Common Bulldog Health Problems

ultimate guide to dog health

While the Bulldog Training Tips website is primarily concerned with how to train Bulldogs, I thought that it was important to include an article detailing some common Beagle health problems, especially those that can dramatically affect your dogs behavior and trainability. There are a vast number of different health problems that affect Bulldogs, and it would be impossible for me to cover them all in this article in sufficient detail to at all useful. I would like to focus on providing general guidelines for avoiding common Bulldog health problems, and provide information about how these problems can affect your Bulldogs behavior and ability to train successfully. For more comprehensive information about very specific Bulldog health problems, I recommend that you purchase a dedicated guide to dog health, such as The Ultimate Guide To Dog Health. Doing so will help you to better understand your Bulldogs health care requirements, and help you to make informed decisions about when it is necessary to go to the vet vet. A good guide to dog health quickly pays for itself because it gives you the power to diagnose a whole host of dog problems and avoid trips to the vet that are unnecessary.

Top dog care experts agree that by ensuring your Bulldog is fed properly, given plenty of exercise, and mentally stimulated by regular obedience training, your dog will hardly ever exhibit undesirable behavioral problems. Well looked after dogs handle stress better, and get sick far less frequently. When your Bulldog doesn't feel well however, they tend to exhibit a variety of behavioral problems that can make life difficult and unpleasant for you as well as your dog. For these reasons it is incredibly important to understand the specific care needs of your dog. Its really important to give your dog what he needs as this will not only help to promote good immune function in your dog, but also impact your Bulldogs happiness and behavior. One of the most important factors that can have dramatic effects on the health and behavior of a Bulldog is diet, and this is the first topic I will discuss in this article.

Bulldog Health Problems - Why a good diet is essential

What you give your dog to eat is among the most critical of all the variables that affects Bulldog health that is 100% within your control. Dogs, just like us humans, have certain nutritional needs that must be met. Making things even more difficult is that fact that different dogs require different things. Every dog is different in terms of its nutritional needs and it often takes time figuring out exactly what to feed your Bulldog.

The nutrition of your dog has an enormous effect on your dogs health and ability to learn. Bulldog owners should therefore be aware of the visible signs of nutrient deficiency. Becoming aware of such deficits can significantly reduce veterinary expenses, since you can change the dog's diet as necessary, often resolving the health issue without the need for medical treatment.

Your dog's individual nutritional requirements should determine what you choose to feed him. Disregard commercials and price variations in foods and instead focus on how nutritious the food is. All the information that you need to make the decision about whether the food is suitable for your Bulldog is printed on the food packaging. The ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. On the package, you will find an accurate analysis of the ratios of magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, ash, moisture, fiber, fat, and of course, protein. The best dog foods show at least two proteins derived from animals in the top five ingredients. These are commonly called performance foods, and also contain the correct quantities of fats and oils, which are needed for energy, coat, and skin. It is essential that you make sure that the food you choose contains plenty of animal protein rather than grain, which dogs have trouble digesting properly.

Make sure to observe your dogs response when making decisions about their diet and determining whether their needs are being met. Important signs of dietary deficiency include your dog not eating all the food, bulky stools that stink really bad, flatulence, rotten brown teeth, belching, hair falling out, a dry coat, decreased energy, over activity, a high probability of ear infections and skin infections, as well as susceptibility to fleas, worms, and other parasites.

Bulldog Health Problems - A guide to Bulldog vaccinations

Another factor over which you have full control, and which can greatly impact your Bulldog's health, is the approach you take with vaccines. In the last two decades the quantity of vaccinations each dog receives has been on the rise. Unfortunately, increased frequency and number of vaccinations can actually jeopardize a dog's health and immune function, instead of improving it.

The administration of excessive vaccines has resulted in unpredictable and frequently negative outcomes in dogs, often referred to as vaccinosis. The reactions exhibited by individual dogs range from minimal to sever, and even death in some cases. The cause can be a single vaccine, multiple simultaneous vaccines, or multiple vaccines over a short time period.

If you vaccinate a Bulldog multiple times without letting some time elapse for recovery, your dogs immune system could get compromised, resulting in health problems that could be serious. Let me be clear that I do not oppose vaccinations. What I oppose is random, unplanned and unnecessary vaccinations. I would also like to make the point that the benefits of annual revaccinations are not currently backed up by any immunological or scientific evidence. Virus immunity can last a long time, for the whole life of the dog in some cases

If your dog is already immune to a certain virus, revaccinating could affect immune system function greatly. The various adverse side effects from needless vaccinations have made breeders, dog owners and animal doctors doubt that boosters are needed, and vets are now far more careful about how they administer vaccines. In the United States, the only legal requirement is that your dog has to have a rabies vaccine followed by boosters at three-year intervals. Please also note that a rabies shot shouldn't be given to your Bulldog before it is 6 months old.

