8 Widespread English Bulldog Well being Points


Vet examining English Bulldog, close-up.

English Bulldogs, aka Bulldogs, constantly make the AKC prime 10 checklist of the most well-liked canine breeds within the U.S. This breed is unmistakable for its wrinkled, ‘bitter mug’ face, protruding decrease jaw, and stout physique. They’re beloved for his or her easygoing, pleasant nature and loyalty to their house owners. However are English Bulldogs a wholesome breed? Or do Bulldogs have respiratory issues and different severe well being points?

Sadly, Sourmugs (their unofficial nickname) are predisposed to a excessive variety of well being issues in comparison with many canine breeds. These medical issues can find yourself costing you hundreds of {dollars} in veterinary payments — and potential heartache coping with an unhealthy furry good friend. In the event you already personal a Bulldog, needless to say early analysis is essential for a lot of well being points.

I’ll share the commonest circumstances that have an effect on this breed, together with signs to look at for therefore you may get veterinary care as early as potential. In the event you’re contemplating adopting an English Bulldog, all of my info also can enable you perceive the potential issues it’s possible you’ll face.

8 Widespread English Bulldog Well being Issues

A 2022 research by the Royal Veterinary Faculty on the College of London discovered that English Bulldogs are twice as probably to have sure well being circumstances, notably issues associated to being flat-faced, than different canines. Right here’s a prime 10 checklist of the commonest well being points that have an effect on this breed.

It’s so necessary to familiarize your self with the signs so you may contact your vet as quickly as you see indicators. Nonetheless, with a nutritious diet and early analysis and therapy of many circumstances, English Bulldogs can reside pleased lives for a few years.

1. Pores and skin Issues

Wrinkled pores and skin is a signature function of Bulldogs, and whereas endearing, it causes the commonest well being points on this breed. “I see English Bulldogs repeatedly in my clinic,” says Dr. Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed MRCVS, a companion animal veterinarian and surgeon within the U.Okay. “They usually come to see me due to their recurrent pores and skin issues. Many of those canines have underlying allergy symptoms but in addition different points like excessive facial folds. This wrinkled pores and skin is moist and heat, offering the perfect place for micro organism and yeasts to multiply.”

These pores and skin folds, notably round their faces, result in frequent bouts of pores and skin fold dermatitis and different pores and skin infections. Nonetheless, cleansing your pup’s pores and skin folds can go a protracted strategy to stopping infections from growing. We suggest utilizing Vetnique Labs Dermabliss Medicated Wipes repeatedly.

One other pores and skin drawback many Bullys face is allergy symptoms or intolerances to one thing of their setting or meals substances. In reality, this breed is genetically predisposed to atopic dermatitis, which is brought on by inhaling or having direct pores and skin contact with environmental allergens (pollen, mud mites, grass, mildew spores, and so on.). Not like people, canine allergy signs sometimes current as pores and skin issues.

Allergy Signs

  • Extreme scratching, licking, or chewing
  • Crimson and infected pores and skin
  • Papules or pustules (pus-filled lesions on the pores and skin that resemble human pimples)
  • Dry or flaky patches of pores and skin
  • Patchy fur loss
  • Itchy ears
  • Swollen face and paws

It’s usually tough to determine what’s inflicting your pup’s allergy symptoms, so consulting your veterinarian is the perfect plan of action. Your vet will help decide potential causes by a scientific technique of elimination and should even wish to conduct allergy assessments. Therapy choices fluctuate primarily based on the trigger, however testing and potential lifelong therapy, together with allergy drugs or prescription pet food, can get fairly costly.

2. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

A sad sleeping English Bulldog.

All brachycephalic breeds (flat-faced breeds like Pugs, Boston Terriers, English and French Bulldogs, and so on.) have some type of genetically inherited BOAS. Respiratory issues can vary anyplace from gentle to extreme. Nonetheless, 45% of Bulldogs have “clinically important indicators” of BOAS, based on the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Affiliation.

“Many of the bulldogs I look at even have various levels of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS),” says Dr. MacMillon. “Their noisy respiratory and fixed panting are a symptom of this. Sadly, these canines have a number of deformities that have an effect on their respiratory, together with slim slit-like nostrils, an overlong taste bud, and a slim trachea (windpipe). The place potential, I attempt to refer these canines for surgical procedure to assist enhance their high quality of life.” 


Canine with brachycephalic syndrome can exhibit the next signs, which may vary from gentle to debilitating.

