What are common health problems in pit bulls?

common health problems in pit bulls

Pit bulls are generally healthy dogs. However, there are some health problems common in pit bulls that you should be aware of. 

Skin problems

Skin problems are common in pit bulls. They range from allergies, tumors and even skin cancer. Keep your dog clean including their ears and avoid too much sun exposure. Ear infections are a common issue which is often caused by allergies.  

Knee issues

Since pit bulls are very active and very strong dogs they are susceptible to knee injuries that affect the ligaments in their knees. 

Hip Dysplasia

Surgery is common to correct hip dysplasia which is common in these types of dogs. A dog wheelchair is also commonly used after surgery to help with recovery. It can also be used as a permanent option when a pet parent opts against surgery. A dog wheelchair can also be used along with other treatments such as physical therapy. 


Pit bulls are more susceptible to allergies than most dogs. They can be from the environment or certain foods. 

Symptoms Of Allergies In Pit Bulls

  • Red, moist, or scabbed skin
  • Itchy and runny eyes
  • Itchy skin – itching can lead to wounds which need to be treated to prevent infection 
  • Itchy ears and or ear infections
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Thyroid Disease (Hypothyroidism)

Thyroid disease is caused when the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough thyroid hormones.

Symptoms Of Thyroid Disease In Pit Bulls

  • Hair loss 
  • Thin coat that isn’t shiny 
  • Flakey skin
  • Black skin patches
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Lack of energy 
  • Intolerance to cold weather
  • Toenail and or ear infections
  • Fearful aggression  
common health problems in pit bulls

Gastric Dilatation (Volvulus)

If your dog has an enlarged stomach and may seem anxious take them to the veterinarian immediately. Some owners dismiss this as bloating. This can become deadly if not treated within a few hours. 


This is a genetic disease that your dog could inherit from their parents. It’s more common in terrier breeds. The skin and also foot pads can resemble fish scales and become very dry. This needs to be treated by a vet so the condition does not get worse over time. 


Certain types of bulldogs are more prone to cataracts. This condition can be inherited or develop from other conditions such as hypocalcemia, diabetes and uveitis. Medications and sometimes surgery are sometimes needed depending on the condition. 

Cerebellar Ataxia 

This is an inherited condition that affects coordination and a dog’s balance. Pit bulls will have tremors and a wobbly gait. In severe cases a dog may not be able to move. Dogs with Cerebellar Ataxia may need a dog wheelchair for balance and mobility. 

Heart Disease  

The most common heart disease affecting pit bulls is aortic stenosis, which usually doesn’t show any symptoms. Heart disease would be found during normal visits to the vet.  

About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our Best Friend Mobility Dog Wheelchairs.

A dog wheelchair is also referred to as a handicap dog cart or wheels for handicap dogs. One of the common needs is for hip dysplasia. We offer three different models and have small dog wheelchairs and large dog wheelchairs.

We offer a full support dog wheelchair which is also referred to as a dog quad wheelchair or four wheel dog wheelchair, a dog wheelchair for back legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair. This is the only one that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it. 

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