American Staffordshire Terrrier

Heart Disease in AmStaffs

Several forms of potentilly heritable heart disease have been seen in the American Staffordshire Terrier breed. These include: Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis, Pulmonic Valvular Stenosis, Mitral Valve Dysplasia and others. It is strongly recommended that breeding dogs are tested by a Cardiologist using echocardiography.

For additional information, see:

Heart Disease — This website was developed to bring awareness to the prevelance of heart disease in Amstaffs and also to stress the importance of using a certified Cardiologist when testing for this problem. By Pam Perdue, Breeder/Owner since 1988.

Sub-aortic stensois is one of the more common cardiac diseases detected in AmStaffs. Below is an explanation of the disease and how to test for it.

Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS)

Stenosis means narrowing: subaortic stenosis (SAS) is a term that refers to a narrowing of the area just below the aortic valve, usually due to the presence of an abnormal fibrous band of tissue. This fibrous band can be present from birth (congenital) or develop early in the postnatal period. The narrowing causes pressure overload in the left ventricle. Other types of aortic stenosis exist, but SAS is by far the most common and represents more than 95% of the cases.

Studies have confirmed that SAS is inherited in the Newfoundland, and it is likely that SAS is inherited in other breeds that have a high prevalence. Other common breeds affected include Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Samoyeds, and Bulldogs.

Sub-aortic Stenosis Explained:

How is sub-aortic stenosis (SAS) detected

SAS patients are often identified when a heart murmur is detected at the left heart base during a routine physical examination of an otherwise healthy dog.

Definitive diagnosis is made using echocardiography to measure the pressure gradient between the left ventricle and the aorta. In dogs with SAS, the pressure gradient is abnormally increased and correlates with the severity of the stenosis.


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