Bulldog Problems: Health Considerations of This All-Around Favorite Breed
Bulldogs—what’s not to love? Their funny, expressive faces and loveable temperaments are charms hard to beat in a family pet. Originally bred as a working dog, their popularity led breeders to enhance favored characteristics. As an unfortunate result, bulldog breeds suffer numerous health problems. Before bringing a bully home, be sure you’re prepared to provide adequate health support.
The 4 Most Popular Breeds of Bulldogs
“Bulldog” is a general term that describes a few different types of dogs. Here are the most popular breeds:
- English Bulldog—The original English Bulldog was a working dog that could tolerate heat and was extremely athletic. With its flatter face and stocky form, today’s English Bulldog is no longer a working breed. A medium-sized dog, they are beloved for their affectionate and mild temperaments and make a wonderful family pet.
- French Bulldog—Bred from the English Bulldog, Frenchie is more petite, more playful, and like all bulldogs, packed with personality.
- American Bulldog—The Americanized bulldog is twice the size to love. This breed is generally healthier and would like to be a lap dog, but its weight can reach 120 lbs, so you might want to discourage that behavior! The American Bulldog is a loyal dog and can be a fierce protector.
- Australian Bulldog—A later breed, similar to the English Bulldog, these dogs are healthier; their bodies and faces are better suited for swimming and other outside play.
Health Considerations When Choosing a Bulldog
When it comes to owning a bulldog, health issues can be many, but all are manageable. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian at New Haven Pet Hospital at your first wellness visit with your new family pet. A few of the possible health problems to be aware of are:
- Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome (BAOS)—That flat face you love so much creates breathing problems. The soft palate at the back of your pup’s mouth is elongated and pushes against the windpipe, which makes it hard to breathe. This means your pet is easily overheated and shouldn’t be highly active. Treatment may involve surgery.
- Eye problems
- Cataracts—requires surgery to remove a film covering the eye lens
- Cherry eye—surgery is required to reposition the tear gland
- Distichiasis—requires surgical removal of irritating eyelashes
- Entropion—requires a surgical solution to correct an in-turning eyelid
- Tear stains—ask your veterinarian for resources to treat at home
- Skin problems
- Skin fold dermatitis—keeping the skin folds clean and dry should help to prevent dermatitis
- Eczema—treat eczema at home using a topical anti-inflammatory medication. If the problem worsens or persists, call your veterinarian.
- Hip Dysplasia—speak to your veterinarian about when your pet may need a surgical solution
Don’t let these health issues prevent you from welcoming a bulldog breed into your home. The love and affection, loyalty, and personality of these breeds will more than make up for the extra time and care they require.