Faults found in Bulldogs
To understand what we are doing to reduce heritable faults and why we are doing it, follow this link to a good article, HERE Another good artice to read about Hemivertebrae in dogs is here, and to understand why we do not mind a tail on our Toy Bulldogs you need to read and comprehend why, just click here
Some of the conditions you might expect to see albeit a lot less often in our kennel population are listed below.
A dog’s eye has three eyelids: an upper and lower lid, as well as a third eyelid we seldom see. The importance of the third eyelid is to give added protection to the dog’s eyes. It acts like a wipe to help keep the eye clear of dust and debris and has a tear gland that produces around 35% of the moisture to the dog’s eye. Sometimes the gland in the third eyelid, located in the corner of the eye next to the dog’s nose, slips out of place and bulges. We see it as a red or pinkish blob, and this bulge is what’s called cherry eye.
Why it slips out of place is not clear, but if it happens in one eye, more than likely it will happen in the other, although it can be months later. What you want to pay attention to in your dog’s eye is any watery or thick discharge, a red or pink blob in the corner of their eye, any redness in the lining of their eyelid or if your dog is pawing at his eye.
For unknown reasons, the connective tissue around the tear gland becomes weak and starts to move around. Movement irritates the gland which leads to swelling that can produce a mucous or clear discharge. It’s possible cherry eye will correct itself within a couple of weeks, but it’s best not to wait. If it doesn’t correct itself, the longer the gland is out of place, the more swelling there is. This makes it harder to reposition it, and there’s a greater chance it will happen again. Left untreated, cherry eye can lead to more serious eye problems later on. You need to have your dog examined by your vet as soon as you notice the out-of-place gland.
It’s not understood why some dogs get cherry eye, but it’s thought the cause could be from a parasite, some kind of bacterial infection, dermatitis, possible sun damage, cancer, fungal infection or it could be a result of a problem with the dog’s immune system. Whatever the case, cherry eye is hereditary, so it’s best not to breed a dog that has developed this condition.
Cherry eye is usually seen in younger dogs between 6 weeks to 2 years and is more commonly found in Newfoundlands, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Shar-Peis, Shih Tzu, Beagles, Pekingese, Lhasa apso, Miniature Poodles and Neapolitan Mastiffs. It’s also seen in some breeds of cats. The Persian and Burmese cats are more likely to develop cherry eye than other breeds.
Treatment for cherry eye is done under local anesthesia to push the gland back into place. Some vets will elect to remove the third eyelid, but it’s not recommended. There’s nothing wrong with getting a second opinion if it’s needed. Removing the eyelid can adversely affect proper tear production which keeps the eye from becoming dry. Dogs who have had the eyelid removed are at risk of developing a condition called “dry eye” later on. The third eyelid should only be removed as a last resort. If it’s removed, you are compromising your dog’s eye health as they age.
I have included a link to a page which also describes how to massage a small one back into place, I myself have also had success with this method, so it is worth a try. click on the link to see the page.
Certain breeds of dogs and cats are prone to difficult, obstructive breathing because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. The most common dogs affected are the “brachycephalic” breeds. Brachycephalic means “short-headed.” Common examples of brachycephalic dog breeds include the English bulldog, French bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, and Boston terrier. These dogs have been bred to have relatively short muzzles and noses and, because of this, the throat and breathing passages in these dogs are frequently undersized or flattened.
The term Brachycephalic Syndrome refers to the combination of elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules, all of which are commonly seen in these breeds.
Elongated soft palate is a condition where the soft palate is too long so that the tip of it protrudes into the airway and interferes with movement of air into the lungs.
Stenotic Nares are malformed nostrils that are narrow or collapse inward during inhalation, making it difficult for the dog to breathe through its nose.
Everted Laryngeal Sacculesis a condition in which tissue within the airway, just in front of the vocal cords, is pulled into the trachea (windpipe) and partially obstructs airflow.
Some dogs with brachycephalic syndrome may also have a narrow trachea (windpipe), collapse of the larynx (the cartilages that open and close the upper airway), or paralysis of the laryngeal cartilages.
Achondroplasia (dwarfism; short limbs) is an autosomal-recessive genetic disease of dogs characterized by disproportionate dwarfism, macrocephaly, facial hypoplasia and vertebral malformations.
This disease, commonly reported in the German Shepherd, is associated with a failure of the oropharyngeal ectoderm of the cranial pharyngeal duct. Craniopharyngiomas also cause subnormal secretion of growth hormone, which results in dwarfism.
