A number of conditions or defects may be passed genetically from one generation to the next.  Genetic inheritance is quite complicated; a dog can carry a defect without its ever becoming physically apparent and nevertheless pass the defect to his offspring in whom it may manifest itself.  All breeds of dogs have conditions that are common to their particular breed, and the bulldog is no different. Many conditions are in direct relation to the characteristics considered desirable in the breed.
Follows a list of the existing congenital and hereditary diseases found in bulldogs and a description of other common conditions that are thought to be genetic in origin because they appear with higher-than-expected frequency in certain breeds.

Skin Conditions

Acne: same thing as in humans, affects the muzzle and lip areas.

Fold dermatitis: An infection of the facial skin folds caused by unusual or excessive skin folds, especially in dogs with loose skin. Bulldogs are especially susceptible in the fac and tail areas.

Folliculitis: an infection of the hair follicles.
Furunculosis: an infection of the deeper structures of the skin.

Muzzle pyoderma: an infectious skin disease on the muzzle of an animal.



Demodicosis or Demodectic mange:
a kind of skin disease (mange) caused by microscopic Demodex canis mites living within the skin layers and producing an immunodeficiency syndrome.
Some dogs appear to be genetically predisposed to it while others do not contract it even though exposed to infected animals.
A Guide to Inherited and Congenital Diseases in Bulldogs, including
Genetic Predisposition to Diseases

Tail fold dermatitis: a skin infection caused by abnormal tissue folds around the tail.
Eye Conditions

For Cataract, Distichiasis, entropion and ectropion and other congenital eye conditions in the dog see our separate article.

Eversion of nictitating membrane, see our separate article about cherry eye.
Mouth and Teeth

Abnormal dentition: abnormal placement, number and development of teeth.

Cleft lip, also called 'Harelip': a condition where the two halves of the upper lip do not join together. Cleft palate and cleft lip are often seen together.

Cleft palate: a condition where the roof of the mouth is not closed and the inside of the nose opens into the mouth.

Elongated soft palate: the soft palate is abnormally long and causes breathing disorders. See: elongated soft palate

Cleft palate
Source: Peteducation.com
Dr. Race Foster
& Dr. Marty Smith

Respiratory system

Brachycephalic Upper-Airway Syndrome: a grouping of conditions leading to decreased tolerance to exercise, excitement, high temps, and caused by compressed or narrowed air passages, which are typical of the brachycepahlic dog breeds. The signs of brachycephalic airway syndrome include noisy or open-mouth breathing, snoring, panting, exercise intolerance, vomiting, and difficulty eating. An exaggerated movement of the animal's abdomen during respiration is seen commonly in more severely affected animals.

Hypoplasia of trachea: a trachea that fails to develop fully.

Cardiovascular system and blood conditions

Mitral valve defects: a group of abnormalities of the mitral valve of the heart.

Arteriovenous fistula: an abnormal connection that forms between arteries and veins.

Pulmonic stenosis: a condition where one of the valves of the heart does not open properly.

von Willebrand's disease: a type of bleeding disorder caused by defective blood platelet function. Occurs in 59 dog breeds but most often in Doberman pinschers. An autosomal trait affecting both sexes.


Dystocia: complications of the birth process (difficult birth).

Vaginal hyperplasia: an overgrowth of tissues of the vagina.

Brain and Glands

Hydrocephalus: a condition where there is an abnormal accumulation of fluid in the ventricles of the brain.

Oligodendroglioma: a cancer arising from a type of cell found in the brain and spinal cord.

Perianal gland tumor: a cancer arising from a cell of a gland found near the anus.

Hypothyroidism: a common endocrine disease where the body produces an abnormally low amount of thyroid hormones. An autoimmune destruction of the thyroid gland which affects more than 50 dog breeds.

Digestive System

Pyloric stenosis: a condition where the opening leading from the stomach does not function properly.
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