Most common health problems in English Bulldogs, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your English Bulldog

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Bulldog, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Bulldog already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


English Bulldog dog breed

English Bulldog Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of English Bulldog health problems

The poor Bulldog is the most deformed of all breeds – it's appalling that breeders think it's okay to do this to a dog.

Every Bulldog suffers from some degree of brachycephalic syndrome, which is the medical term for all the health problems caused by the abnormally short face. Bulldogs snort and snuffle their way through life. Some can't even run around without gasping for breath. Many struggle to breathe in hot or humid weather.

English Bulldogs are also deformed orthopedically. Their abnormal build is a structural defect called chondrodysplasia, which stunts their leg growth and lengthens their back, which predisposes them to bone and joint problems.

The English Bulldog has the highest incidence of hip dysplasia (72%) of all breeds. Elbow dysplasia is nearly as bad, with 35% dysplastic. Luxating patella (loose knees) occurs at a 4% rate. And intervertebral disk disease.

Bulldogs are prone to chronic allergies that cause itchy skin and scratching that can lead to skin infections (hot spots). The folds and wrinkles in their skin trap dirt and moisture, leading to bacterial and yeast infections.

Other serious problems in English Bulldogs: multiple hereditary heart diseases, multiple eye diseases, urinary diseases, thyroid disease, tumors and cancers...

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your English Bulldog have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases and heart diseases, your English Bulldog has less risk of developing those conditions.

Unfortunately, health testing doesn't change the underlying abnormal structure of the breed, which is what causes so many of the health problems.

A few health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your English Bulldog, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your English Bulldog puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising your English Bulldog puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your English Bulldog lives the best life he can.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Bulldog
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your English Bulldog. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Bulldog
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your English Bulldog. 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 some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your English Bulldog. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your English Bulldog. 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.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of English Bulldog health problems

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. According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the English Bulldog has the highest incidence of hip dysplasia of all breeds – an incredible 72% are dysplastic. Elbow dysplasia is nearly as bad, with 35% dysplastic. Luxating patella (loose knees) occurs at a 4% rate, 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.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.