May 29, 2024

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Dog health: Don’t buy a bulldog until breed is reshaped, vets plead

Bulldogs with flat faces can cause “a lifetime of agony,” according to veterinarians, who advise people not to buy one.

According to a study, bulldogs have twice the health risks as other dogs.

According to Royal Veterinary College experts, immediate action is required to reform the breed and prevent the UK from entering the list of countries where the dog is prohibited.

They urge people to avoid buying English bulldogs and two other popular breeds, the French bulldog and the pug, until difficulties with breeding are resolved.

For its jowly face, the breed, also known as the English or British bulldog, has drawn comparisons to Winston Churchill and has long been regarded as a symbol of strength and fortitude.

The species has become prone to health difficulties as a result of the vogue for ever more extreme traits, such as a flat face, wrinkled skin, and a squat physique, generating welfare concerns.

The dogs are unquestionably “cute” with their enormous bulging eyes and flat faces, according to Dr. Dan O’Neill of the Royal Veterinary College, one of the study’s authors, but their unusual body form, the result of years of selective breeding, has become their doom.

The English bulldog used to be a powerful and athletic breed, but it has now evolved into a popular pet with a short skull, protruding jaw, skin folds, and a squat body.

The breeding of bulldogs is already prohibited in some nations, and an expert working group of veterinarians and animal welfare organisations, including the Royal Veterinary College, warns that if nothing is done, the same could happen in the United Kingdom.

The study compared the health of thousands of English bulldogs kept as pets to that of other dog breeds and was published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics. It was discovered that English bulldogs were twice as likely as other dogs to develop one or more illnesses in a single year.

Infections in the skin folds, cherry eye, protrusion of the lower jaw, and breathing issues were the most common health symptoms.

Pugs were also shown to be at increased risk of health problems in a recent study by the same team.