  • Noisy respiratory
  • Snuffling
  • Loud night breathing when sleeping or relaxed
  • Coughing and raspiness
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Train intolerance (snorting with train)
  • Warmth intolerance
  • Gagging and retching

Based mostly on a DNA check I did for my canine Tiny, he’s roughly 13% English Bulldog and has the genetic danger for Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. I can attest to the respiratory points, akin to loud night breathing, noisy respiratory, snuffling, and reverse sneezing. Happily, he’s a combined breed, so his BOAS isn’t too severe.

It’s necessary to have your vet examine your Bulldog each one or two years for important indicators of BOAS, as this situation can progress throughout his lifetime. In severe circumstances, surgical procedure will help enhance airflow. Milder circumstances are normally managed with weight management, restricted train, and avoiding scorching temperatures and stress.

3. Warmth Stroke

Because of the respiratory issues related to BOAS, English Bulldogs are very liable to warmth stroke. Even in gentle circumstances, Bullys can overheat fairly simply. Canine don’t sweat the identical manner people do; they use panting as the first strategy to quiet down, and their flat faces make it tough for this breed to pant. So, it is best to keep away from scorching climate and reduce train.


  • Extreme panting
  • Speedy respiratory
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Collapse
  • Lack of consciousness
  • Disorientation and confusion

In case your pup is panting excessively, take him to a cool space and provides him loads of water. You can too attempt to cool him down by giving him a cool tub, hosing him down, or inserting a chilly towel or bag of frozen veggies on his head. In the event you consider that your canine is affected by a warmth stroke, you should deal with it as a medical emergency and instantly search assist. Your vet will administer intravenous (IV) fluids and oxygen remedy and repeatedly monitor your canine’s physique temperature throughout therapy.

4. Weight problems

English Bulldog wearing workout gear and tape measure around neck.

Dr. MacMillon shares that weight problems worsens this breed’s already compromised respiratory. “Many of the English Bulldogs I encounter are obese, which places additional stress on their airways, coronary heart, and joints.”

Whereas an English Bulldog’s chunky physique is lovely, it’s not wholesome. Weight problems and even being a bit obese can result in severe persistent circumstances, together with diabetes, coronary heart illness, arthritis, liver and kidney illness, and an elevated danger of growing sure cancers.

Are you unsure in case your pet must reduce weight? Take a look at my article on obese and overweight canines for tips about the best way to inform and what to do if he’s not at his perfect, wholesome weight.

5. Orthopedic Illnesses

Yet one more genetically inherited situation in English Bulldogs, elbow and hip dysplasia are persistent joint circumstances. Hip dysplasia causes the pinnacle of the femur bone to fulfill with the hip socket incorrectly. Canine hip and elbow dysplasia usually results in degenerative joint ailments like arthritis. Even when your Bully doesn’t have dysplasia, this breed continues to be liable to growing arthritis.


  • Ache or discomfort throughout train
  • Lameness
  • Stiff legs
  • “Bunny hop” like run
  • Stiffness getting up or operating
  • Problem getting up
  • Muscle tone loss in legs
  • Lack of enjoyment with bodily actions that have been beforehand satisfying

Therapy consists of your vet taking an x-ray of the canine’s hip or elbow sockets and deciding a course of therapy. In extreme circumstances, canines might have surgical procedure. Different therapy strategies embrace drugs to deal with irritation, joint dietary supplements, weight administration, and bodily remedy.

6. A number of Eye Issues

Because of the form of their skulls and eye sockets and genetics, English Bulldogs (and different flat-faced breeds) are at a excessive danger of ocular well being issues. Additionally, as a result of their eyes protrude, they’re extra liable to harm and infections. The three most widespread eye issues English Bulldogs sometimes expertise are:

  1. Cherry eye (prolapsed nictitating membrane gland): usually a recurring drawback, cherry eye happens when the tear gland of a canine’s third eyelid prolapses and protrudes from the attention socket. You’ll discover a big, pink or purple mass within the nook of your pup’s eye. Most often, surgical procedure is advisable to maintain the gland in place.
  2. Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca): a persistent situation that causes the irritation of the cornea attributable to an absence of tear manufacturing. Therapy sometimes is the common use of vet-prescribed tear-stimulating drops.
  3. Entropion (in-turned eyelids): a hereditary situation, entropion includes the inward rolling of the highest and/or backside eyelids. This causes the eyelashes to rub towards the cornea, leading to persistent irritation and corneal ulcers. Therapy requires surgical procedure.


