I would like to say a massive thank you to Susie at Arcazy Bull terriers for allowing me  to reproduce this very important information it must have taken forever to research everything much appreciated I hope you find it as interesting as I do.


The Bull Terrier (BT) and Miniature Bull Terrier (MBT) suffer with relatively small number of hereditary disease however those they do suffer with are serious and more common within the breeds than people initially think.

Kidney Disease (BT and MBT)

Heart Disease (BT and MBT)

Deafness (BT and MBT)

Patella Luxation (BT and MBT)

Primary Lens Luxation (MBT ONLY)

Lethal Acrodermatitis (LAD - Zincer)

Skin complaints (BT and MBT)

Other health problems

The above list is of those diseases deemed as inherited within the two breeds although it is important to remember there are many other illnesses/conditions any dog can develop in its life. If you believe your dog to have any kind of problem it is important to seek veterinary advice immediately.

Below is a brief out line of the diseases and the testing available in the UK to detect these problems. For more detailed information on each problem please click on the links provided.


KIDNEY DISEASE (Affecting both BT and MBT)

This disease is, in our opinion, the worst. It affects dogs between the ages of 2years-8years old however cases have been reported above and below these ages. This is known as 'the silent killer' as there are often no symptoms or signs before the final stages, many dogs each year die, in their owners eyes, suddenly and without warning. They were never aware their dog was suffering with this deadly disease. There is no cure for this disease however special diets and medication can help to prolong a dogs life.

There is currently a screening test available known as the urine protein/creatinine (UPC) test which calculates how much protein is in the urine, too much could indicate kidney disease. The national ratio excepted throughout the UK for all breeds is 1.0 however this is not the case for Bull Terriers, in research carried out in Australia is was proven that many dogs with a ratio above 0.3 went on die of kidney disease.

Dogs/bitches should be tested from the age of 1year every 6- 12 months until the age of 5. The UPC ratio should be below 0.3. Both parents of puppies should be tested clear in order to ensure the puppies will be clear. If one parent has KD they will pass this disease onto roughly half of the litter.



Heart Disease (Affecting both the BT and MBT)

There are various heart disease these breeds suffer with the most common being Mitral Valve Disease and sub-aortic stenosis. The valves are faulty and cause the heart to work harder until it can no longer cope and gives in. These conditions can be heard as heart murmurs and are graded in order of severity from grade 1 (minor murmur) to grade 6 (serious murmur).

Whilst the dog has a low grade murmur it is unlikely any signs or symptoms will be shown although as the condition deteriates many dogs may show breathlessness, coughing and even fainting.

An experienced vet may pick up a murmur above grade 2 however are likely to miss low grade murmurs using general equipment. It is therefore advised to see a specialist cardiologist who will use special equipment able to pick up even the lowest grade murmur. This will be a non invasive procedure and dog are normally awake throughout.

Dogs should be tested at 1 year old and then again when mature (around 3 years old). A certificate is given showing whether the dog is clear or which grade murmur was found.

Due to the mode of inheritance with this disease two clear parents can still produce a puppy with heart disease however, the chances are reduced dramatically.



Deafness (Affecting both BT and MBT)

Deafness is associated with white dogs, the BT and MBT no exception, however it is important to note that coloured dogs (even solids) have been reported as deaf.

Deafness is thought to be due to loss of pigmentation in the ears causing a loss of connection between the ear and the brain, however on going studies are continuing.

Dogs can be deaf in just one ear - known as unilateral deafness or both ears - known as bilateral deafness. Unilateral deaf puppies will appear normal and are often hard to decipher between the fully hearing litter mates.

The only certain way to tell what state a puppy or adult dogs hearing is, is by a BAER test. This test uses a computer to monitor electrical activity in the brains as it responds to noise. It is a non invasive procedure and most dogs are awake throughout. Dogs can be tested as young as 5 weeks old and are given a certificate to show if they can hear or not.

Due to the complicated mode of inheritance of this condition two parents with full hearing can still produce a deaf or partially deaf puppy, although the chances are dramatically reduced.



Patella Luxation (Affecting both BT and MBT)

The patella is similar to a human knee cap and with this condition it slips from its socket. This can be extremely painful for the dog and they will often limp.

The condition is graded on severity however normally worsens with age. There is medication that will help with the pain and an operation available for server cases.

An experienced vet or breeder should be able to check for Patella Luxation and it is often obvious by eye.



Skin complaints (Affecting both BT and MBT)

 They can vary in servility from small spots to full blown rashes/sores and skin lesions. There are a number of reasons as to why it occurs from poor diet to allergic reactions. Any dog suffering with a skin complaint should be seen by a vet and if the condition worsens please ask to be referred to a dermatologist (a skin specialist vet). If you would like future advice of skin problems please email us for more information until this page is fully updated.


Primary Lens Luxation - PLL (Affecting the MBT only)

This is a serious and painful eye condition within the MBT breed at present and something the MBT breeders are trying to reduce. There is a special interbreed programme taking place backed by the KC.

Anyone thinking of owning or breeding a MBT PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PLL and the current Interbreeding programme. This is not a condition that can be briefed.

Xalatan drops for the treatment of PLL is proving successful read here  for more info 'Life after PLL'



Please see the link above for tested Bull Terrier stud dogs and bitches. Please ensure you discuss health issues with the breeder and ensure both parents are fully tested before buying a puppy. Please be aware that the above website is not always up to date so it is down to you to make the necessary checks first.

If all breeders tested the likes of Kidney Disease could be eradicated from these two breeds and the others dramatically reduced. No one can ensure that you will not get any of the known diseases but breeders can and as far as we are concerned have a duty to the breed to do all they can to help breed as healthy as is possible litters and try to better the health and temperament of future generations.

Please note that although we have referred to the word 'dog' when describing the above all the disease/conditions affect both the dog and bitch BT and BTM.

For more information on the above please email us, we are always happy to help.


Arcazy Bull Terriers do not mind anyone using our information to promote bully health on their web sites as we feel it is an important message to get out to people, be they breeders, puppy buyers, owners or just generally interested in bully health. We have worked hard and researched for many hours to get this information together and we only ask that it is credited back to us.  We have found our work on other websites without acknowledgement and thus claiming to be that persons own work!! tut tut!!

Thank you


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