All breeds of dogs have conditions that are common to their particular breed, and the bulldog is no different. Many conditions are in direct relation to the characteristics considered desirable in the breed. If you are adopting an older dog, many of these conditions should already have been identified.
Arould the clock care by a qualified veterinarian needs to be available. Since not all veterinarians are knowledgeable about the health problems Bulldogs may have, find a veterinarian who knows and likes Bulldogs. This is one of the reasons it is a good idea to join a local Bulldog Club. The members can usually refer you to a veterinarian who is familiar with Bulldogs and who likes them. Some veterinarians don't like Bulldogs, and no matter how good a veterinarian is, he's not right for your Bulldog. Any veterinarian who will be doing surgery on your Bulldog should have previous experience with putting Bulldogs under anesthesia. This is of great importance.
Bulldogs are extremely intolerant of heat. Good ventilation and air conditioning are essential with this breed. Wire crates are best for air circulation. Your Bulldog must be kept in an air-conditioned area with limited trips outside when the outside temperature is over 80 degrees or the humidity is high. Close supervision is required during outside activity, especially in spring and summer to prevent over-exertion leading to over-heating. Dogs do not have sweat glands all over their bodies. They can sweat only through their pads and they can dissipate heat effectively through panting. Bulldogs suffering from chronic airway obstruction cannot pant freely and that is why they often die of overheating (hyperthermia). Corrective surgery performed in time can prevent a lot of faintings and unexpected deaths at summer dog shows and at home alike. They also are not usually capable of prolonged physical activity whether the temperature is very warm or cold: a Bulldog is not for someone who enjoys taking a dog for long walks through the countryside.
The Bulldog's face is covered with wrinkles. This is a trademark that requires daily care to keep him comfortable and healthy. Mild soap will work for cleaning out between the wrinkles. Get a damp wash cloth with soap and clean well around and under the wrinkles making sure not to get any in his eyes. You should dry the area well and apply gold bond (or similar) powder to the area. If it is irritated you may want to consider using Desitin cream. It may be required for you to clean the wrinkles up to 2x daily if needed depending on how dirty or irritated they may be.
Cleaning the Tail Area
It is very much a part of bulldog hygiene. When cleaning the tail area or tail pocket make sure to use a soft cloth and get in there real good to clean it, you should get out lots of hairs and keep this area clean and powdered as well. A bulldog’s tail may be tightly screwed against his back side and can be a real problem if not taken care of and cleaned daily. A severly infected tail is painful and may need to be removed in some cases, so it is important to keep this area cleaned well.
There are a few products on the market that are made for cleaning tear stains. You can use these products, but take care in using it near his eyes. You can also check with your vet for additional suggestions. You should also keep the area around your dogs eyes wiped off and cleaned, to keep any debris from getting into his eyes and irritating them.
If his nose is dry a light coat of vaseline will help soften it and protect it from cracking.
Keys To Good Bulldog Health
The best advice is to know your Bulldog. Know if he isn't eating, if he isn't playing, or if he doesn't seem quite right. There are some minor ailments you can treat at home. Remember that if a home remedy doesn't cure the problem in less than two days, take the dog to the veterinarian. Also remember that there are medical conditions which cannot wait. When in doubt, take him to your vet. Better to be safe than sorry.
In order for dogs to live happy, productive, and long lives their owners need to be aware of the everyday health requirements as well as be on the look out for any sudden physical changes. The keys to Bulldog health are moderate exercise, good ventilation, and cool temperatures. Grooming is minimal, but the skin wrinkles on the head and around the tail must be kept clean to avoid bacterial or fungal infections. Nutrition plays an important part in the development of a puppy into adulthood. Care must be taken to be sure that your Bulldogs are fed proper nutrition to meet their developmental needs at the various stages of their lives. Nutrition encompasses the proper diet combined with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that will help dogs fulfill their life span.
Bulldogs are generally a healthy breed, with much dependant upon the breeder from whom they came. A good start will usually give you years of fun and love. A Bulldog should see a vet for shots and checkups regularly. You should also consider spaying or neutering your pet since there are health advantages to that as well.
Breeding is not a good choice for the average family pet. Breeding is very difficult and expensive with the bulldog. It's best left to those who have devoted a lifetime to the breed and know what to do and how to do it. Breeding will not improve the health or happiness of a dog and in some cases breeding is fatal. Caesarian deliveries are needed.
The average life for a Bulldog is around 10 or so although there are many who live years beyond that.
Bulldogs And Water
A Bulldog needs to be an indoor dog. Bulldogs can't swim well at all and extreme caution should be taken when a Bulldog is around water to avoid drowning. Although they should be kept out of deep pools, a few inches of water in a kids pool outside is a welcome site to most Bulldogs.
