English Bulldog Health Problems and Raising an English Bulldog Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
The most common health problems in English Bulldogs:
First of all, because of their short face, every Bulldog suffers from some degree of brachycephalic syndrome, which causes all kinds of health problems. Their respiratory system is so compromised that some Bulldogs can't even run without gasping for breath. Many struggle to breathe in hot or humid weather. In the summer, English Bulldogs should be kept in an air conditioned home and supervised during outside activity so they don't overexert themselves and suffer heatstroke.
Virtually all Bulldog puppies are born by C-section, birth defects are common, and the puppy mortality rate is high.
English Bulldogs are also deformed orthopedically – their abnormal build is a structural defect called chondrodysplasia, which predisposes them to bone and joint problems. Hip dysplasia is rampant. According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the English Bulldog has the highest incidence of hip dysplasia of all breeds – an incredible 74% are dysplastic. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Elbow dysplasia is almost as bad, with 40% dysplastic. Luxating patella (loose knees) is also common, and luxating shoulder can occur, as well.
Other orthopedic diseases in Bulldogs include intervertebral disk disease, cruciate ligament rupture, and hemivertebra.
Hypothyroidism is becoming more common in the breed. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 11% of English Bulldogs have low thyroid levels.
Heart disease (especially pulmonic stenosis, but also septal defect, subaortic stenosis, and mitral valve disease) is a serious problem in English Bulldogs.
Bulldogs are prone to allergies that cause itchy skin, and their wrinkled folds of skin trap dirt and moisture and provide a home for yeast and bacteria, so bacterial skin infections (pyoderma) are common. Specific forms of pyoderma occurring in English Bulldogs include skin fold dermatitis, interdigital pyoderma, and chin folliculitis.
Demodectic mange is common in English Bulldog puppies and adolescents.
Tumors and cancers are very common in Bulldogs, especially mast cell tumors and perianal gland tumors.
Lots of eye problems occur in English Bulldogs, especially corneal ulcers, cherry eye, dry eye, eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), eyelash abnormalities, and persistent pupillary membranes. You may see cataracts at 1-2 years old.
Urinary problems include cystinuria and kidney disease, as well as various physical malformations of the urethra and vagina.
Some English Bulldogs experience head tremors that may be due to abnormalities of the brain.
Other health issues in English Bulldogs include bloat, blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's), laryngeal paralysis, megaesophagus, pyloric stenosis, hydrocephalus, and inherited deafness in Bulldog puppies with a lot of white on their head.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR English Bulldog?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in English Bulldogs today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find an English Bulldog puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your English Bulldog puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy English Bulldog puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Bulldog lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your English Bulldog
The best diet for feeding your Bulldog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your English Bulldog
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your English Bulldog puppy really need? Does your adult Bulldog need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female English Bulldog.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.