The American Pit Bull Terrier is a descendant of dogs brought from England and Ireland in the 19th century. The breed is famous, and at times infamous, for powerful jaws, tenacity, and fearlessness, and is often associated with illegal dogfighting. With proper socialization and plenty of love and attention, however, pit bulls can be loving, loyal and playful pets; indeed, they are not recommended as guard dogs for the very reason that they tend to be too friendly with outsiders.
Should you Purchase Insurance for your American Pit Bull?
Pitbulls can live up to 15 years, but they are known to be susceptible to a number of less and more serious medical problems:
- Demodectic mange: this condition develops when the immune system over-reacts to the tiny Demodex mites that are normally present on dogs’ skin, causing bald spots and sores (the mites do not infest humans or cats). Diagnosis is confirmed by skin biopsy, and treatment involves the administration of topical and oral medications to reduce inflammation and immune response and to address any secondary infections.
- Hip dysplasia: these dogs may inherit a condition where the hipbone fails to fit correctly into the pelvis. Over time, wear and tear can cause these joints to become inflamed, resulting in pain and restricted movement. The condition can often be reversed with surgery. Owners are urged to ask breeders for confirmation that the hips of the parents are not affected, though this does not guarantee that puppies will not develop dysplasia.
- Hypothyroidism: this condition occurs when the dog’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland, resulting in a lack of the necessary hormones that the thyroid produces. Symptoms include hair loss, skin problems, weight gain, and lethargy. Blood analysis is used to confirm the presence of the disease; treatment involves daily administration of an artificial hormone to replace what the thyroid no longer produces.
Your pitbull may be more likely to attack a pizza than a person or another dog, but that is no reason to be complacent about vet care. Regular visits add up, and even a normally non-life-threatening issue like mange can require expensive medication. There is also the fact these dogs’ adventurous spirit always has the potential to get them into trouble. The right pet health insurance plan can provide you with certainty that, come what may, your dog will always have the best medical care available.
For other types of dogs, check out our full list of dog breeds.