STCA

Official Site of the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America

​Home of the American Staffordshire Terrier

Health Committee

The mission of the STCA health committee is to:


  • - ​Identify diseases and ailments of the American Staffordshire Terrier
  • - Provide funding for health research projects beneficial to our breed
  • - Provide support and information for owners needing help in a health crisis situation
  • - Educate breeders and owners on diseases of the American Staffordshire Terrier and the importance of utilizing available health tests
  • - ​Acknowledge breeders and owners participating in health screenings


​STCA Health Chairperson: Lacey Benítez

Members: Kelly Townsend, Gloria Otero, Jessica Branch, Rose Starky and John O’Hanlon.


Contact: health@amstaff.org


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)

  • OFA Evaluation 

  • PennHIP Evaluation

Congenital Cardiac Database

  • OFA evaluation with examination performed by a Cardiologist (Must be 1 year old to be in OFA database)

Autoimmune thyroiditis

NCL-A (Cerebellar Ataxia)

  • NCL test results registered with the OFA - the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America advises that 2 NCL carriers should never be bred together, and that affected dogs should never be bred.
  • First Generation Offspring of tested dogs eligible for Clear By Parentage.

​ALPP (Amstaff juvenile laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy)

  • ALPP test results registered with the OFA - the Staffordshire Terrier Club of America advises that 2 ALPP carriers should never be bred together, and that affected dogs should never be bred.

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!


ALPP DNA Test Application


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 An​tagene 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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