The New York Times discusses the dreadful health of the bulldog, and the alarming fact that people breed them when they absolutely should not be bred.
My personal experiences with bulldogs — every. single. one I have met in the clinic has had multiple problems. Let me count the ways:
- Skin fold pyoderma: facial folds, vulvar folds, tail folds (every single one of them)
- Chronic skin yeast infections
- Entropion (eyelashes rolling in and irritating their eyes)
- Chronic ear infections
- Brachycephalic airway syndrome. Some have it fairly mildly and just snort now and then. Some have it so severely they cannot exercise at all. I saw one dog who had to have his soft pallet resected and a tracheotomy performed, and then his tracheotomy kept blocking with inflammation, and the poor thing was standing there in an oxygen cage wheezing and turning blue all because he was bred that way. He was not neutered. The owner was going to breed him to pay for his surgery.
- Heart murmurs.
- Hip dysplasia.
- Lumbosacral stenosis (impingement on the spinal nerves causing severe leg pain and lameness).
- Cranial cruciate ligament ruptures.
Every single bulldog I’ve ever met had at least 3 of those conditions, and let’s not forget the fact that they require artificial insemination to breed and C-sections to be born. They have very sweet personalities, usually. Which almost makes it worse — because you have a creature that wants to be playful and silly and clownish, and oftentimes, can’t even play fetch because it gets too winded. I have asthma, and I know what it’s like to breathe out through a straw when I get an attack. But that’s only occasionally — the rest of the time my nose and airways are clear. I can’t imagine having to push air past the excess tissue in the back of my throat, over my soft palate, through my too-small trachea and too-small nostrils, every minute of my life.
Just say no to breeding pathology.