The disease is multifactorial and results in dysregulation of growth of bones at the cartilage growth plates which may be severe or moderate (hypochondroplasia) or mild (pseudoachondroplasia).
Some dog breeds traditionally have been classified as achondroplastic based on their phenotypic appearance, such as the Dachshund, Basset Hound, Irish Setter and Bulldog breeds.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has achondroplastic phenotypic features characterized by chiari-like malformation due to syringomyelia.
Achondroplasia has also been reported in association with oculoskeletal dysplasia in the Samoyed and Labrador Retriever.
In typical cases of achondroplasia, affected pups are born with severe anatomical deformities such as dorsoventral flattening of the thoracic cavity, malpositioning of the scapula and enlarged, disproportionate heads.
These variable phenotypic malformations invariably lead to osteoarthritis and poor quality of life in severely affected patients.
Less affected patients with arthritic changes can be treated with NSAID-based medication such as carprofen, fentanyl, tramadol, meloxicam, gabapentin or in severe cases, prednisolone.
This white Bulldog (photo off net) is typical of the type that will have trouble later,her legs are bending outwards already
for her to carry her weight on legs so spread out and bent will cause problems, we have had one mild case so far, no surgery needed, we cannot guarantee other cases will not occur, but at least we are breeding away from the types that are almost guaranteed TO suffer from the problem.
Deafness is known in both Bostons and all Bulldog types, we do get some, less than the breed average as I can find them via Google, about 2 % we test for reactions to noise but cannot do BAER tests out here, our imported dogs were done in the USA and are fine. All of our locally bought and home bred dogs have good hearing.
Touch wood, but more likely due to the fact that we have used tailed dogs in our project, we have not seen a single case of this horrible condition. It can largely be avioded by not continually breeding tailess dogs together.
I took this photo below, outlining a French Bulldog with Stenotic Nares,from the Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog, these are almost the norm in Frenchies these days, the full article can be found on their blog, just Google.
Show breeders are having fits about blue and other colours being bred yet see nothing wrong with this, and judges are rewarding them by awarding points to dogs like this instead of throwing them out of the ring !
One of our Toy Bulldogs below, this is one of the things we are breeding toward, nice open nostrils that allow a dog to breath, note how comfortable this dog looks compared to the one above, probably worried about how it is going to get enough air into it's lungs, poor dog. We do still see this condition, but less and less as we breed on.
Pretty well all short nosed breeds can also have crooked teeth, sometimes even extra teeth.
If the teeth are too crowded they get too much tartar build up, it is wise to have a few removed to make room for the rest to spread out, this is not major surgery, and do not be talked into anything major, a few smaller ones removed while the dog is fairly young will result in the rest having room to move, and move they will, of their own accord.
A perfect line of teeth is not a requirement for dental health.
However most dogs teeth can be maintained by simply giving mutton flank bones to chew on at least 3 or 4 times a week, make sure bones fed are raw and too big to choke on.
Some of our dogs seem to have skin allergies, this is a puzzlement as no dogs used to breed with, and no dog in our program has a problem.
However bad skin is known in all the breeds used to some extend, it may simply be that some throw back to the issues in the breeds but I do suspect that uban living has a bit to do with it as well.
No matter how much you try to stick to natural food, or aviod chemicalls it is just not possible, dogs are too low to the gound, councils and neihbours spray stuff about, owner tend to give bought chews, no matter how much the advertising advises them as being healthy, the healthiest thing you can possibly give your dog is bone from the butcher !
Even carpets are toxic to an extent, some people cannot live in a home with carpet in it.
Watch carefully what toys your dog is chewing on, some cheaper ones are said to be linked to cancer.
Also steer very clear of anything that contains preservative of any sort, some dogs are very sensitive to it, it has been known to cause fits, rashes, even death is a few cases.
Shampoos, be careful here and do NOT do it too often, dogs have natural oils in their skin, they need these left alone, too much washing in shampoo destroys their natural oils. We use baby oil when we do wash dogs, and that is seldom although we do have a nice hydrobath for the odd bathtime.
Pups are seldom washed here, not a sign of neglegt but common sense, they need a bath by the time they reach their new home, no need to over stress them and their coats by bathing here as well, unless they are extra grubby we do not do it.
This Facebook group may prove helpful if you have concerns, but take all internet advice as you should, CAREFULLY.