  • Eye sensitivity
  • Squinty eyes
  • Repeated blinking
  • Bloodshot or cloudy eyes
  • Yellow or inexperienced discharge
  • Pinkish/purple tissue bulging within the nook of the attention (cherry eye)

7. Coronary heart Defects

Bulldogs are liable to pulmonic stenosis, a congenital coronary heart defect brought on by the irregular improvement of the guts’s pulmonic valve. The narrowed valve results in obstruction of blood move from the guts to the lungs. Sometimes, in gentle circumstances, no therapy is required, and canines can reside a full, symptom-free life. Nonetheless, reasonable to extreme circumstances could trigger signs and require therapy, together with beta coronary heart blockers or surgical procedure. If left untreated, extreme circumstances can result in coronary heart failure.


In case your Bully’s pulmonic stenosis is extreme, it’s possible you’ll discover:

  • Train intolerance
  • Fatigue
  • Collapse
  • Arrhythmias

8. Most cancers

Whereas all canines are in danger for most cancers, English Bulldogs are notably liable to mast cell tumors and lymphoma. Mast cell tumors, the commonest sort of pores and skin most cancers in canines, seem as lumps or bumps on or simply below your pup’s pores and skin and may usually look innocent. That’s why it’s extraordinarily necessary to see your vet in case you uncover any irregular pores and skin lumps. When caught early, surgical procedure is normally healing.

Lymphoma is a gaggle of cancers of the lymph nodes and lymphatic system and sometimes quickly progresses. Signs embrace swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, decreased urge for food, weight reduction, facial or leg swelling, and elevated thirst and urination. Chemotherapy is the usual therapy for lymphoma in canines and may prolong your pup’s life for a while (nevertheless, the illness is ultimately deadly).

Common Prices For English Bulldog Well being Points

An English Bulldog laying next to a pile of cash.

Embrace Pet Insurance coverage lists pulmonic stenosis, elbow dysplasia, entropion, pores and skin fold dermatitis, and GDV (bloat) as a number of widespread well being points this supplier sees in insured English Bulldogs. The next common prices are primarily based on claims.

  • Pulmonic Stenosis: $1,000-$7,000
  • Elbow dysplasia: $1,500-$4,000
  • Pores and skin Fold Dermatitis: $300-$2,500
  • Entropin: $300-$1,500
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat): $1,500-$7,500

Fetch Pet Insurance coverage Buyer Testimonial For English Bulldog Medical Care

Fetch has been a life-saver! I’ve submitted quite a few claims for my pet. All of which have been processed in a well timed method and have been authorised with none problems. My English Bulldog has been going by numerous medical points, and Fetch has made this burden a lot simpler.

– Melissa Okay.

Regularly Requested Questions

English Bulldog laying in an orange dog bed.

Listed below are some questions our readers ask most frequently about English Bulldog well being issues. In the event you don’t see yours right here, ask us within the feedback.

What Is The Life Expectancy Of An English Bulldog?

The common life expectancy of an English Bulldog is 8 to 10 years. Nonetheless, a number of elements influence each pup’s lifespan, together with genetics, general well being, and way of life.

What Do English Bulldogs Often Die From?

One other research of English Bulldogs within the U.Okay. by the Royal Veterinary Faculty reported that the main causes of demise are coronary heart illness, most cancers, and mind issues, akin to mind tumors and spinal twine issues.

Why Are English Bulldogs Predisposed To So Many Well being Points?

A long time of selective breeding have contributed to the a number of well being issues that English Bulldogs and a number of other different brachycephalic breeds face. An alarming 2016 research on the UC Davis College of Veterinary Medication discovered that the breed lacked the variety in its gene pool to make much-needed well being enhancements, suggesting that crossbreeding was the one strategy to save the breed.

The Bulldog Membership of America (BCA) maintains that it’s “devoted to preserving the breed and to persevering with to work to enhance the well being of the canines our members breed.” For instance, the BCA has established a basis to offer funds to assist medical analysis to establish and treatment the causes of the breed’s underlying ailments. It additionally encourages breeders to conduct well being screenings.  

What’s The Greatest Eating regimen For English Bulldogs?

Feeding Sourmugs the healthiest weight-reduction plan potential will help hold illness signs at bay and increase their immune methods to combat off their danger for infections. See our prime picks for the finest pet food for English Bulldogs in all life levels. You may additionally wish to try our critiques of the finest pet food for weight reduction and the finest pet food for allergy symptoms if these are well being points your pup faces.

What well being issues has your Sourmug confronted? Share in our feedback.

Why Belief Canine Journal?

Sally has over 20 years of expertise in human well being sciences communications, together with 10 years as an knowledgeable on pet well being circumstances and therapy. She’s a part of a devoted crew of canine professionals and long-time canine house owners at Canine Journal. We spend numerous hours researching the perfect care, coaching strategies, and pet merchandise, not just for our personal pups however for all of our readers.


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