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Pit Bull Health

Pit bulls are generally a healthy breed. Proper food, grooming and exercise are main factors in maintaining the pet’s health. Some of the health problems found in pit bulls are genetic diseases, because of parasites, common health problems, behavioral, cancer, fungal infections, bacterial infections, skin problems, poisons and overdoses, environmental, eye problems, ligament problems, thyroid disorders, cancer, temperament problems, and cataracts etc.

  • Food allergy in dogs is commonly manifested as itching, especially of the face, paws, and the underside. Skin testing has proved unreliable, and a trial of a hypoallergenic diet is usually used for diagnosis. So proper food diet must be maintained for the dog.

  • Vaccination must be done regularly as per the vet’s advice and should never be skipped. Booster, distemper and rabies shots are commonly given to pets.

Canine parvovirus is at times fatal gastrointestinal infection that mainly affects puppies.

Canine coronavirus is a gastrointestinal disease that is usually asymptomatic or with mild clinical signs. The signs are worse in puppies.

Canine distemper is an often fatal infectious disease that mainly has respiratory and neurologic signs.

Canine influenza is a newly emerging infectious respiratory disease. Up to 80 percent of dogs infected will have symptoms, but the mortality rate is only 5 to 8 percent.

Infectious canine hepatitis is a sometimes fatal infectious disease of the liver.

Canine herpesvirus is an infectious disease that is a common cause of death in puppies less than three weeks old.

Pseudorabies is an infectious disease that primarily affects swine, but can also cause a fatal disease in dogs with signs similar to rabies.

Canine minute virus is an infectious disease that can cause respiratory and gastrointestinal signs in young puppies.

Kennel cough is an infectious respiratory disease which can be caused by one of several viruses or by Bordetella bronchiseptica. It most commonly occurs in dogs in close confinement such as kennels.


Hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, fleas, ticks, mites, mange parasites causes mild as well as severe problems in pets Signs differ according to the disease but the common signs are vomiting, fever, cough, difficulty in breathing. Some may be transferrable so one should also consult with the vet when any of the sysmptoms are observed in the pet.

Inherited diseases:

Haemophilia A, Haemophilia B

Symptoms-X-linked blood clotting disorder.

Cerebellar cortical abiotrophies

Symptoms: Progressive gait abnormalities, loss of balance and ataxia from 3 years. Loss of Purkinje and granule cells. Some evidence of lipofuscin accumulation.

Cone-rod dystrophy

Symptoms: Loss of vision from a young age, initially in bright light.

  • Although pit bulls are healthy breed some are prone to hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, allergies to grass and congenital heart disease.

Hip dysplasia: is an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. It is a genetic trait that is affected by environmental factors.

Dog Poison and overdoses:

Tylenol can cause liver damage in pets. The toxic dose is 150 mg/kg.

Ingestion of mouse and rat poison can lead to kidney or heart problems or causes central nervous system signs such as seizures, muscle tremors, and depression.

Chocolate is a common cause of poisoning in dogs. The toxic principles in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine. Baker’s chocolate is the most dangerous form since it contains higher concentrations of these drugs, followed by semi-sweet, dark, and then milk chocolate. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, difficulty walking, seizures, and heart problems.

Lead poisoning is uncommon in dogs. Exposure to lead is from eating paint chips from lead-based paint, and eating lead objects such as fishing stinkers, or counterweights. Signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, blindness, seizures, and tremors.

Raisins and grapes are potential causes of kidney failure in dogs.

Insecticides used in dogs for fleas and ticks contain substances that can be absorbed through the skin, conjunctiva, gastrointestinal tract, and lungs. Toxicity occurs through over dosage with an appropriate product or use of an agricultural product. Signs for both include hyper salivation, vomiting, lethargy, tremors, difficulty walking, weakness, and death.


Heat stroke can occur in dogs, especially in flat-faced breeds such as the Bulldog or in giant breeds. Breed, lack of water, exercise, and high ambient temperature predispose dogs to heat stroke. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, difficulty breathing, and body temperature approaching 42°C to 43°C. Treatment includes cooling the dogs with wet towels and fans, intravenous fluid therapy, and other supportive care. If a dog’s temperature begin to drop to around 40°C, stop the cooling process. Once a dog’s body begins to cool, it can drop quickly and getting them to cool can create different problems. Allow the dog only a couple of laps of water until their temperature begin to drop to a more normal level. Do not allow a dog to gulp large quantities of water. If a dog is panting excessively and then drinks a lot of water, he will swallow large amounts of air with the water and this can cause an equally life-threatening case of bloat in their stomach.

Thyroid diseases:

Hyperthyroidism is rare in pits. The most common cause is thyroid carcinoma, a malignant tumor. Signs include weight loss, increased appetite, and enlargement of the thyroid gland.

Hypothyroidism is the most common endocrine disease in dogs. It can be caused by autoimmune destruction or idiopathic atrophy of the thyroid gland. These two causes are responsible for over 95% of the hypothyroidism cases in dogs. Signs include decreased appetite, weight gain, hair loss, dry skin/coat, skin that is cold to the touch, recurring skin infections, and lethargy. The dog may also seek out warm places to lie. Symptoms may not appear until 75% or more of the gland is non-functional. In less than 10% of hypothyroidism cases, the problem is not with the thyroid gland itself, but with the pituitary gland in the brain. The pituitary gland produces a thyroid stimulating hormone; without this hormone to signal the thyroid gland to produce its thyroid hormone, the thyroid gland remains inactive. Treatment is with oral thyroid hormone supplementation. Lack of enough iodine in the diet can produce a form of hypothyroidism; without the proper amount of it, the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone.

Myxedema coma is a rare but serious aspect of the disease that is a medical emergency.Cataracts are opacity in the lens of the eye. Most cataracts in dogs are caused by a genetic predisposition, but diabetes mellitus is also a common cause.

Cushing’s disease commonly found in pit bulls is the more common name for hyperadrenocorticism-a hyperactive adrenal gland which secretes excess hormones into the bloodstream. Cushing’s is generally caused by tumors of either the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland.

The neutering of the dogs if they are not being mated is advisable. Spaying and neutering can decrease the risk of hormone-driven diseases such as mammary cancer, as well as undesired hormone-driven behaviors. The dogs should be checked with the good vets at frequent intervals. Monitor their intake of food and their reaction to. If, the diet is not suitable change it accordingly. Proper behavioral training is compulsory. On detection of any symptom immediately take the dog to the vet and also take precautionary measures.



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