How long do Staffordshire Bull Terriers live?
The average life expectancy of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier is 12–14 years. He is generally healthy but predisposed to breed-specific health conditions such as:
Many Staffordshire Bull Terriers can be afflicted with hip dysplasia. This condition is a hip and joint issue that is due to the defect on the ball of the leg and socket of the hip. This leads to the improper alignment of the two, causing the joints to grind against each other.
Affected Staffordshire Bull Terrier dogs are often in pain. Other symptoms of this disease include limping and weakness of hind legs. Moving around is difficult for them as well. Medical therapy and surgery are the available treatments for hip dysplasia.
Prevent hip dysplasia from developing on your Staffy by avoiding high-impact activities. These include running to and from on pavements, going up and down on the stairs, and jumping on or off the bed or sofa.
Exercises such as these put pressure on his joints, triggering the joint disorder. Obesity can lead to hip dysplasia too, so always manage your Stafford Staffy's weight.
Cyclic Follicular Dysplasia
It is a hereditary condition and type of alopecia that is caused by the deformity of the hair follicles. This commonly occurs during early spring. Signs that hint that your Stafford has cyclic follicular dysplasia include flaky skin and hair loss, especially along the flanks.
Although the hair regrows within six months, melatonin medications can help in hastening its growth. Health-screening Staffordshire Bull Terrier’s aids in preventing the spread of this condition within the breed. It identifies which dogs are likely to develop cyclic follicular dysplasia. The breeder should avoid using them as breeding dogs.
Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous (PHPV)
PHPV is an ocular disease common in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier breed and can lead to impaired vision. Whilst there is no clear cause of the disease, experts believe it is hereditary. Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies may develop this health problem around 4–5 weeks after birth.
Although PHPV is not a painful disease, it causes discomfort. Mild cases often do not require treatment. The severe condition may prompt surgery. Beware though that it does not guarantee 100% success.
Get your Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder who provides documentation that their breeding stocks are health-screened for this disease.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppies show symptoms of cataracts 8 weeks after birth. This eye problem is often inherited from either or both of their parent dogs. Cataracts have no cure, and it is a progressive condition. Within 2–4 years, dogs with this disease will become completely blind.
The only way to prevent cataracts in Staffys is for potential parent dogs to undergo DNA testing. If they have high chances of having cataracts, they should not be used for breeding.
Daily exercise for the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is needed to release his energy and avoid becoming overweight. He requires regular walks coupled with playtimes in a fenced backyard for at least 1 and half hour every day.
The Stafford is good at escaping fences by digging a tunnel. Prevent these instances from happening by reinforcing the bottom of the fence. Since this small dog breed is prone to joint problems, do not subject the SBT to heavy exercises as it can negatively affect his muscles and joints, especially the puppy.
The general rule of thumb that you can follow when walking a Staffordshire Bull Terrier puppy is 5 minutes for every month of age. If you have a 4-month-old pup, he needs a maximum of 15–20 minutes of walking.
When walking the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, it is best to keep him on a lead. This keeps him from chasing small animals or dominating other dogs. The Staffy has a short face, so he should not be left outside for too long as he cannot tolerate hot weather. Always make sure that he has access to shade and clean water.