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Official Site of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America
Home of the American Staffordshire Terrier
The mission of the STCA health committee is to:
STCA Health Chairperson: Lacey Benítez
Members: Kelly Townsend, Gloria Otero, Jessica Branch, Rose Starky and John O’Hanlon.
STCA Recommended Health Testing for your Amstaff
The Staffordshire Terrier Club of America recommends health testing for the following conditions that do affect the American Staffordshire Terrier for your breeding programs. You can also download the .pdf file by clicking on the button .
Hip Dysplasia (must be 2 years old for final results for OFA and 16 weeks for PennHip)
Congenital Cardiac Database
OFA evaluation with examination performed by a Cardiologist (Must be 1 year old to be in OFA database)
OFA evaluation from an approved laboratory - the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America recommends annual testing.
Click here to read article on Thyroid Disease and Autoimmune Thyroiditis by Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM
NCL-A (Cerebellar Ataxia)
First Generation Offspring of tested dogs eligible for Clear By Parentage.
ALPP (Amstaff juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy)
Eye Examination by a boarded ACVO Ophthalmologist (Optional) results registered with OFA.
Elbow Dysplasia (Optional) usually done when evaluated for Hip Dyspasia
The Staffordshire Terrier Club of America awards Members in Good Standing awards for Health Testing your Amstaff.
STCA Health Awards Page
Additional Health Information
7th Edition of “Ocular Disorders Presumed to be Inherited in Purebred Dogs
Pages 63-66 includes Amstaffs
click here for Dental Dentition Database
At the request of the American Rottweiler Club, the OFA has developed a new dentition database. The database is used to certify full dentition and is open to all breeds. Any attending veterinarian may perform the examination. There is no minimum age, however, prior to certification, all adult teeth must be fully erupted. The database is intended to certify that all adult teeth are fully erupted and present. It is not intended to certify compliance with any specific breed’s standard.
🚨 ALPP testing now available 🚨
(Amstaff juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy)
Sample collection will be available at the STCA National Specialty!! First 200 Amstaff tested will receive 50% discount making the test $32. For more information please read below!
Submission information for outside the USA
Dr. Johnson JLPP - Update
Almost four years ago, we at the University of Missouri began a research project to identify the mutation responsible for the juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy that has occurred in some American Staffordshire Terriers (AmStafs) and to devise a DNA test for the mutation. The juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy that affects AmStafs is similar but different from the juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy that affects Rottweilers and Black Russian Terriers. We have been referred to the disease of Rottweilers and Black Russian Terriers as JLPP. To avoid confusion with JLPP, we will refer to the Amstaff juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy as “ALPP.”
Although we have not yet definitively identified the precise cause of ALPP, we have identified two rare DNA sequence changes that when inherited from both parents are strongly associated with clinical ALPP. Because they are close together on the same chromosome, these two rare DNA sequence changes occur together greater than 97% of the time. We do not know if one or the other of these sequence changes are the direct cause of ALPP or if another as yet unidentified nearby sequence change is the direct cause of ALPP. Nonetheless, the associations of the two rare DNA sequence changes with ALPP are strong enough that they can be the bases of a linked-marker DNA test that can be used by AmStaf breeders to avoid the production of puppies destined to develop ALPP and by veterinarians for diagnostic purposes.
Linked-marker DNA tests are tests that detect rare sequence changes in regions of a chromosome that are highly associated with a heritable disease and, therefore, very likely to contain the mutation directly responsible for that disease. We and others have offered linked-marker tests when the chromosomal locations of the disease-causing mutations are known, but the actual mutations have not yet been identified. Linked-marker tests are not as reliable as DNA tests that directly detect the mutations responsible for the inherited diseases. Nonetheless, when they are very rare, as they are in our ALPP test, they have proven useful.
We now offer an ALPP linked-marker test for AmStaf EDTA blood samples shipped to our University of Missouri laboratory. See www.caninegeneticdiseases.net for submission details. As an introductory offer, we offer half-price ($32.00/test) testing for the first 200 test ordered. In addition, we offer free tests for AmStafs with clinical ALPP and their immediate family members (sires, dams, and/or littermates). If you have an AmStaf puppy (or a relative) that appears to have developed ALPP (see below), please contact Liz Hansen (HansenL@missouri.edu)
ALPP was first described in the scientific literature in 2018 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.../PMC.../pdf/JVIM-32-2003.pdf). Typically, the first signs of ALPP appear before the dogs reach 6 months of age. All dogs with ALPP exhibit at abnormal gait and in some cases an abnormal gait is the first clinical sign. Most but not all affected dogs also, develop laryngeal paralysis leading to respiratory distress. Sometimes the laryngeal paralysis becomes noticeable before the abnormal gait. Also, megaesophagus can develop, but it is not common.
NCL-A (Cerebellar Ataxia)
Cerebellar Ataxia is an autosomal recessive neurological disease. The first signs of the disease usually appear between 3 and 5 years of age in affected dogs. They are: loss of balance, difficulty cornering, and falling when shaking their head. As the signs progress, most dogs seem to have difficulty initiating movements. When they became unable to walk without falling repeatedly, owners usually make the difficult choice to euthanize.The Antagene Cerebellar Ataxia (NCL-A) test detects the mutant, defective gene copy and the normal gene copy. The result of the test is a genotype and allows separation of dogs into three groups: Normal/Clear (homozygous normal), Carrier (heterozygous) and Affected (homozygous mutated).
Please note the Cerebellar Ataxia test is done in France with Antagene but you must obtain the DNA test through Optigen.
Please look through the following links to find out more about Ataxia in the American Staffordshire Terrier.
Information from Antagene about Cerebellar Ataxia
DNA Test for Cerebellar Ataxia - Optigen
Dr. Olby's Cerebellar Ataxia Presentation
Antagene Video of Cerebellar Ataxia
OFA Clear by Parentage Policy for DNA Tests
AKC Canine Health Foundation link
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