Veterinarians want people to stop buying “unhealthy” English bulldogs


London
CNN

Veterinarians are urging animal lovers to stop buying English Bulldogs due to “serious” health concerns.

The breed, also known as the British Bulldog, has been “compromised” by the “high rate of health problems associated with extreme body shape” that have been bred in them, according to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) of the United Kingdom.

A new college study calls for “urgent action” to reduce the many serious health problems it says are related to the breed’s “exaggerated features” such as flat faces.

Veterinarians hope that the study, which reveals that English Bulldogs are more than twice as likely to develop a number of health disorders, will discourage people from breeding and buying dogs designed to look that way.

In a press release published online, the college said: “The English Bulldog has grown in popularity in the United Kingdom over the last decade. However, his distinctive and exaggerated short snout, protruding lower jaw and stocky body shape have been linked to several serious health and well-being problems, including breathing problems, skin and ear diseases and eye diseases.

Unfortunately, many of the breed’s problematic characteristics, such as a very flat face, deep facial wrinkles and noisy breathing, are still often perceived by many as “normal” or even “desired” innovations, rather than as major problems with welfare.

RVC’s VetCompass program compares the health of random samples from 2,662 English Bulldogs and 22,039 dogs of other breeds. Bulldogs have been found to be more than twice as likely to have one or more disorders in one year than other breeds.

Some of the most common health problems include dermatitis of the skin folds, cherry eye (prolapsed eyelid gland), protruding lower jaw and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (severe breathing problems associated with the flat shape of the dog’s face), which is 19 times more common than in other dog breeds.

The bulldog was developed centuries ago in England for use in bullfighting. Characteristically powerful and often vicious, the breed almost disappeared when dog fighting was banned in 1835. However, enthusiasts saved it by developing its ferocity.

Veterinarians say the public should adopt the more natural look of the breed, saying: “In the future, the English Bulldog should be recognized and loved with a longer face, smaller head and wrinkle-free skin, which is more moderate and -healthy form. ”

Dan O’Neill, lead author and associate professor of epidemiology for accompanying animals at RVC, said: “Every dog ​​deserves to be born with equal and good innate health, with a natural ability to breathe freely, blink fully, exercise easily. , have healthy flat skin, mate and give birth.

“For breeds like the English Bulldog, where many dogs still have extreme conformations with poor innate health, the public has a huge role to play in demanding dogs with moderate and healthier conformations. Until then, future owners should “stop and think before buying a flat-faced dog.”

The study was funded in part by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Bill Lambert, executive director of health, welfare and breeders at Kennel Club, said in a statement: “As this study shows, there are a growing number of bulldogs kept outside of any sphere of influence and in a way because is perceived as “cute”, with little attention to health and well-being. A cooperative approach to tackling these problems is crucial; we must continue to work with breeders, veterinarians and social organizations to reduce and ultimately eliminate the health problems faced by brachycephalic (flat-faced) breeds, as well as reduce the mass demand for these dogs.

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