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COMMON DISORDERS OF THE ENGLISH BULLDOGS

Make sure that you find a vet who knows and likes the bully breeds. This will make your life, your veterinarian's life and your dog’s life a whole lot less stressful.


Umbilical Hernias

These can be quite common in the breed as they have a c-section…Your vet will need to fix these when they are spayed or neutered and it is an extra charge for that so you must be prepared for that.


One Testicle

At times a male will drop one testicle or none and these have to be found and removed when they are neutered at an extra cost to you so you must be prepared in case of that.


Smaller Trachea

This is a brachycephalic breed and they are known to have smaller trachea’s than a normal dog often much smaller especially as puppies. They can have a trachea the size of a cat which means that they can have more respiratory issues than other breeds especially as puppies.


As a rule the trachea will grow as they get older and never cause a problem. Often veterinarian’s will paint a doom and gloom picture and tell people that the puppy/dog will never have a normal life and this will cause ongoing problems which is generally not the case.


Cherry Eye

This is the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks very similar to a cherry, thus the name. A dog can get this from a very early age or at the age of 13(which I just found out with my cocker spaniel) and is not limited to a bulldog. Bulldogs appear to be genetically predisposed to this condition and I am sure no breeder is ever totally free from this.


They can be easily repaired but do not let a veterinarian cut them out. They can be sewn back in and a pocket made or tacked. I prefer the pocket. Have any of my puppies ever had a cherry eye. YES


Dry Eye(KCS)

The symptoms of dry eye are runny, green, snotty looking eyes and it is when the natural production of tears slows. They can get an ulcer on the eye as well. This can be confirmed by your vet with a tear production test and they have cream that encourages tear production or you must put lubricating drops in your dog’s eyes daily. I do see this in some older dogs.


Entropian

Entropion is an inward rolling of the eyelids that irritates the surface of the eye. If left untreated it can cause ulcers, dry eye, cherry eyes etc. Entropion is treated surgically by an experienced veterinarian.


Trichiasis

These eyelashes grow from normal sites but turn inward and scratch the eye. They are often abnormally long. Must be taken care of by the veterinarian.


Distichiasis

This is when the dog grows extra eyelashes, may be just one stray one or a lot of them. They are located on the inside of the lid and cause irritation to the eye. Must be tended to by a vet or can cause ulcers on the eye.


Sore Wrinkles.

This is a problem for bulldogs if their eyes run or they have big wrinkles over their nose. One way I have found to prevent this is to clean the wrinkle on a regular basis and use Butt Paste for children. It works very well and soothes the sores.


Sores Under Their Tails

This can occur if your bulldog has a tight tail and it is important that you clean the shedding hair and gunk that gathers out from under it on a regular basis. Also can use Butt Pate.


Elongated Soft Palate and Other Airway Disorders

I found out the hard way that a dog with great breathing can turn into a dog with a problem in a big hurry. I had a dog shipped in who breathed fine. When I was transporting the dog home it became overly anxious, panting rapidly and I could not get him to calm down. His tongue turned blue and his breathing was compromised. He finally calmed down but this caused permanent throat damage and now when he gets excited he breathes heavily.

Apparently every bulldog has an elongated soft palate to some degree and it is because of the shape of their head, but it generally only causes snoring.

In severe cases it causes difficulties breathing. Heat and exercise will cause loud gurgling noises referred to in the bulldog world as roaring and the bulldog may appear to be lazy and lack motivation to do anything with you. It can be quite severe in some cases and they may regurgitate their food, have loud breathing when excited, and an intolerance to exercise. This can be corrected by surgery but you must have a veterinarian do it that knows the breed and condition well.


Intolerance to Heat

This is common in most bulldogs. You never want them overheat as it could swiftly cause death. You must constantly supervise them during outside activities during the spring and summer. They also don't know enough to stop chasing the lawnmower before they drop dead so it is up to you to know when enough is enough. You also would not take your dog for a walk when it is hot outside. A lot of this is just common sense but you would be surprised how many bulldogs die because they have overheated. Do not leave them out in your yard under a tree on a hot day thinking that they will be safe as well because that may not be the case.


Hip Dysplasia

All bulldogs have some form of hip dysplasia due to their breeding. It is not exclusive to back yard breeders and just because we have champion bulldogs does not mean it can't happen. You can not diagnose this for sure until they are 18 months as they are growing and everything is changing rapidly.


One thing you can do to help prevent this is to make sure your bulldog maintains a healthy weight while growing. If your puppy is too fat it places stress on the hips. Most dysplasia never causes any problems but in severe cases it can cause pain and make it difficult for them to move around. At this point you will need expensive surgery. I have had one younger dog that is not symptomatic but in his x-rays when fixed he saw some dysplasia also one puppy that has dysplasia.


Hot Spots

These can be round, red and scabby spots on the skin. They are often itchy and ugly looking. They can start because something irritated your dog's skin. It can cause itching and irritation in a matter of a few hours.


Do not shave them..in fact just soak them in rubbing alcohol 4 times per day. Minimize contact with the affected area, this should clear them up quickly. You might need an antibiotic if the condition worsens.


Interdigital Cysts

Nobody knows what causes these and they generally go away on their own. They are a small round sores on the top of the foot(usually). It is thought that maybe an ingrown hair or a fungus causes them but they are quite common.


I love tea tree oil for these and often soak the food in Epsom Salt. If it continues to come back often a course of Cephalexin (an antibiotic) should do the trick or consider changing their food


These are just a few of the potential health issues that you need to be aware of in a bulldog. For continued support, check out our Facebook page, Aldar’s Bulldogs and Boston Terriers!


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