Common Diseases of English Bulldogs

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: January 25, 2017
Common Diseases of English Bulldogs

Animal file: English Bull dog

Did you know that the English Bulldog was initially bred to be used in dog fights? This was back in the 17th Century and since then, they have been crossed on numerous occasions to create the wonderful English Bulldog we know today.

Peculiar about the English Bulldog's appearance is their flat nose and round, expressive eyes. In addition, their ears are short and their face is wrinkled, giving them an adorable look. The English Bulldog is a very safe, brave, outgoing, quiet breed that is ideal for families and good around children.

Introducing an English Bulldog into your home is an excellent decision, but it also carries great responsibility, as the health care of your pet should be a priority. Do you want to know what are the most common diseases of English Bulldogs? We'll list them in this AnimalWised article.

You may also be interested in: Common Diseases of Persian Cats

Eye problems

The English Bulldog's eyes are particularly sensitive, and therefore this breed is at risk of developing eye diseases, including the following:

  • Ectropion in dogs is a disease in which the eyelid moves outwards, compromising the health of the inner eyelid, which is left exposed to the external environment. It is a disease with a good prognosis, but veterinary treatment is essential.
  • Entropion is the opposite of the above. In this case, the edge of the lid folds inwards. This means that the eyelashes come into contact with the eyeball, causing irritation, pain and difficulty in keeping the eyes open. Entropion is treated with surgery.
  • Keratoconjunctivitis can cause serious injuries to the eyeball if not treated in time. Keratoconjunctivitis causes inflammation in the lacrimal gland, conjunctiva and cornea. This disease causes mucus secretion, redness and even corneal ulcers. The treatment for keratoconjunctivitis consists of applying eye drops and antibiotics, although in some cases surgery may be the only option.
Common Diseases of English Bulldogs - Eye problems

Brachycephalia and other respiratory problems

The blunt snout of the English Bulldog, along with their broad head, causes a condition known as brachycephalic syndrome. This syndrome causes wheezing, which is normal due to the distribution and size of the respiratory structures.

However, brachycephalia also causes problems that must be addressed and that are manifested through the following symptoms:

  • Heavy breathing and increased snoring
  • Vomiting
  • Breathlessness
  • Blue mucous
  • Continuous nasal breathing with the mouth open

If your English Bulldog shows these symptoms, you should go to the vet urgently because the irrigation of oxygen to tissues may be compromised. Pharmacological treatment is usually performed through anti-inflammatory active substances and bronchodilators; however, in some cases surgery may be necessary.

Common Diseases of English Bulldogs - Brachycephalia and other respiratory problems

Hip and elbow dysplasia

While they are not a particularly large breed, English Bulldogs are unfortunately susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia is a bone degenerative disease affecting the hip joint, where the hip joins with the femur. This joint is deformed, causing the dog pain and lameness, which can be detected during exercise. Treatment for hip dysplasia is usually medication, and is intended to relieve the symptoms; however, in some cases, the veterinarian may recommend surgery.

Elbow dysplasia is a disease that originates in the growth stage and which affects this joint, causing inflammation and progressive degeneration of bone and articular tissue. The main symptoms are lameness, pain and exercise intolerance. The first treatment option is orthopedics; however, in severe cases surgery may be necessary.

Common Diseases of English Bulldogs - Hip and elbow dysplasia

Skin problems

The English Bulldog's immune system is especially sensitive, which is why this breed is especially predisposed to allergies. As you know, allergies are those exaggerated reactionsthat defense cells create in response to a particular allergen. Skin allergies are the main allergic reactions in English Bulldogs.

Skin allergies in English Bulldogs are mainly caused by allergen inhalation, such as mold or pollen. An English Bulldog with allergies will experience constant itching, inflammation and redness of the skin, rashes, injury or wounds caused by excessive scratching.

Call your veterinarian to try to find out the causative allergen and determine a treatment which can be performed based on antihistamines, anti-inflammatory and analgesic topical products. In severe cases, corticosteroid drugs to suppress the immune system response may be required.

Common Diseases of English Bulldogs - Skin problems

How to keep your English Bulldog healthy

Besides being aware of the common diseases of English Bulldogs, you must actively prevent them. Pay attention to the following tips, which are very important if you want to keep your dog in good condition:

  • English Bulldogs do not like exercise, but this does not mean that it is not required. Your pet should have gentle exercise tailored to their particular needs to.

  • It is imperative that your English Bulldog follows the required vaccination schedule for puppies and dogs.

  • To prevent obesity, English Bulldogs require a good, balanced diet adapted to the nutritional requirements of each life stage.

  • To reduce allergies, the dog's environment must be kept clean and disinfected without using aggressive chemicals.
Common Diseases of English Bulldogs - How to keep your English Bulldog healthy

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Common Diseases of English Bulldogs, we recommend you visit our Prevention category.

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Carina Rabie
We have our 3rd English bulldog. The 1st one had to be put to sleep at the age of 11 due to prostate cancer and stones in his bladder. His diet consisted of store bought kibble. Our second bully died due to heatstroke and heart failure. He was raw fed. Our 3rd bully is only raw fed from the day we got him, our 2 other dogs as well. He's 1year old now. Over the last 3mths or so I noticed spots on his skin, mainly behind his head first. It looks like a human mole. Other spots the hair just fell out and the skin is dark grey. It's not bothering him at all, he's not scratching, either. He's getting more and more small spots where the hair fell out. What can this be and how do I treat it? Some bully people recommended Colloidal Silver. My other 2 dogs are perfect and beautiful with no issues, a Boxer and a Frenchie.
Administrador AnimalWised

Colloidal silver is a waste of time. It is not a nutrient which dogs require and will do more harm than good in large doses. It is possible there is a dietary problem since raw diets don't always provide certain vitamins which dogs cannot otherwise synthesize. We recommend taking them to a veterinarian for a diagnosis and advice.
Sheron Sheffield
My dog has bad skin irritation. what can i do to help her
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sheron,

The only advice we can give is to go to the veterinarian. There are different types of skin conditions which may have various causes such as parasites or allergic reactions. Only a veterinarian can perform the adequate diagnostic tests to get to the bottom of it. Treating it without knowing the cause can potentially be dangerous.
Common Diseases of English Bulldogs
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Common Diseases of English Bulldogs

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