English terriers get sick twice as much as other dog breeds

The English bulldog, with its flat muzzle and strong stocky body, is one of the most popular dog breeds in its homeland.

The basics in brief

  • Respiratory problems, eye infections, and abscesses are common ailments.

However, her typical physique causes her a number of health problems, British scientists explained in a study published on Wednesday. English bulldogs get sick more often than other breeds. Eye and skin infections, respiratory problems and abscesses are just a few of the diseases that often affect the plump dog breed.

Dan G O’Neill of the Royal Veterinary College of London evaluated 2016 statistics on veterinary treatments for more than 24,000 dogs, including more than 2,000 English Bulldogs, for a study in the Journal of Canine Medicine and Genetics. Accordingly, the English bulldog gets sick 2 times more often than other dogs.

According to the study, the texture of their fur promotes skin diseases. Their watery eyes get easily inflamed and a flat nose causes respiratory problems. Because of their muscular strength, the English bulldog is quick to develop cysts between their toes. Regardless, their physique makes it difficult for females to give birth to young, and a cesarean section is often necessary.

These problems in English bulldogs are not new. In the now-published study, different diseases were quantified for the first time. The authors of the study attribute many health problems to the breeders’ keen fixation on the characteristics of the typical breed of the English bulldog. These criteria must be urgently changed “to prevent the UK from being added to the growing list of countries where English bulldog breeding is prohibited”.

To date, the breed has enjoyed great popularity in the UK. In 2020, she placed 4th in Kennel Club dog registration. English bulldogs are also bred in Germany.

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