health & testing
In general the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a healthy and resilient breed with few known health issues when acquired from a responsible, reputable breeder. They are a very stoic breed and therefore rarely show how ill or how much pain they are really in. This must be taken into account by their owner for when they do show any signs this well & truly means it could be quite serious. Illness and injury aside, there are a few inheritable conditions staffords can be afflicted with. Probably the most significant of health issues known in the breed is a hereditary neurological condition called L-2 hydroxyglutaric Aciduria or commonly referred to as L2-hga. They are also known to have Hereditary cataracts (HC) and an inherited eye condition called Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitroeus (PHPV).
Prospective owners should educate themselves on these issues and the required testing thereof and to choose a puppy that is not only bred to the Kennel Club breed standard but that the breeder is dilligent about these tests on their own dogs and the puppies they produce.
When you bring a puppy home you want the security of knowing much has been done to help ensure that it's life with you is as long and healthy as possible and choosing a breeder who has commitment to the breed in all manner is just the beginning.
The eye conditions that are relevant Staffordshire Bull Terriers are Hereditary Cataracts (HC), Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitroeus (PHPV) and Posterior Polar Subcapsular cataract (PPSC). HC is inherited through a recessive gene, meaning both parents must be carriers in order for a puppy to be affected. Genetic testing has given breeders the ability to eliminate the HC gene from their lines. PHPV, however, has a more complex pattern of inheritance. It is known to be present at birth and is not progressive. It can be detected with an eye exam at six weeks of age.
L-2 hydroxyglutaric Aciduria
L-2 hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (L2-Hga) is a neuro-metabolic disorder in which the substance L-2 builds up in the dog's plasma, urine and cerebrospinal fluid. This substance is usually metabolized, but when L-2 hydroxyglutaric Aciduria is present, it will instead remain in the body, with alarming. Symptoms may include behavioral changes, seizures, tremors and muscle stiffness. There have been a few cases in which dogs affected with L2-hga, with prescription medications have lived a long and full life but this is rare. Most are not so fortunate.
** I have dedicated a page to further reading on the subjects of each of these conditions in the drop-down menu under "Health" **
With a quality nutrition, regular physical & mental exercise along with regular vaccinations & worming, your well-bred stafford should live a long and healthy life of 14-16 years.