English Bulldogs are of very sweet gentle disposition that makes them a pretty good family pet but you must be aware of English bulldogs’ health problems before opting for them as a pet.
Primary cause of English Bulldogs health problems
English bulldogs are susceptible to different sorts of diseases due to their facial structure. They have a very small muzzle, making them a flat-faced dog or “brachycephalic”.
Their facial structure is the result of selective breeding which can cause critical health problems.
So, you must be aware of English bulldogs’ health problems, and adopt prevention measures so that your English bulldog may live a healthy life.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
Brachycephalic is a Latin word which is used for dogs with a short muzzle, flattened face.
Brachycephalic Airway syndrome is a set of upper airway abnormalities that can affect flat-faced dogs.
Like other flat-faced dogs, English Bulldogs suffer through this syndrome.
The abnormalities BAS can cause are
- stenotic nares
- extended nasopharyngeal turbinates
- an elongated soft palate
- laryngeal collapse
- a hypoplastic trachea
- everted laryngeal saccules.
English Bulldogs may produce noise while breathing during an exercise. If BAS has affected the gastrointestinal tract of your English Bulldog then he may vomit, showing a lack of appetite.
Symptoms can vary depending upon the upper airway abnormality that has affected your English Bulldog.
Breathing Problems in English Bulldogs are pretty common due to upper airway abnormalities caused by BAS.
- Their narrow nostrils can make it arduous for English Bulldogs to breathe which is also referred to as stenotic nares.
- Elongated Soft palate often extends in brachycephalic dogs which increases the airway resistance, thus making it difficult for your pet to respirate properly.
All of these abnormalities are sprung from the selective breeding of canines.
The Skin folds for which English Bulldogs are loved can cause severe skin problems in them.
Two of the major cause of skin problems in English Bulldogs are
- Intertrigo or skinfold dermatitis is caused by the frictional trauma b/w two skin surfaces that are rubbed against each other
- Pyoderma (Bacterial skin infection) is a skin disorder. Skin folds allow the two parts of skin to be in-contact which creates a humid environment favourable for the growth of bacteria which causes skin problems.
Look out for moisture, discharge, redness or a foul smell.
Bones and Joint disease
English Bulldogs can have different musculoskeletal problems and all of them can unrest your pup. Each musculoskeletal disease can be diagnosed and treated to bid farewell to pain and suffering.
Canines Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia can cause severe pain, stiffness which causes difficulty in getting up. It happens when bones don’t fit aptly into joints
Cranial cruciate ligament stabilizes the canine’s knee joint. The odd English Bulldog structure makes them susceptible to joint and ligament injuries.
A small injury can lead to joint and ligament problems, so stop your pup from over exercising.
Arthritis affects the articular cartilage present in the joints, protects and covers the bone. It allows the dog to move, bend without ache.
When this cartilage becomes worn down, the bone has no longer any protection and the unprotected or exposed bones start rubbing against each other causing severe pain and inflammation..
Vision problems become very common once your english bulldog gets on in years.
There are different eye problems related to certain situations. All of the eye problems must be dealt with utter care.
Cherry eye is the most common eye problem in English Bulldogs and it is particularly common in young dogs. When the gland of the third eyelid is swollen or sore, it looks like a bulging red pump at the eye’s corner.
When the tear gland fails to produce enough tears to keep the eye’s moist, eyes become itchy and can lead to infections.
Crying drives away all the contaminants from the eye and when the gland doesn’t produce enough tears it causes irritation and can lead to severe eye problems
Brachycephalic Ocular Disease
English Bulldogs facial structure can also lead to several eye problems. Their shallow eyes let in dirt and debris which causes a number of brachycephalic ocular diseases.
Thyroid and Heart Problems
The internal organs of English Bulldogs have also been affected due to selective breeding.
Hyperthyroidism is a state in which the thyroid gland releases an abnormal amount of thyroxine which upsets the body’s metabolism.
It can be treated with medications which help regulating hormones level
Heart Problems in English Bulldogs
Pulmonary stenosis is a heart disorder commonly found in English Bulldogs.
“It is the narrowness or constriction of the outflow from the right side of the heart”.
It blocks flow of blood and can result in death or heart failure.
Cancer in English bulldogs
As English Bulldogs get on in years, they become susceptible to cancer. If your bulldog gets to live long enough, then it is likely that he may get cancer.
Cancer can be treated by surgically removing the cause and by chemotherapy.
Like English Bulldogs health problems, French Bulldogs also suffers through such health issues,