Bulldogs and Exercise
The Bulldog appreciates a daily outing but cannot tolerate hot, humid weather. He should not be expected to jog or walk great distances, or to jump from any height. Bulldogs should not romp with the kids during the heat of a warm spring or summer day. When temperatures reach the 80s, the dogs should have an air-conditioned area. In addition, if the dog pants too violently or for a prolonged period, the membranes in the throat can dry out and swell, leading to escalating breathing difficulties.
The Bulldog is a quiet pet, loyal to his family and protective when necessary, but happy to curl up on the sofa, eat two or three square meals a day, and have his belly rubbed occasionally. He can be a clown and can be stubborn to train, but he is good-natured and willing to be guided to good behavior if he thinks it's his own idea.
Champion Horney's Captain Chesapeake
Listed are some health concerns for your Bulldog, note that these diseases and conditions do not pertain only to the Bulldog.
Eyes Aberrant cilia/Distichiasis:
Eyelashes growing abnormally. Can be a serious condition if rubbing against the eyeball. Can lead to corneal ulcers. Burn-out lashes; stitch skin so lashes don't rub (like a sewing dart) Not Life Threatening, but uncomfortable for the dog.
An abnormal rolling out of the eyelids.see corneal ulcers. stitch skin so lashes don't rub.
An abnormal rolling in of the eyelid see corneal ulcers. stitch skin so lashes don't rub.
Eversion of nictitating membrane:
(Cherry Eye) A condition where the third eyelid is protruding.
A change in structure of the lens of the eye leading to cloudiness and usually to blindness.
Keratitis sicca/ Keratoconjunctivitis sicca:
A condition where one or both eyes do not produce a normal amount or type of tears. "Dry Eye". Can lead to corneal ulcers and cherry eyes if untreated.
Persistent pupillary membrane:
A developmental abnormality where the membrane forming the iris does not form properly.
Same thing as in humans, affects the muzzle and lip areas.
A kind of skin disease (mange) caused by microscopic Demodex canis mites living within the skin layers and producing an immunodeficiency syndrome.
An inflammation of skin folds especially in dogs with loose skin. Bulldogs are especially susceptible in the face and tail areas.
An infection of the hair follicles.
An infectious skin disease on the muzzle of an animal.
A skin infection of the paws.
An abnormal development of the elbow joint.
A condition where the elbow joint is loose and out of alignment.
Process osteochondrosis of the elbow joint.
Mouth and Jaw Abnormal Dentition:
Abnormal placement, number and development of teeth.
A condition where the two halves of the upper lip do not join together. Cleft palate and cleft lip are often seen together.
A condition where the roof of the mouth is not closed and the inside of the nose opens into the mouth.
Elongated soft palate:
The soft palate is abnormally long and causes breathing disorders.
Skeletal System Parosteitis:
Inflammation of tissue around a bone.
A skull that is abnormally short for the breed in question.
A tail that is abnormally short for the breed in question. Read more about this.
A developmental malformation or subluxation of the hip joints. Causes movement to be painful in its most severe form.
A developmental abnormality where some vertebra are malformed thereby exposing the spinal cord.
A particular kind of malformation of the vertebra where only half of the structure is formed. Very short-coupled dogs with little or no tail or neck may have this diagnosis. No Known Treatment Dog with severe form of this condition can be paralysed if a jarring back injury occurs. Care re: exercise, activity needs to be taken.
Reproductive Vaginal Hyperplasia:
An overgrowth of tissues of the vagina (polyps)
Complications of the birth process (difficult birth) 95% of births are c-sections.
Respiratory Stenotic Nares:
Narrow nasal opening, characteristic of BU-AS Can be clipped to widen.
Hypoplasia of Trachea:
A trachea that fails to develop fully.
Circulatory Arteriovenous fistula:
An abnormal connection that forms between arteries and veins.
Von Willebrand's disease:
A type of bleeding disorder caused by defective blood platelet function.
Mitral valve defects:
A group of abnormalities of the mitral valve of the heart.
A condition where one of the valves of the heart does not open properly.
A condition where the opening leading from the stomach does not function properly.
A common endocrine disease where the body produces an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormones. An autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland. Can be managed by injections.
A condition where there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain.
A cancer arising from a type of cell found in the brain and spinal cord.
Brachycephalic Upper-Airway Syndrome:
A grouping of conditions leading to decreased tolerance to exercise/excitement/high temps; difficulty breathing; susceptibility to collapse.
Chronic Airway Obstruction (C.A.O.): is very common in all short-faced (brachycephalic) breeds e.g. Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug and occasionally seen in other breeds.