Taking care of a bulldog – Part 2
Taking care of a bulldog will always include being alert to the breed’s genetic predisposition. Today we will focus on the common health issues of English bulldogs and how your vet may take care of those issues. For medical-related information on the French bulldog, please visit our Pet Dialogue in the coming weeks.
Taking care of an English bulldog
This furkid is generally healthy. However, if you are alert to the breeds genetic predisposition, you are able to recognise symptoms earlier. Your vet may also put in place a preventative health care plan that is specific to the breed. It is also however important to note that your pet will not usually suffer from every health issue associated with the breed. And, it is equally important to give attention to general health care to prevent lifestyle associated health issues.
English bulldogs are susceptible to the following health issues
It is important to take care of your bulldog’s eye problems early. Your vet will routinely examine the eyes to make sure that any concerns are dealt with early. Issues concerning the eye include distichiasis, dry eye, entropion and cherry eye.
- Distichiasis is a condition where extra hairs grow out of the eyelash. If left untreated, distichiasis can cause corneal ulcers, chronic pain in the eye and tearing.
- Dry eye (also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a painful condition that occurs when there is a deficiency of aqueous tear film over the surface of the eye. As a result, the eye becomes inflamed and begins to hurt. Your furkid will try to ‘rub’ her red, irritated eye often. She will also squint or blink her eyes. A thick discharge is also often present. Your vet may recommend taking care of your bulldog’s eyes by cleaning the eyes regularly with a sterile eye wash to avoid infection.
- Entropion is when the eyelid rolls inward. As a result, the eyelashes rub against and irritate the cornea. This is a painful condition that often requires surgery.
- Cherry eye is a disorder of the third eyelid. When the third eyelid comes out it becomes swollen and looks like a red lump. More common in younger bulldogs, an ointment may take care of the problem. Your vet will recommend surgery if your furkid’s condition is more serious.
- Dysplasia is common in bulldogs. Dysplasia is a condition that occurs when the joints do not develop properly, resulting in arthritis. Your vet may take care of your bulldog’s problem with surgery if the condition is serious. However, non-surgical treatment options are also available, including keeping your furkid at a healthy weight.
- Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) is an inflammatory condition that occurs when cartilage separates from the underlying bone. Although the cause is unknown, it occurs in dogs that grow too fast. Your vet may take care of your bulldog’s OCD with anti-inflammatory medication. If your furkid does not respond to the medication, surgery may be required.
Your vet may also recommend a food that supports joint health.
Other health concerns of the bulldog
Spinal deformities, kidney stones, respiratory distress syndrome, heart disease, laryngeal paralysis, dental problems and reproductive problems. The English bulldog is also susceptible to a variety of skin problems.
Taking care of a bulldog should always include proper preventative care. However, if you visit your vet regularly and communicate any symptoms that suggest your furkid is in pain or irritated, your bulldog will live a happy and healthy life.
You can read Part 1, here.