Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Eye Diseases

Staffordshire Bull Terriers are strong-looking dogs that are also generally quite healthy. However, they do tend to develop certain eye diseases, some of which are hereditary, which is something to be aware of. This is especially true if you have decided to adopt a Staff puppy because if any symptoms show up you would realize there might be a problem and take him to the vet sooner rather than later.

Eye Conditions: American Staffordshire Terriers are prone to serious eye conditions such as PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), entropion (which causes the eyelids to roll inward), and cataracts.

Why is my dog rubbing his eyes?

The dog often squints its eyes or rubs them with its paw – these can also be important clues. Increased tear flow, reddened conjunctiva, or corneal opacity are clearer. Open injuries or foreign bodies are clearly visible in the eye.

Hereditary cataracts

Staffies are one of the breeds that are particularly prone to inheriting this condition when both parent dogs carry the gene responsible for the eye condition. Unfortunately, the condition is progressive, so a Staff puppy born with it may not show signs of a problem right away. However, the disease manifests itself when the dogs are still young, i. H. when the puppies are just 8 months old. If left untreated, the puppy will eventually become completely blind and it is important to remember that both eyes can be affected. On a positive note, Stafford Bull Terriers can be DNA tested and all reputable breeders ensure that the breeding animals they use are screened before using them in a program.

Any Staffordshire Bull Terrier showing symptoms of the condition should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible so that they can assess the dog’s eyes and determine how cataracts are affecting vision. Hereditary cataracts should never be ignored as the condition is considered serious and an affected dog, therefore, needs surgery to remove cataracts as soon as possible, otherwise, they will become blind in the affected eyes. The surgery is quite expensive, and it’s worth bearing in mind that some pet insurance plans won’t cover the cost of the procedure because it’s a genetic disorder, meaning it’s worth reading the fine print on a policy before committing she completes it.

Persistent Hyperplastic Primary Vitreous – PHPV

This is another eye condition that seems to affect Staffordshire Bull Terriers and one that vets are unsure how the puppies inherit from the parent breeds. Puppies are born with the condition so it is a congenital disorder and as such, they can be tested for PHPV at around 6 weeks of age. The good news is that it is not a progressive eye condition; H. if a puppy is born with this condition, it will not get worse in its lifetime.

Posterior polar subcapsular cataract

Along with a few other dog breeds, namely, the Golden Retriever and the Labrador, Staffs are also more prone to developing posterior polar subcapsular cataracts. The good news is that it is an eye condition that does not generally affect the dog’s vision. The bad news is that puppies cannot be tested for this type of cataract, nor is it known how they inherit the disease from their parents. Dogs of all ages can show symptoms of the condition. Therefore every staff should be tested every year to determine if they have the condition or not, especially if used in a breeding program.


In general, Staffordshire Bull Terriers are hardy little dogs, although as mentioned above, there are a number of health conditions that can seriously affect their vision. If you suspect your Staffie has developed any signs of an eye problem, be sure to take them to the vet for a thorough exam. Once the condition has been properly diagnosed, your Staffie will be given the right treatment and medication to provide quick relief before the condition worsens. Left untreated, a young Staffordshire Bull Terrier can lose vision in one of the affected eyes.

Many animal hospitals will send you the swabs and kits you need to test Staffies for eye diseases free of charge and give you detailed instructions on how to use them. Once swabs have been taken, all that remains is to send them to the lab for analysis. If it is determined that a Staff puppy may have inherited an eye condition from a parent dog, they must be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible to assess the condition of their eyes.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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