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Bull Dog Health Issues

Bull Dogs (English) are beloved around the world. They appear as spokes dogs for commercials. They grace large Mac trucks. They are the mascots of many different high school, college and professional sports teams. Their friendly, outgoing nature and character make them wonderful companion animals. However, Bull Dogs, like many other purebreds, have various health issues. You should be aware of them before you decide to bring one of these lovable creatures home with you.

General Health Information

English bulldogs are brachycephalic. They share this in common with French Bulldogs, Pugs, Brussels Griffon, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Japanese Chin, Pekingese, Shih Tzu and Yorkshire Terrier. To be brachycephalic is to have all the parts of a regular dog’s muzzle squeezed inside a much smaller package. The result is a pushed in face. The nose becomes squat and often the nostrils narrowed. This affects and causes several breathing issues.

As a result, no matter how much a good breeder works to ameliorate the situation, your dog will have breathing issues. These become particularly noticeable on hot and humid days. Moreover, try as you might, your bulldog will always serenade you with their deep snores when sleeping.

Yet, while snoring can be both charming and annoying, it causes little ill effects. What may put your bulldog at serious risk for other health issues and even shorten his or her life are more severe problems related to how he or she breathes. These include elongated soft palate and narrow nostrils.

Elongated Soft Palate

An elongated soft palate occurs when the top roof of the dog’s mouth extends beyond and falls into the opening to the larynx and airways. This extension blocks the easy flow of air, preventing the dog from breathing properly. When this happens, the canine becomes short winded. He or she breathes with greater difficulty.

A dog with an elongated palate suffers greatly in the heat. Exercise will also lead to heavy panting. He or she may lie down frequently on a short walk. This is due to the strain placed upon the heart and lungs.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for this health problem. Surgery will reduce the size of the palate then sew it back into place. This unblocks the airwaves making it easier for the dog to breathe.

Stenotic Nares Or Narrow Nostrils

This is obvious from looking at the canine. The openings of the nostrils are narrow. Some seem almost closed. This affects the breathing process, making it hard for the dog to function properly. In combination with an elongated soft palate, the condition makes it difficult for the dog to enjoy a high quality of life.

As with elongated palate, surgery provides permanent relief. The veterinarian will cut and shape the nostrils. This allows more air through reducing the pressure on the dog’s lungs and heart. This surgical procedure allows the dog to resume life at a more normal pace.

In many dogs, the stenotic nostrils and elongated soft palate form part of what is called the Brachycephalic Syndrome. Other health issues that form this problem include:

• Everted laryngeal saccules
• Hypoplastic trachea
• Collapsed larynx

Prognosis may be surgery or management through life style changes. It depends upon the severity of the conditions.


English Bulldogs make wonderful companions. They are expressive, comical and loving. They have a charming appeal to people of all ages, genders and from all walks-of-life. They can, however, suffer from serious health issues. You must consider this and other aspects of this adorable canine before you decide to purchase one.
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Article Added on Monday, April 30, 2012
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