What You Need to Know About Common Orthopedic Conditions in Pit Bulls
Did you know that Pit Bulls make up 6% of America’s dog population? That’s close to 4.5 million dogs! However, the term “Pit Bull” is actually just used to cover a group of several different breeds. These breeds include:
- American Bulldogs
- American Bull Terriers
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- Bull Terriers
The term Pit Bull can ALSO include a variation of the breeds above.
What Are Common Orthopedic Conditions in Pit Bulls?
Hip Dysplasia is a common skeletal condition that causes an abnormal formation of the ball-and-socket joint during growth. This abnormal formation occurs when the femur and the socket in the pelvis that make up this joint, don’t grow at even rates - causing excessive joint laxity within the hip (very similar to Shoulder Dysplasia). Joint laxity, or hypermobile joints, allows the ball-and-socket joint of the hip to move around, causing pain and inflammation.
Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injuries
The CCL connects the dog’s tibia to its femur using connective tissue to stabilize the knee (like an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) found in humans). There are several degrees of injury that can occur to the CCL ranging from a partial tear to a full rupture. A partial tear or full rupture causes joint instability which leads to pain and inflammation.
So How Can I Support My Pit Bull with Orthopedic Conditions?
There are several different treatment options for Hip Dysplasia and CCL injuries ranging from weight reduction to surgery depending on the severity.
Support for Hip Dysplasia
If surgery is not an option, Balto USA bracing devices such as the Balto Life – Hip Dysplasia Brace can support the hips for a better quality of life. There is also the Balto Life, which provides bilateral compression of the hips - allowing for increased blood flow, which helps diminish pain and stiffness. The brace’s compression pads are removable as well as lined with a double layer of comfortable, soft material.
Support for Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL) Injuries
Knee braces can also be used in place of surgery for dogs that are not a good surgical candidate (age, disease, weight, etc.), expenses, or simply wanting to take a holistic approach. The Balto Jump – Knee Brace allows for slight immobilization of the knee while compression helps ensure better circulation in the area which can diminish pain and inflammation. A brace similar to that is the Balto Ligatek – Adjustable Hinged Knee Brace - it allows for a controlled range of motion (ROM) of the knee, offering a little more control of how immobile you want the knee to be. Working closely with your veterinarian, you can set a specific degree pre/post-operatively to ensure a gradual return to movement.