People who want to get a dog are often misled that large dogs have fewer health issues than smaller breeds. That is not true, as there is no evidence to insinuate such an assumption at all. The health aspects of a breed depend on the method of breeding, physical traits, but also the care that the owners provide to their four-legged friends.
As seen on this holistapet American Bulldog guide, this breed has its share of health issues. Health concerns in this breed are divided into two groups: congenital and ongoing conditions. The former can be prevented by selecting a puppy from healthy parents that are not related and a trusted breeder. Even if some of these conditions develop, they are manageable with proper care.
The latter, or acquired conditions, can be managed by a professional vet. Regular and detailed check-ups can prevent the onset of many diseases. Also, the owners have a great responsibility to provide their American Bulldogs with adequate care.
One of the many common American Bulldog health issues is hip dysplasia. Usually, large, purebred dogs are prone to this condition. It occurs when the front portion of the bone, or the femur, doesn’t fit into the socket of the hip properly. Eventually, that leads to stiffness and mobility issues.
This condition is a developmental anomaly of the hip structure. Larger breeds like the American Bulldog are growing fast, and the skeletal system can’t always keep up with that growth. Then the fast-growing bony part of the hips is not well-attached to muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Hips of suffering dogs are loose, which can disturb their walking. If the animal’s health condition is not monitored (weight control, moderate physical activity, proper supplementation), that will cause lifetime problems with walking, jumping, and standing up. In severe cases, permanent disability can occur.
No pet owners want to hear this. Due to their size and build, Bullies have an increased risk of developing this form of tumor. The most common is osteosarcoma, which affects the long bones (on the extremities) and has a high metastatic potential (spread to other organs).
The cause of this disease is still unknown. Yet, there are hints that recurrent trauma or chronic bone friction increases the risk of developing cancerous tissue. Bone cancer affects the tissue that surrounds the hips. Due to damaged tissues around these large bones, Bulldogs with hip dysplasia are more likely to develop cancer.
Treatment for bone cancer includes chemo and may even require surgery to remove the cancerous tissue. If the disease has progressed, the only solution is the surgical removal of damaged cells before they spread. Sometimes even amputation is necessary, along with radiation and medication.
American Bulldogs have an athletic build and a strong body, ready for exposure to physical activity. But they can easily indulge in a sedentary lifestyle and become obese if the owners neglect their basic needs. On this link, find out how to spot overweight dog.
Besides not looking aesthetically pleasing, especially on larger breeds like your Bully, obesity is a risk factor for many ailments. There is a high chance that obese dogs will also become anxious due to the inability to follow their owners in games or walks.
American Bulldogs are prone to snoring and noisy breathing, especially those chubby ones. Although these sounds may seem cute to you, they are not. They pose a great risk to your pet’s health. So if you hear your Bully snores or noisy breathes, and that’s not caused by heat or exercising, it’s best to seek the help of a vet as soon as possible.
Snoring and noisy breathing can lead to lung disease and even death if not treated. American Bulldogs have short, blunted muzzles, making them prone to nasal blockage and deviated septum (the bony opening near the nose). A vet will recommend you use a snoring chin strap to help reduce the sounds your Bulldog is making.
Onset of Allergies
Allergies are a common problem noted in American Bulldogs. Dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, and an array of other issues can affect both the appearance and the health of your beloved pet. Their skin folds and short snout are factors making them prone to these conditions.
Visit the following website to check how to properly clean your Bully’s folds:
The most common allergies seen in American Bulldogs are flea infestations and mites. These are generally treated with topical treatment options such as shampoos, sprays, and dips. But there are also a host of other allergens that your pet may be prone to, including pollen, house dust, food, plastics, and more. Hygiene is essential to keeping an American Bulldog healthy and happy.
American Bulldogs are not fans of the high temperatures and dry air. Besides breathing difficulties, excessive heat can result in soggy ears and damaged skin. Regular hygiene, clean water, and sturdy bedding are musts for keeping your Bulldog happy and their hair healthy.
Dogs that shed excessively have skin issues that you should be aware of. Because Bulldogs have short, sharp hair, it’s easy to spot skin disorders. Some of the most common problems include flaky or greasy skin and fungal infections. These conditions usually require regular washing and prescription medications.
With proper selection and breeding, American Bulldogs have become more resistant and less prone to certain diseases. However, that doesn’t mean that owners have no obligation to take care of the health of their pets. Regular vet checks, proper nutrition, physical activity, and lots of love will make your Bully healthy, happy, and vital in years to come.