Almost everyone has their own favorite type of dog breed, but one specific type of puppy can be the most complicated of them all, according to a new study.
The study suggests that French Bulldogs, which are typically about 1 foot tall and usually weigh less than 30 pounds, are more likely to be diagnosed with 20 common disorders compared to other breeds. The study was published Wednesday in the journal Canine Medicine and Genetics.
Dan O’Neill, lead author of the study and senior lecturer in companion animal epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College London, said he had spent the last decade studying the French bulldog as it became one of of the most popular dogs in the UK. .
According to Lifetime Pet Cover, it is the fourth most popular breed in the region. In the United States, it is the second most popular dog breed, just behind Labrador retrievers.
As popular as bulldog breeds are, they are known to be very susceptible to health issues. Ashley Rossman, a veterinarian at Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital in Glenview, Illinois, told USA TODAY in August that they are among the species of dogs that can easily suffer from heatstroke due to their wrinkled faces, which which means more breathing and panting problems. .
To see how bad this can be for French Bulldogs, O’Neill and his team randomly selected veterinary records for the breed along with other randomly selected records from other breeds. What the team discovered is that French Bulldogs are a breed like no other.
“If French Bulldogs were a typical dog breed, one would expect their health issues to be similar to dogs in general. But French Bulldogs were wildly different in the top 43,” O’ said. Neill at USA TODAY. “The French bulldog is no longer a typical dog. It’s something else.”
The data showed that French bulldogs were at “significantly higher risk” of developing conditions such as a 42 times higher risk of narrowing of the nostrils, a 30 times higher risk of obstructive airway syndrome, an 11 times higher risk of skin dermatitis and a nine-fold higher chance of having difficulty giving birth.
“Overall, French Bulldogs have a much poorer health profile than non-French Bulldogs,” O’Neill said.
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Many factors influence the deterioration of the health of the breed. O’Neill said breeders and shelters can’t really be blamed; potential pet owners are at fault.
“Flat-faced dogs do not exist in nature. They are a creation of mankind’s desire for a flat-faced dog, and there were tremendous health issues associated with them,” said he declared.
One of the factors highlighted by the author is the desire to have dogs with multiple skin folds. They may be cute, but it’s not natural.
“These are things that humans find cute, but if you’re a dog, it’s not cute to have skin folds,” O’Neill said. “We are actively looking for dogs with conformations that we find cute and attractive as owners as humans, but are actually really unpleasant and unhealthy for dogs.”
The authors say their study doesn’t indicate the severity or duration of the condition, but there are signs owners can look for to make sure their French bulldog doesn’t have serious problems.
Constant snoring can mean a respiratory condition. Owners should also regularly check their dogs’ skin and wash them.
All hope is not lost for the breed. O’Neill says people should put aside their physical preferences for a French Bulldog and focus on the dog’s needs for a responsible owner. He also recommends that breeding standards focus on longer muzzles and wider nostrils.
“It’s a process over time to gradually bring the French Bulldog back from its current extreme conformation to a much more moderate and healthy conformation,” O’Neill said.
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.