What Do Pitbulls Usually Die From?

Pitbulls are great dogs to have around. Not only do they always look like they are smiling, but they are wonderful companions to have around too. 

What Do Pitbulls Usually Die From

Whilst they can become aggressive towards humans and other dogs if not trained properly, they can also be safe to have around the family with no problems at all.

They are a highly misunderstood breed across the U.S., though despite this, they are a good dog to have by your side, despite the stigma that some people have for them. They do also have a number of health problems.

If you are planning to own a Pitbull, then you will want to make sure that you are prepared just in case your Pitbull falls ill.

In this article we shall take a look at some of the most common health problems that a Pitbull may have which can cause death, as well as some common issues.

So, let’s get to it!

Inherited Heart Disease

Sadly, a common condition that is usually inherited is heart disease. Particularly, it is the aortic stenosis, so it is always worth getting your Pitbull checked regularly. The reason being is because they don’t show any symptoms for this. 

Inherited Cerebellar Ataxia

Another inherited issue is suffering with Cerebellar Ataxia. It affects around 1 in 400 Pitbulls and can impact their muscles causing them to have an imbalance.

It usually comes on as the dog ages, and signs are usually due to their movements, having a wobbly gait, and tremors. 

A Pitbull who suffers from this will likely need help getting around as they will become slightly immobile and struggle to walk. 


If the pads of your Pitbull’s feet have become thicker, as well as their skin, then there is a good chance they might be suffering from Ichthyosis (Check out Why Do Pitbulls Have Webbed Feet?). It is an illness that occurs around the time they are born, yet might not be noticeable at this stage.

Your Pitbull may look like the skin has dandruff, or scales. If it is left untreated, then it will become painful for your dog. 

Again, it can be inherited from the Pitbull’s parents, so if you are buying a dog from a breeder, ask about the medical history of the dog’s parents. 

Dangerous Gastric Dilatation

If you believe your dog is suffering with Gastric Dilatation, then you will want to seek help immediately. If left, it can be fatal for your Pitbull after just a few hours of suffering.

It can be seen as just your dog suffering with a bit of bloating, but this excess gas can be dangerous to your pooch. If he or she shows signs of anxiety, as well as a bloated tummy, go to a vet as soon as possible so they can remove the air. 

Skin Issues

A Pitbull has short hair, so they are prone to a number of issues when it comes to their skin. It can range from them having an allergy, to growing tumors and suffering with skin cancer (Find out Are Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?). 

If you do think there is an abnormality when it comes to the Pitbull’s coat, seek a vet as soon as possible.

It could be skin cancer, and this can be detrimental for your dog’s health. The quicker they see a vet about it, the more likely something can be done to save your beloved pooch. 

They are also very prone to general burns from the sun too, as well as mosquito and general bug bites. You can find dog-safe brands who create repellents for their furry skin. If left, they may scratch and dange their skin. 

You must also brush your dog’s skin regularly, as well as clean the Pitbull’s ears. Doing so can help to prevent any allergies. 


Pitbulls are dogs which are very prone to picking up a number of allergies. The most common is having a skin problem which can cause them to have itchy and dry patches.

What Do Pitbulls Usually Die From (1)

This can cause hair loss, and also scratches due to them scratching and biting at the area.

If left untreated, the simple skin allergy can turn into something much worse. 

They are also affected by allergies that humans face, such as from other dogs, grass, pollen, flies and even ticks. 

They might not physically see that your Pitbull has an allergy, but they will be showing signs. For example, they may be both scratching and biting an area of their skin, licking it and drooling all over it, and their fur might shed in an abnormal way. 

If you notice him or her doing this, take action immediately to stop the situation from becoming worse. 

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is very, very common when it comes to Pitbulls. Whilst it can be caused by overexertion in dogs which are still growing, it can also be, you guessed it, inherited.

Pitbulls are known for suffering with problems with their back legs. This slows the dog down and is usually caused by their hip not being formed properly. This will cause the dog pain, and maybe even arthritis. 

To see if your Pitbull has Hip Dysplasia, you will notice that they struggle to climb the stairs, as well as run. There may even be lameness in those back legs which is causing the struggle to move them.

Surgery is quite common to ‘fix’ the issue, though some choose to manage the issue instead. They do this by putting the dog through non-invasive therapy, and making the Pitbull wear a brace on their hips.

Doing so can help the pain to be relieved, and will help them to have better movement so they can stay happy and healthy. 

Final Thoughts

Just like any other dog, a Pitbull is prone to illnesses and disease, however you shouldn’t avoid adopting a dog just because it might become ill – that is just the fact of life.

So long as you are prepared and have the money to fund any veterinary care that may come as a surprise, then you can feel rest assured that your Pitbull will live a long and happy life.

Emily Andrews