English bulldogs are among the first pedigree dogs to have traits defined. But it is precisely these special characteristics that ensure that the animals fall ill particularly often. A study shows that.
The English bulldog, with its flat muzzle and strong, stocky body, is one of the most popular dog breeds in its home country. However, her typical physique causes her a number of health problems, as British scientists explain in a new study. English bulldogs get sick much more often than other breeds. Eye and skin infections, respiratory problems and cysts are just a few of the ailments that affect the stocky dog breed much more often.
Dan G. O'Neill from the Royal Veterinary College in London evaluated statistics from 2016 for the study in the journal "Canine Medicine and Genetics" with colleagues on the veterinary treatments of more than 24,000 dogs, including more than 2000 English bulldogs. Accordingly, English bulldogs fall ill twice as often as other dogs.
According to the study, the texture of their fur promotes skin diseases. Their runny eyes are easily inflamed and the flat snout encourages respiratory problems. And because of their strong musculature, English bulldogs are quick to develop cysts between their toes. Apart from that, their physique makes it difficult for females to give birth to young, and a caesarean section is often necessary.
These problems in English bulldogs are not new. In the study that has now been published, however, the various ailments are quantified for the first time. The authors of the study attribute the many health problems to the breeders' extreme fixation on typical breed characteristics of the English bulldog. These criteria urgently need to be changed "to prevent the UK from being added to the growing list of countries where breeding English bulldogs is banned".
So far, the breed has enjoyed great popularity in the UK. In 2020, she placed fourth in registering dogs with the Kennel Club. English bulldogs are also bred in Germany.