Taken overall, bulldogs have no more health problems than many other dog breeds. Similarly to humans and like all dog breeds, bulldogs can have epilepsy, cancer, arthritis and even canine diabetes (even though the latter is a bit different in dogs). Most diseases and health matters we will describe here, however, are more specific to canines than to humans. Due to their specific conformation and their high tolerance for pain, bulldogs may require closer health monitoring than other dogs, but this does not at all mean that they are as unhealthy as some would like to have us believe.
Preventive Medicine
Preventive care starts with the choice of a good breeder who has taking good care of the mother of your puppy. The mother can pass on disease resistance to her puppies, which lasts for about eight to ten weeks. However, if the dam has not been vaccinated (see: vaccinating your dog) or properly fed, or if she is infected with internal or external parasites, she can pass on these parasites and infections to her puppies, as well.

We recommend you take your puppy in for its first veterinary check up within 24 to 72 hours after acquiring it. Your veterinarian will check your puppy's overall condition, check that there is no serious problem and explain his vaccination protocol (that may differ from one vet to another).
Photo by Willee Cole
Skin conditions
A variety of skin problems may have apparently similar visual symptoms. It is therefore important to seek advice with your veterinarian, who will prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

Commen skin problems seen in Bulldogs include: eczema, seborrhoea and acne. Read more about skin problems in bulldogs.

Diarrhea and vomiting
Common causes of diarrhoea, especially in puppies, are overfeeding, a sudden change in diet or a chill. Cut back food quantities and try feeding boiled fish or poultry mixed with rice. Make sure your Bulldog has access to plenty of fresh water, as one of the side-effects of serious diarrhoea is dehydration.
As diarrhoea is also a symptom of a number of other diseases and conditions, it is wise to consult your vet if the problem persists. Read the following article, to know when to consult your veterinearian, in case of diarrhea and vomiting.

Eye Problems in Bulldogs
Eye Problems can be caused by an irritation, a trauma or an infection. Like with all other dog breeds, there is a breed predisposition to certain eye disorders in the bulldog (see: entropion and ectropion and cherry eye). For more information see: Eye problems and eye diseases in the bulldog
See also: Every day care of your Bulldog.

Gastric Torsion and Bloat
Breeds with deep chests and narrow waists such as the Bulldog are susceptible to a syndrome of gastric torsion and bloat, where the stomach fills up with air (dilatation) and rotates on its supporting ligaments (volvulus or torsion), sealing off the blood supply. Once the blood supply is cut off the dog's conditon begins to deteriorate very rapidly, resulting in a painful death within a very few hours. Read more about bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus.

While the exact combination of events that contribute to gastric dilatation-volvulus are unprecise, the use of elevated feeders seem to reduce the swallowing of air during meals, thus diminishing the building-up of air in the stomach. Other recommendations to avoid bloat include: feeding 2 to 3 smaller meals a day instead of one heavy meal and avoiding exercise one hour before and two hours after meals. More about the causes and signs of bloat and how to treat and prevent gastric-dilatation-volvulus.

Some of these recommendations are also efficient in reducing flatulence (intestinal gas), although both conditions do not seem to be related.

Internal and External Parasites
Common external parasites are fleas, ticks and ear mites. For general information about external parasites and worming, see our article Everyday Care of your Bulldog and ear mites.  For more specific info about dog fleas and information about the various flea-control products, see controlling fleas. For more information about internal parasites see: internal parasites.

Care of the Senior Bulldog
All dogs age differently, but a particularity of the bulldog is that they mature slowlier and age faster than most other dog breeds.
Read more about the senior bulldog.

Stress and Dog massage
Bulldogs usually have a very well-balanced temper and do not generally show stress-related behavioral problems. See also: behavioral problems in bulldogs.
Separation anxiety, excessive barking and fearfullness are not commonly seen in the English bulldog. However, even though they do not often need to be calmed down, bulldogs do enjoy soothing techniques such as canine massage and relaxation music for dogs. For them dog massage and canine acupressure are just a more intense form of patting and stroking, a way to deepen the bond between them and their owner. Developing a massage routine and integrating it as part of overall care for your dog also provide an opportunity to assess your bulldog's general condition, looking for stiffness, palpating its pressure points, possibly identifing an upcoming illness or a change in skin condition. At the same time dog massage and related alternative health maintenance methods also act as natural, drug free methods of non-invasive pain relief and holistic therapies that help keep your bulldog in shape. Dogs that respond well to massage can benefit from this experience as a method of calming them before procedures or anaesthetising. More about dog massage and related techniques.
Canine parasitic skin diseases
 Bulldog Health Information
Hereditary Diseases
Transferable Diseases
Heat stroke in Bulldogs
Anal Gland Impaction
Inverted hind feet
Swimming Puppy Syndrome
Vet on Call
Vet On Call:
The Best Home Remedies for Keeping Your Dog Healthy
(Dog Care Companions)
by The Editors of Pets: Part of the Family
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
by Debra M., DVM Eldredge (Author), Liisa D., DVM Carlson (Author), Delbert G., DVM Carlson (Author), James M., MD Giffin (Author), Beth Adelman Editor)
More information:
Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health
The Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health:
The complete pet health resource for your dog, cat, horse or other pets - in everyday language. (Paperback)
by Merck Publishing and Merial (Author), Cynthia M Kahn (Editor), Scott Line (Editor)
More information:

Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
English Bulldog Health
(Health Concerns and Care Information)

For everyday Care, see: Everyday care of your English Bulldog
For Genetic diseases and health problems, see: Inheredited and congenital diseases in Bulldogs
See also:
How to choose the right vet for your dog
Skin problems in bulldogs
Everyday care of the bulldog
Care of the senior bulldog
Anal gland problems
Canine parasitic skin diseases
Hereditary Diseases
Transferable Diseases
Heat stroke in Bulldogs

Better Food for Dogs
Bulldog Information
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Choosing a breeder
Selecting a puppy
Equipment to buy for your new Bulldog puppy
Puppy Housebreaking Books
Bulldog puppy photos
Puppy training books for Kids
The Bulldog by Diane Morgan
More puppy info...
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Bulldog Calendars 2009
Music for Dogs (Music Bulldogs like)
The Bulldog
(Terra Nova Series)
by Diane Morgan
More information:
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Related Pages
Home > Articles > Bulldog Health
Bulldogs for Dummies
Bulldogs for Dummies
by Susan M. Ewing
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The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms
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The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies
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Bulldog Information 2003-2011 © All rights reserved. 

Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
Dr. Pitcairn's New Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats
by Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn
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