Veterinarians ask to stop adopting English bulldogs because of their fragile health

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Faced with the many health problems of English bulldogs, mainly due to selective breeding, British veterinarians have pleaded the importance of stopping this practice. They even said it was best to stop adopting this breed of dog until it was remodeled and returned to some normalcy.

Selective breeding at the origin of the turmoil of English bulldogs

One of the most popular dog breeds with Brits, and indeed the world, English Bulldogs are lovable furry balls famous for their crinkly skin and scowl that hide a gentle, pleasant and fun-loving personality. Indeed, despite its bad reputation as an aggressive dog, linked to the fact that for a long time the breed was bred for bull-baiting, the bulldog was able to win the hearts of people. In fact, it is so popular that even after the cruel sport was banned, selective breeding was widely practiced on the breed.

Recall that selective breeding or artificial selection is a process used by humans to develop new breeds of animals or to preserve the purity of certain breeds. So, this process is basically choosing parents with particular characteristics to breed together and producing offspring with more desirable characteristics. Unfortunately, a narrow selective process usually causes many health problems in animals.

And that’s what happens with bulldogs. A study carried out by researchers from the Royal Veterinary College revealed in particular that the distinctive characteristics of English bulldogs, obtained through selective breeding, contribute to the fact that these dogs are twice as likely as other breeds to have health problems. and a considerably shorter life expectancy. These features include their flat face, protruding lower jaw, and skin folds. As a reminder, pugs are also no longer considered typical dogs because of their fragile health.

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Many health problems and a shorter life expectancy

To reach this conclusion, the researchers compared the risks of occurrence of common disorders in English bulldogs to those of other dogs by analyzing data from VetCompass out of 2,662 English bulldogs and 22,039 dogs of other breeds. According to the results of the study published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics, bulldogs had with an increased risk of respiratory, eye and skin problems. English bulldogs were notably more than 38 times more likely to develop skin fold dermatitis than other dogs.

They were also more than 26 times more likely to develop an eye condition called nictitating gland prolapse and 24 times more likely to develop mandibular prognathism. The authors also noted that less than 10% of English bulldogs studied were over the age of 8, compared to more than 25% of many other dog breeds. Faced with these disturbing results, the researchers are calling for English Bulldogs to be bred to more moderate physical characteristics and for adoption of the breed to stop until the dog returns to more normal characteristics.

If the scientists call on the authorities to strengthen the laws on the breeding of bulldogs, they also call on the responsibility of dog owners. ” For breeds such as English Bulldogs where many dogs still have extreme conformations with innately poor health, the public has a huge role to play in demanding dogs with moderate and healthier conformations. “, thus declared the Dr. Dan O’Neilllead author of the study, to BBC News.

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