Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the UK: their disorder predispositions and protections

Pegram, C and Wonham, K and Brodbelt, D C and Church, D B and O’Neill, D G (2020) Staffordshire Bull Terriers in the UK: their disorder predispositions and protections. Canine Medicine and Genetics, 7 (1). p. 13. ISSN 2662-9380

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Abstract: Background: The Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a popular dog breed in the UK but there is limited reliable evidence on disorder predispositions and protections within the breed. Using anonymised veterinary clinical data from the VetCompass™ Programme, this study aimed to identify common disorders with predisposition and protection in the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. The study hypothesised that Staffordshire Bull Terriers would have higher odds of aggression compared with non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Results: The clinical records of a random sample of dogs of all types were reviewed to extract the most definitive diagnoses for all disorders existing during 2016. A combined list from the 30 most common disorders in Staffordshire Bull Terriers and the 30 most common disorders in non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers was generated. Multivariable logistic regression was used to report the odds of each of these disorders in 1304 (5.8%) Staffordshire Bull Terriers compared with 21,029 (94.2%) non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers. After accounting for confounding, Staffordshire Bull Terriers had significantly increased odds of 4/36 (11.1%) disorders compared to non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers with highest odds for seizure disorder (OR 2.06; 95% CI 1.24 to 3.40; p = 0.005). Conversely, Staffordshire Bull Terriers had reduced odds of 5/36 (13.9%) disorders, with lowest odds for patellar luxation (OR 0.15; 95% CI 0.04 to 0.61; p = 0.008). There was no significant difference in the odds of aggression between Staffordshire Bull Terriers compared with non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers (OR 1.09; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.58; p = 0.644). Conclusions: This study provides a reliable evidence base of breed-specific disorder predispositions and protections that can be used by breeders to optimise breeding decisions. The findings can assist prospective owners of Staffordshire Bull Terriers to make informed decisions when acquiring a dog. From the relative number of predispositions to protections identified, there is no evidence that Staffordshire Bull Terriers have higher overall health problems than non-Staffordshire Bull Terriers.

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