English Bulldogs are not any more or less susceptible to health problems than other types of dogs. They can suffer from arthritis, diabetes, and even cancer. However, bulldogs have a high tolerance for pain and don’t always let their owners know when there is a problem. Therefore, they must be monitored closely and visit the veterinarian on a regular basis. To assist in the care of your pet, here is some information about English bulldog health.
Believe it or not, caring for your bulldog starts with selecting a good breeder. A reputable breeder puts thought into selecting the sire and dam to reduce the risk of passing disease onto progeny. Additionally, good breeders take care of the mother and makes sure she has been properly vaccinated. The mother can then pass that resistance to disease to her pups. It works the opposite way too. If the mother is not vaccinated or sick while pregnant, she can pass parasites and disease to her pups which can lead to serious health complications and even death.
After you acquire your bulldog puppy, it is important to have him or her checked by a license veterinarian within three days. The vet will check the puppy’s general health and test for common diseases. You can also speak to the vet about any remaining vaccinations your puppy may need and other things you can do to make sure you dog stays healthy.
The most common skin problems bulldogs experience are acne, seborrhea, and eczema. There are several different treatments you can use to reduce or eliminate these issues. A veterinarian can tell you which one is best for your dog.
You bulldog may suffer from bouts of diarrhea or vomiting. Common causes of these gastrointestinal issues are a change in the dog’s diet, overfeeding, or illness. Reduce the amount of food you are feeding the dog. If the problem continues and you recently changed the dog’s diet, try switching back to the previous diet or feed the dog a plain meal consisting of rice mixed with fish or chicken. Make sure the bulldog has plenty of water to prevent dehydration associated with vomiting and diarrhea.
If the problem persists, take your dog to a vet. He may be suffering from an illness. At the very least, the vet can provide other solutions to a dietary problem.
Bulldogs are more susceptible to developing bloat and gastric torsion due to their deep chests. Bloat (dilatation) is when air fills the stomach. Gastric torsion occurs when the stomach literally flips over, resulting in the blood supply being cut off and the dog dying within a matter of hours if the condition is not corrected immediately.
It is not well understood what causes these two conditions to occur. On theory is that the dog swallows too much air while eating. Using elevated feeders seems to reduce the instance of bloat in deep-chested dogs. Feeding the dog two to three small meals and letting him rest for an hour after eating also seems to prevent this problem from developing.
Though not related, these solutions also reduces the amount of flatulence your bulldog produces.
Common English Bulldog Eye Problems
The most common causes of eye problems are irritation, infection, or trauma. Bulldogs are predisposed to suffering from entopion and ectropian eye disorders and cherry eye. If your bulldog begins exhibiting signs of these eye diseases, take him to a vet as soon as possible.
Internal and External Parasites
Parasites plague all dogs. The most common ones are ticks, fleas, and ear mites. Infection of these pests can be prevented through the use of special collars and medications. Your vet can recommend the best one for your dog. If your bulldog does become infected, it is important to take care of the problem right away. Not treating an infection can lead to mange, hearing loss, and other health issues.
Managing Bulldog Stress
Bulldogs are generally even tempered and don’t suffer from stress-related issues like separation anxiety or excessive barking. However, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t benefit from stress-relieving treatments like doggy massage and acupressure. Integrating these natural treatments into your dog’s care can actually alleviate other medical problems such as stiffness and arthritis. They can also help calm a bulldog with a nervous disposition due to abuse or neglect.
There are many practitioners that will perform these treatments on dogs. Alternatively, you can learn to do them yourself. The Internet is a great resource for finding more information about either option.