bulldog health archie the bulldog

Here's an exerpt of the information packed into my Bulldog Health System.

Did you know your bulldog could suffer from orthopedic conditions such as the one listed here?

Bulldog Orthopedic Concerns

While the majority of English Bulldogs live happy and healthy lives, the breed is susceptible to two major joint problems - luxating patella (floating kneecap) and hip dysplasia.  Again, these conditions are caused by bulldog breeding.  And all bulldogs have them to some degree, causing arthritis and other more severe problems.

These conditions can often require expensive surgery to correct, and can have a serious effect on your dog's quality of life.  Both of these diseases are considered inherited conditions so you should check carefully with your breeder to see if either the sire or dame has a family history of one or both diseases.  Whether they say so or not, they are most likely evident to at least a lesser degree.

Luxating Patella
Luxating patella is a condition that occurs when your dog's kneecap slips out of place.  The patella is meant to rest in the center of the dog's knee joint, within the patella ridges (see diagram below).

The most common form of luxating patella found in English Bulldogs is medial luxation.  There are four different grades of medial luxation, and these are determined by the severity of the luxation.

1.    Grade One - The patella pops in and out of position on its own.  Your dog may even develop the ability to "shake a leg" to pop its own leg in and out.
2.    Grade Two – The patella pops out of position and has to be returned to its position with manual pressure

3.    Grade Three - A luxation is described as grade three when the patella is permanently out of position, but can be put back into position (albeit briefly) when your dog's leg is straight

4.    Grade Four - The most serious form of luxation is when the patella cannot be pushed back into place

Luxation of the patella can occur in dogs of any age.  There have been several cases of congenital patella luxation, but just as many cases develop in older dogs.  Many symptoms can be an indicator of a luxating patella, some of which include:

•    Your dog may cry out in pain although bulldogs tend to be very stoic and not likely to yelp
•    Holding up the leg to relieve the pain

•    Dog may try to straighten its leg out to try and pop the leg into position

•    A bowlegged stance (usually only seen in younger animals, this stance puts extra pressure on the patellar ligament)
Whether your dog develops a luxating patella early on or later in life, the condition is considered as inherited (unless it is shown that the patella has been knocked out of place by an injury).

English Bulldogs with luxating patella can live an active life, although it is recommended that they not be bred.

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