There are a variety of reactions that dogs develop as a result of vaccination. These range from death to more subtle symptoms like developing bizarre and undesirable behaviors. Common undesirable reactions to vaccines include seizure disorders (e.g. epilepsy), insomnia, anxiety and constant licking at one spot (often down to the bone). If a rabies vaccine is administered at the same time as other vaccines, it can often cause aggression or seizure disorders, so a vaccination schedule needs to be carefully planned with plenty of recovery time between vaccinations.

Sadly, there is now way of knowing how your Bulldog will react to certain vaccines. Thus, it is my strong suggestion that whenever your Bulldog has a yearly exam, he or she should also be given the titer test. This test is important for your Bulldog because it gives you information about your dogs susceptibility to diseases. Titer tests measure the levels of antibodies your dog has, which is a measure of a dog's resistance to a variety of different diseases. A high level of antibodies indicates that revaccination is unnecessary. Dog care professionals now consider titering as a good alternative to blindly revaccinating. As a result of the progression of dog vaccination research, most boarding kennels now consider the results of a titer test as evidence of your dog's immunity.

The pros of vaccinations are often counterbalanced by the (sometimes serious) cons. Experienced vets now commonly advise that Bulldog owners follow the following guidelines:

Ensure a light vaccination schedule, leaving at least four weeks between vaccines. Only administer one vaccination for parvo and distemper when your Bulldog is a puppy, with a booster shot to follow 4 weeks later. Ask your veterinarian to take a blood sample and have a lab conduct the necessary tests to identify the dog's antibody levels. If your puppy has protection, there is no need for further vaccines. Have a titer test performed at age one, and administer vaccinations only if the titer test suggests they are needed. Don't get your puppy vaccinated against rabies (which is required) before 6 months of age. Be sure to wait more than a month between administering rabies and other vaccines.

Before having your Bulldog vaccinated, it is important to discuss with the veterinarian any potential safety issues. This is particularly important when your Bulldog is on medication, isn't in perfect health (vaccine manufacturers state in their literature that a dog has to be in perfect health in order to be vaccinated), has an infection of the ear, skin, or eye, has been treated recently for worms, ticks or fleas, has had an adverse reaction to previous vaccines, Hasn't taken any supplemental vitamins or minerals, or has an appointment in the near future for dental cleaning, neutering, spaying, or a surgical procedure of any kind

It takes approximately 21 days from when your dog receives the vaccine for it to develop immunity to the disease. During this time. your dog's health and stress levels are really important due to the fact that vaccinations negatively impact the immune system (in the short term). When your Bulldog is recovering from the stress of a vaccination, do not expose him to any additional stress. Excess stress after vaccination can make a dog prone to contracting disease.

Bulldog Health Problems - Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an illness that may result due to a poor diet, excess vaccination, sterilizing a young puppy, or any combination of the above. The condition known as hypothyroidism indicates underactive thyroid function, which can result in negative physical and behavioral symptoms. Infrequently diagnosed prior to the 1970s, Hypothyroidism has become more common due to shifts in how owners look after their dogs. Unbelievably, as many as 50 percent of dogs now show some symptoms of the disease.

The thyroid gland is a component of the endocrine system. In addition to regulating hormones, the endocrine system also affects the capacity of the brain to cope with stress. There is a chance that a bulldog will inherit hypothyroidism from its parents. In other words, if your dogs parents were afflicted by the disease, your dog will have an increased susceptibility to it.

Heart disorders, lack of control over body temperature, Oily, scaly skin and blackened skin on the belly, paralysis, seizures, thinning of the hair on each side of the body, and weight gain are all the physical manifestations of hypothyroidism found in Bulldogs. Behavioral issues that can develop as a result of Hypothyroidism include aggression to people and/or other dogs, difficulty learning and training, fear and anxiety, constant licking at one spot (often going down to the bone), extreme hyperactivity, overreaction to stressful situations and self-mutilation.

You should call your vet and make an appointment if your Bulldog shows any of these symptoms as they can become serious if left untreated. If you'd like reassurance that your Bulldog is not suffering from hyperthyroidism, ask your vet to test the dog's blood. Request a full thyroid panel. The results will tell you if your dog requires further treatment or medication.

Bulldog Health Problems Skeletal Misalignment

If your dog suffers from abnormalities in his skeletal system, this can have a bad impact in his health and how he behaves. It is a good idea to let a dog chiropractor examine your dog every once in a while. Puppy play both with humans and other dogs can cause a wide range of misalignments that can interfere with proper growth and development, and so a visit to the chiropractor should be made when your Bulldog is still a puppy. As your Bulldog gets older, it is a good idea for your dog to visit the chiropractor every now and again. Grown Bulldog's usually have injuries that influence their behavior and overall happiness, so getting your dog examined will guarantee that any issues will be fixed. Misaligned bones can greatly impact on your dogs behavior and obedience to you and are misaligned bones are particularly difficult for dog owners to identify on their own. Do yourself a favor and take your dog to the doggy chiropractor every now and again. It might cost you a few dollars, but the hassle it can save you cannot be underestimated.