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28 May 2009


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H. Houlahan

Christie, the link to the VIN story is not available to non-account-holders.

And those of us who are not vets and vet techs are ineligible for an account.

Because, apparently, trainers, breeders, journalists, etc. are not "professionals."

H. Houlahan

I'm disappointed that VIN seems to have been taken in by the "Fancy" line that it's "bad breeders" who are responsible for the health problems of extreme breeds such as English bulldogs. Those horrid "others" who aren't at the dog shows with the Good Guys, just motivated by filthy lucre.

It's rather an analogue to the 80% kill-rate shelter director who blames "irresponsible owners" for her enthusiasm with the euthanol.

Animals from breeds with conformation show standards that require maladaptive physical extremes are the victims of abuse by the breed clubs, kennel clubs, dog show judges, and individuals who write, promulgate, breed to, and support these standards.

It is *abusive* to deliberately plan and execute the creation of puppies who suffer from pain and hypoxia their entire (short) lives because of the physical traits that you are *trying* to create.

I understand that a right-wing radio host recently tried 30 seconds of waterboarding and came up declaring it "torture." Wonder if any breeders of champion English bulldogs have the brass bollocks to try out just a week of chronic hypoxia. Let's say this July.

I *am* pleased to hear, if only second-hand and anonymously, that there are vets out there that are at least *discussing* making a policy of no AI's and a spay with every caesarian. That's a start.

I'd add, a neuter with every corrective surgery -- eyelids, palates, joints -- for a congenital condition.

Heaven's forfend, it would be the end of the English bulldog breed!

Only if the "fanciers" continue to cling to their atrocious, abusive "standard" and their religion of the closed gene pool.


BCA's health committee is working with OFA to develop a screening test/protocol for upper airway obstruction, nares, palate etc.. . The study with OFA for tracheal health is almost complete and will hopefully soon become full fledged registry.

Requiring the bulldog to pass CERF, OFA, and be certified by PennHip will go a long way eliminating problems in the breed.

It should also encourage a less extreme, longer skulled and far more athletic dog.

My first bulldog was a disaster, the second not much better. Twenty years later, my dogs handle our triple digit summers very well. It has meant the sterilization of many very "pretty" dogs who failed my personal criteria:

No need for ANY corrective surgery

OFA patella, cardiac, trachea, spine, thyroid


PennHIP in the upper one third for the breed index

Visual exam by a veterinarian of the upper airway as normal

Heat tolerant

skin, eyes etc... do not require any more care than an average dog

Sound, "good-doers"

NO allergies

It pays off. And in more ways than one. the dogs are more athletic and breed naturally. And my free-whelp percentage has gone from zero to more than 50%. Something I expect to continue to improve.

A few judicious outcrosses would help too. :)

I still get plenty of practice treating bad eyes and skin and dealing with crappy breathing dogs through rescue as I'm part of the national same rescue network as Skip is.

Gina Spadafori

Link fixed to the VIN News Service external feed.

VIN is by vets, for vets. Dr. Pion believes -- and rightfully so -- that veterinarians will not be able to talk openly with non-veterinarians "in the room."

It's his company, and this, his call. Anyway, most VIN New Service stories are places on the external site, which you can get as an RSS feed as well.

Linda Kaim

try this link:



I feel very sorry for the bulldog, but some of the people who are breeding them are fools, and not just the puppy mill people. Further, this breed has been on certain television networks for young adults and teenagers, which is why its popularity has shot through the roof. The breed didn't have very good health to start with, and now the fickle public wants them. Of course, the puppy millers and those breeders who don't understand the health situation with this breed are making things that much worse. The actual price of bulldog puppies is always going to be high (they usually require AI to become impregnated and C-sections to deliver the puppies), but when you add all of this increased demand, the price can skyrocket.

And to be honest, even a strong effort by veterinarians and bulldog breeders to increase public awareness won't change that much until we get something like a disclaimer on these TV shows.


I recently helped my sister find a bulldog puppy from a reputable breeder. Let me tell you that there were plenty of "bad" breeders out there including members of the breed club!! My question of "what health testing do you do before breeding?" was met with either silence, odd responses or in one case, an answer of "my husband is a specialty judge and my dogs are from champion lines" How is that for a non answer?

It took us awhile but we found someone that met our standards and had some of her own for us to meet as well. Guess what, bulldogs are supposed to be able to run and not collapse from exercise intolerance.

I agree that the "standard" certainly isn't a help for the health of the breed. How did they get so screwed up in the first place? I mean this was a breed that was developed before c-sections were the norm after all.

While we continue to have pet stores, internet puppy sales and people not researching before they get a puppy you will continue to have health issues in dogs. Because there will always be people breeding to fill the market and not giving a rats patootie about the dogs they are producing. Not sure it is a breed issue, but a breeding issue.


Marie, company line when I got into bulldogs regarding the issue of health was they are "just part of the breed" BS

What does it take to breed normal airways and palates in bulldogs? Deciding not to tolerate the bad ones! And yanking ones head out of the sand. I absolutely love watching my dogs run, wrestle and play hard for hours at a time. I was able to walk them today even though it's hot as heck here, no breathing issues.

I am hopeful that those of us testing and working towards ever more athletic, active bulldogs will drag along those club breeders who cling to the past. But some will probably NOT go quietly.

C-sections were uncommon, as were AIs, until the early 1980s. At that point, with new anesthesia protocols, breeders were told that it was safer to electively section. i have veterinary texts and articles from the time encouraging the use of sections over "risking" valuable puppies, of any breed, to free whelping.

Certainly, most veterinarians I speak with currently believe that bulldogs cannot free-whelp. But the bulldog of today has not even been allowed to try for 5 or 6 generations. Every year I talk to stunned breeders who came home to find a litter being or already delivered, but it has been often been treated as a fluke rather than a virtue!

And for a time free-whelping meant puppymill in many minds because only a money grubbing puppy miller would "risk" everyone to free whelp attempt.

So now we need to wind that clock back. Hell, most of the millers section, so free whelping is well positioned to be the the mark of quality, along with OFA,CERF etc...

Original Lori

"The breed didn’t have very good health to start with, and now the fickle public wants them."-- retrieverman

I understand the point you are making here, but...when the pres got the PWD fingers crossed that it didn't turn into a breed the public wanted, bulldogs same, goldens same. I hear what you are saying, I really do, but whittle it down and the "public" is too fickle to own any sort of purebred dog. This closed circle and "no one is good enough to own my breed" is intimidating and frustrating for a person who DOES want to do their research and get a dog that's right for them from somewhere that's NOT a puppymill.

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