Skin Issues & Coat Issues

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Blue coated dogs

First of all, it should be stated that all blue coated dogs are at risk for skin issues. This includes all breeds and mixes of breeds, not just the Pit Bull. If a dog has a coat that is any shade of blue, that dog will have a higher risk of having some type of skin or coat issue, even mild. In addition, any “dilute” (I will explain dilute later) color has this same risk of problems. It doesn’t mean it will always happen, but it can. With that being said, let’s get to the basics of the answer to the question of “why?”

What Does The Term “Dilute” Mean?

Blue Coated Pit with No Skin IssuesThe term “dilute” refers to a color gene. The color gene responsible for dilute in all dog breeds is d/d. The D locus in color genetics refers to whether or not a dog is a dominant color (like black), is a dilute, or is a dilute carrier. D/D refers to a non-dilute color, for example black or yellow. D/d refers to a dog that will appear to be a dominant color, but the dog has the gene to pass on that can dilute any dominant colors. Lastly, d/d is a dilute colored dog. Examples of a diluted coat are blue, lilac (liver), champagne, chocolate, and true creams. A couple of examples of dilute: Blue is diluted from dominant black. Lilac is the combination of blue and chocolate which are both dilute colors. For a Blue Pitbull to be produced, each parent must carry at least one copy of the dilute gene. So, each parent must be D/d (carrier) or d/d (is dilute). Think of it as adding too much water to Kool-Aide.

Low Quality Dog Kibble

Blue coated and dilute colored Pits are naturally sensitive to grain, soy, gluten, and corn. Why? Because dilute blue Pitbulls have more food allergies than Pitbulls with dominant colors. This is a veterinary proven fact, and many blue Pitbull breeders and owners will agree. The ingredients that trigger food allergies are corn, soy, gluten, and all grains. Symptoms can be mild. As a result, an owner may see anything from small itchy spots (“hot spots”) that come and go, to their entire body erupting in itchy bumps. Extreme symptoms and skin issues usually result in hair loss due to chewing and scratching. If not resolved, the chewing can result in a secondary yeast infection, which consequently is difficult to treat.

Grain Fed Ingredients

Yes, you heard that right. Grain-fed ingredients. The response that I get the most from blue Pitbull owners is that they have their dogs or puppies on a high quality kibble and the skin issues should just not be there. But, if your blue Pitbull dog or puppy is prone to skin issues an he or she is on a high quality kibble or raw, this is why. You will need to switch your puppy or dog to a food that is based from an animal that is not grain fed. Grain fed animals (like chicken and turkeys) have a tenancy to cause food allergy symptoms. It is better to choose a food from a grass fed animal, such as beef, bison, kangaroo, or moose. Fish is also an ingredient to look at for Pitbulls with grain sensitivity.

Genetics

Lastly, one of the reasons for skin and coat issues is just plain old genetics. It is not always due to poor breeding. Actually, a lot of times it is not. Issues like Demodectic mange can only be diagnosed if a dog has an actual breakout. The skin must be in a breakout mode in order for a vet to perform a skin scrape and diagnose it. Therefore, it is something that cannot be tested for before breeding if the breeding dogs are not broke out (or if they have never broken out).
Demo is not actually genetic per say. Actually, it is caused from a weak immune system. The mite that causes Demodectic mange is actually on all dogs. However, blue Pitbulls with a weak immune system cannot fight off the mite. Additionally, the skin does not heal well. The mite overtakes the dog and causes severe itching and major hair loss. The genetic piece in this puzzle is actually the weak immune system. Weak immune systems cannot be tested beforehand.

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