flat-nosed dogs like english bulldogThey are prone to develop certain pathologies that negatively affect their quality of life, such as respiratory difficulties and eye diseases. For animal welfare reasons, in recent years Some countries restricted breeding various breeds of flat-faced dogs. Norway and the Netherlands, for example, are some of the countries that have imposed restrictions on the breeding of the English bulldog.
A study published in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics explains that dogs of this breed are at high risk for respiratory, eye and skin ailments. extreme physical featureslike a shorter nose, folded skin and a stocky body.
If breed standards are not redefined, the authors more moderate featuresEngland may ban their breeding.
A breed chosen for its extreme physical characteristics
English bulldog was chosen for Bullfighting: Bullfightingwhere its name comes from.
In 1835 the UK Parliament passed the Animal Cruelty Act, which among other things prohibited these fights. The breed’s loss of usefulness caused the ancient bulldog to decline and was replaced by the modern English bulldog.
Over the years, this dog has been selected to be less aggressive than its predecessor while simultaneously improving its physical appearance both on the face (flatter nose and more prominent facial wrinkles) and body (thicker body and stubby).
Over time, the English bulldog has developed into a show and companion breed. Its physical features are a short (brachiocephalic) skull, protruding jaw, skin folds, and a stocky build.
susceptibility to disease
The study’s authors, from the Royal Veterinary College RVC in London, compared the risk of suffering from certain diseases. common disorders Among English bulldogs and dogs of other breeds.
To do this, they used the VetCompass database, a nonprofit project from RVC. examining the types and frequency of health problems in companion animalsto identify risk factors.
VetCompass collects millions of clinical records from veterinary care facilities for researchers and veterinarians to access to improve the health and well-being of pets.
In this study, the authors analyzed the clinical records of 2,662 English bulldogs and 22,039 other breeds of dogs. Data came from across the UK and is from 2016.
The authors evaluated 43 common diseases in dogs, including dermatitis, heart murmurs, respiratory and eye diseases..
According to the analysis results, lEnglish bulldogs are twice as likely to be diagnosed as other dogs with at least one disorder. The genus is predisposed to 24 of 43 diseases, ie more than 50% of analyzed pathologies.
Compared to other dogs, English bulldogs The risk of developing dermatitis in skin folds is 38.12 times higher.
The eyes of many animals have a protective structure called the pleasing membrane or ‘protective membrane’.third eyelid‘ is home to a tear gland. The drooping of the second causes the third eyelid to protrude as a red, swollen mass in the inner corner of the eye. This condition is common in dogs and is commonly ‘cherry eye’.
The researchers observed that English bulldogs were more prone to developing the condition and calculated that these dogs were almost 27 times more likely to develop the disease than any other dog studied.
this brachycephalic syndrome It is an obstructive pathology of the respiratory tract.. It mainly affects breeds of dogs that have a shortened head. In these animals, flattened shape of the skull It is associated with certain physical abnormalities that cause respiratory problems. For example, the nostrils and throat are often narrower, making it difficult to breathe.
In addition breathing difficultiesDogs suffering from this syndrome often have other problems such as sleep apnea, intolerance to physical exercise, sensitivity to heat, vomiting or regurgitation.
According to the analysis of this study, English bulldozers were 19.2 times higher risk suffer from this syndrome more than any other dog studied.
In contrast, researchers have found that English bulldogs have less of a risk for certain conditions, such as dental disease. heart murmurs and flea infestation.
Redefine the race with more moderate features
One of the English bulldozers Life expectancy of 8 to 10 years is generally lower than that of dogs of other breeds.
The study authors explain that only 9.7% of English bulldogs included in the study were over the age of eight, compared to 25.4% of other breeds. As the researchers suggest, this supports the idea: shorter life about these dogs themselves worse health.
Life expectancy of 8 to 10 years is generally lower than that of dogs of other breeds.
Dan O’Neill, associate professor of companion animal epidemiology at RVC and co-author of the study, said: “These findings suggest that the general health of the English bulldog is much worse than that of other dogs. Most worrying, however, is that many of the health conditions to which specimens of this breed suffer, such as dermatitis in the skin folds and respiratory problems, are directly related to the extreme physical traits for which they were chosen. ”
“Given the continued popularity of the breed, the typical body shape of English Bulldogs should be redefined according to bodily characteristics. more moderate. Doing so will not only improve the health of dogs, but may allow the UK to avoid following other countries that have banned this breed on animal welfare grounds,” he added.
The authors suggest that future research could compare susceptibility to these disorders between English bulldogs with more moderate physical traits and those of the same breed with more extreme traits. This is a possible assessment beneficial effects breeding dogs with less rigid body features.
Reference Study: https://cgejournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s40575-022-00118-5
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