of these common disorders will help you spot Pitbull health challenges quickly. A fast reaction can be key to helping your dog have a healthy and full recovery.

No comments:

Post a Comment