British vets are urging people not to buy bulldogs because of their serious health issues.
Bulldogs (and pugs) have flat faces, wrinkly skin and squat bodies, which make them cute in some people’s eyes. But breeding for these traits has put these poor pups at risk of a long list of complications. Indeed earlier this year, Norway has ruled they’re a product of cruelty and no longer allowed to be bred. And a study conducted by The Royal Veterinary College warns pugs face dire health risks, and concluded the dog breed can “no longer be considered as a typical dog from a health perspective.”
The most common health complaints of bulldogs in particular include:
- brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS; their short snouts mean the soft palate is too long, causing wind pipe obstruction. Another component of BAS is stenotic or narrow nostrils, resulting in less ability to breathe through their nose)
- allergies (both food and skin)
- skin fold dermatitis and pyoderma (a bacterial infection of the skin folds)
- otitis externa (the flat face means the dogs have smaller ear canals which cannot clean themselves, leading to ear infections)
- eye problems (cherry eye, brachycephalic ocular disease and dry eye)
- heat stroke (the dogs can’t pant properly so cannot cool themselves)
- bone and joint disease (hip dysplasia, joint and ligament injuries and arthritis)
- heart and thyroid disease
That’s a pretty long and scary list for one dog breed. French bulldogs and pugs don’t fare much better.
A recent study by the Royal Veterinary College compared the health of random samples of 2,662 English bulldogs and 22,039 dogs of other breeds. It found that the former were more than twice as likely to have one or more disorders in a single year than other breeds. They want urgent action to reshape the breed back to how it looked in the 1800s and stop the UK from joining the list of countries where the dog is banned.