Such quirky faces are synonymous with unique challenges for this breed. At Hospital Veterinari Glòries, we bring you a list of tips on how to make your bulldog and you happy, while keeping the most common problems of bulldogs at bay!
Bulldog facial features and health problems
Let’s see then, what kinds of problems do bulldogs normally face as a result of their characteristics? (and specifically, of his face). The fact is that, being a brachycephalic breed, they do not have an elongated snout like their ancestors the wolves. Their noses are pushed inward due to selective breeding. The genetics created from the mix of these dogs is mainly responsible for the following:
- Shortness of breath: To give you an idea, it’s like breathing through straws. A sunken face like that of the bulldog means flattened airways. Bulldogs tend to have smaller nostrils than the average dog of other breeds. Also, there is often extra tissue in the back of the throat, making it smaller. There is a procedure called a staphylectomy that can widen your airway and clear that blockage in your throat.
- Hyperkeratosis: presents as excessively thick skin on the legs or nose.
- Hip dysplasia: where the ball joint in the hip does not fit properly, causing pain.
- Eyelid Problems: Sometimes they droop so much that debris can get between the eyelid and the eye, causing irritation or infection.
- Cherry Eye: With this, your pet can develop a red, bulging eye as a result of a prolapsed third eyelid.
- Eczema: Known as atopic dermatitis, this dry skin can have a crusty outward appearance and can cause your bulldog to scratch excessively.
- Skin allergies: These can cause your bulldog to scratch and lick a lot to relieve the itchiness. If it is bitten throughout the year, you may need to investigate food allergies.
- Fold Infections: Often found in wrinkles on the face or on the tail. Bulldogs can develop infections, dermatitis (a swollen appearance with redness), or pyoderma (characterized by discharge). The skin folds of these dogs are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and they retain a lot of moisture, which contributes to these conditions.
Tips for Times with Higher Contrast Temperatures
Almost all of these common bulldog problems are genetic, and some of them can be resolved with surgery. The rest have no cure, but there are remedies to help improve symptoms:
- Walk, don’t run: walk to the rhythm of your furry’s breathing. Remember, unless they’ve had a staph, they have trouble breathing during regular activity. It becomes much more difficult to breathe when the breath becomes gasping.
- Keep it cool in the summer, warm in the winter: Fans or air conditioners are essential to help them avoid panting in the summer. You can try chilling a sarong or towel in the freezer and then offering it to your bulldog to lie on the hottest days. With the cold, it is also important to offer them shelter to protect their skin and that it does not dry out excessively.
- Don’t Jump: Jumping can have a severe impact on your joints over time. So getting on and off the bed or sofa is not what suits them best… you can use a ramp or stairs to help them.
- Always Accessible Water: Keep water bowls throughout the house accessible (yes, several), specifically in the rooms they frequent. These large puppies have a harder time getting up and moving around, so they may not be motivated to get out of bed and walk to the kitchen or deck just to drink. Make it easy!
- Regular Veterinary Check-ups: Together we can devise a comprehensive plan for your bulldog to keep him in good health, thus avoiding common bulldog problems related to his breathing and his skin.
Call us at 932 460 805 with any questions you may have or to schedule your next appointment with Hospital Veterinari Glòries.