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NOTTS AND DERBY DISTRICT STAFFORDSHIRE BULL TERRIER CLUB

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HEREDITARY CATARACTS

A cataract is a clouding of the jelly inside the eyes that affects the eyesight.  The only treatment is an operation that is both traumatic for the dog and very expensive.

With HC the puppy is not born with cataracts but they start to develop as the puppy grows and they progress to total cataract and blindness by age two to three years.  HC affects both eyes equally, something labelled as a bilateral condition.  It is a recessive genetic trait, that means it only develops if the puppy inherits the faulty gene from both parents, but remember it will be a carrier if the puppy receives the gene from one parent. The Animal Health Trust has developed a test for HC, it is recommended that all breeding dogs and bitches are tested before mating.

www.aht.org.uk/cms-display/genetics_staffcataractsb.html

L2-HGA

L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria is a metabolic disorder where the dog has an excess of a chemical called L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Acid in its body.  This affects the central nervous system and causes a range of symptoms including a ‘wobbly’ gait, tremors and epileptic seizures.  Symptoms arise between 6 and 12 months usually but they can appear later.

L2-HGA is a recessive genetic trait, that means it only develops if the puppy inherits the faulty gene from both parents, but remember it will be a carrier if the puppy receives the gene from one parent.

The Animal Health Trust has developed a test for L2-HGA and, although the condition is comparatively rare, it is recommended that all breeding dogs and bitches are tested before mating to ensure it is contained and eradicated hopefully. www.aht.org.uk/cms-display/genetics_l2hgab.html

PHPV & PPSC

Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous is a condition where the puppy is born with scarring inside the eye caused by a defect in its development.  The puppy will have some degree of hazy vision or partial blindness but the condition does not worsen with age.  

The precise genetic mutation has not been identified to allow for a genetic screening test but, as it is congenital (present at birth) it is recommended that all litters be screened visually from 6 weeks of age.

POSTERIOR POLAR SUBCAPSULAR CATARACT A cataract is a clouding of the jelly inside the eyes.  PPSC is usually found in other breeds but has now been found in a small number of Staffords.  It can develop at any age and, because of this it is recommended that breeding stock should be tested annually.  However, if the condition does develop the cataract usually remains as a small defect in the eye and tends not to cause serious sight problems.  

PPSC L2-HGA PHPV HC

HEALTH MATTERS

An important message from Archie Bryden (Lead Health Co-ordinator)

In the course of current investigations, I have uncovered an occasional anomaly with the Kennel Club Test Result finder system, including failing to find dogs on the database which ought to be there, although their parents may be found. In some occasions mis-spelling in catalogues etc. may be the cause. I have also discovered that important test results, such as DNA litter testing by responsible breeders if a parent is a carrier, may not be recorded. I would suggest that owners check that the health test information recorded on their dogs’ registration forms is correct, and that details on the health test result finder is also accurate. Should there be any errors or omissions, the Kennel Club should be contacted to get information updated.

Stafford Health

Staffords are robust dogs but, over the last forty years four conditions have become associated with the breed.  The four conditions are usually referred to by their initials rather than the technical names: HC, L2-HGA, PHPV and PPSC. They are associated with genetic mutations and so the conditions are passed on from generation to generation. There are two grades of genetic effect, dominant and recessive.  In dominant conditions the pup only has to inherit from one of its parents for the problem to show up.  In recessive conditions it will only show if the pup inherits the faulty gene from both parents.  If the faulty gene is inherited from only one parent the pup will not develop the condition but it will be what is called a carrier.  If two carriers are mated there is a chance that one quarter of the pups will develop the condition, half will be carriers and a quarter will be completely clear.  This makes it very important that all breeding dogs and bitches are checked.  The Animal Health Trust and British Veterinary Association have developed genetic tests for two mutations but the other two conditions can only be identified by physical eye checks at present.  The AHT are now researching PHPV and PPSC thanks in part to a generous grant from The Kennel Club and they are asking for genetic samples from affected dogs.  More details are available at http://www.staffords.co.uk/phpvsamples.htm. It is recommended to have breeding bitches and stud dogs DNA tested for HC/L2-HGA and eye tested for PPSC, puppies should be eye tested for PHPV from 6 weeks of age. For further information and/or DNA testing application forms please refer to http://www.staffords.co.uk or contact The Animal Health Trust on: 08700-502-424; http://www.aht.org.uk  

Health Seminar

In 2010 the SBT Breed Council organised a Health Seminar at the Kennel Club building at Stoneleigh.  You can read the report, just click on the link

Report

Follow the links below to find out more about the conditions that affect our breed.