Misdiagnosing the Bulldog Big Three


Bulldogs are known for having health and breathability issues. That’s why we put so much effort into breeding healthier Bulldogs.

Unfortunately, some vets believe in correcting these problems in every Bulldog. They might recommend surgery for every Bulldog without checking if they actually suffer from these issues.

Every surgery has inherent risks. Bulldogs are at higher risk because they tend to have more trouble breathing, and anesthesia can complicate that upon waking up. That doesn’t mean that surgery is too risky for a Bulldog, but it does mean that vets need to take more precautions.

Some health problems are more commonly misdiagnosed than others, and elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, and hip dysplasia make up the top three.

Most commonly misdiagnosed health problems

Elongated soft palate

An elongated soft palate is common in Bulldogs. It can limit their airflow and cause them to suffer from more respiratory problems.

In a palate surgery, a vet will trim the soft palate in the back of the throat to allow more air to pass.

If your bulldog needs it, this is a very necessary surgery. However, only two of our bulldogs have needed this surgery so far, and there is a risk that your bulldog could die.

Stenotic Nares

Stenotic nares or pinched nostrils are another factor that can affect a Bulldog’s breathability. It is also a health factor that we have worked to improve in our bulldogs. 

Again, if your bulldog has this issue, it should be corrected. But, you want to be sure that it is being corrected because they have stenotic nares, not just on principle.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is commonly misdiagnosed in bulldogs because, compared to the standard definition, every bulldog has it.

For a golden retriever or a german Shepard, hip dysplasia is a problem that causes pain and should be corrected. However, for a bulldog, it is a result of muscle structure and their natural build.

Bulldogs have about 60% of their weight resting on the front legs. They also have a robust muscle structure surrounding the hips, taking stress off the joints. The combination of weight redistribution and muscle support makes it unlikely that Bulldogs will experience pain from it.

It’s an expensive and difficult problem to fix. If you are concerned that your Bulldog might have pain in their hips, watch to see if they have difficulty moving around.

 

We are not trying to discourage you from accepting surgery or seeking medical care for your bulldog. These are real problems that should be treated if your dog has them. The important thing is to see a vet who will treat the needs of your dog instead of the breed in general. 

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