Many a veterinarian has sadly joked that their English Bulldog patients paid for their vacation home. The breed has become so plagued with health issues due to ill-breeding, inbreeding, and genetic issues arising from the standard “look,” that last year scientists said cross-breeding was the only way the breed was going to be able to survive. If you are looking to add an English Bulldog to your family, take your time and choose very wisely from a top-notch breeder. If you are rescuing, knowing these problems can help you set aside money for future vet bills (vet insurance for the English Bulldog owner is almost a must) and know what to watch for in your new best friend. The following are the top three health concerns for your English Bulldog. Sadly, there are many more.
#1 – Breathing Problems
Many owners don’t realize that the “normal” raspy breathing of a Bulldog is anything but that. The flat face of the English Bulldog causes all kinds of issues when it comes to normal breathing. It restricts air intake and all those noises they make is them trying to get enough air in. It causes them to be susceptible to overexertion after minimal exercise and heat exhaustion. In addition, their elongated soft-palate can cause sleep apnea or even suffocation and death if left untreated (usually treatment involves surgery).
#2 – Dysplasia
Genetics and other factors cause many English Bulldogs to end up with elbow or hip dysplasia. Since this is genetic, definitely make sure the breeder you’re thinking of has done tests and kept track if any of her breeding dogs has had offspring with these issues.
#3 – Skin Fold Dermatitis
The cute wrinkles of the English Bulldog also lead to trouble. Moisture and foreign objects get trapped in the folds, causing inflammation and infection. Thankfully, daily cleaning of the wrinkles can keep this health issue at bay without too much cost to the owner.