Dr. Roy Kraemer, is the founder of Vet4Bulldog.com and Vet4HealthyPet Advanced Medical Care. Dr. Kraemer is a Tufts Veterinary School 1991 Graduate (Boston, MA). He is a member of the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) and the SCVMA (Southern California Veterinary Medical Association) and has been practicing veterinary medicine and surgery in Orange County, California for over 20 years...

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Written by Dr. R.J.Kraemer
Veterinarian Dr. R.J.Kraemer

Dr Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years experience in companion animal practice. In 1987 she graduated from the University of Glasgow, with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. A love of the sea meant accepting her first job in the port town of Portsmouth, England. A fter working in private practice for two years, her next position was as a vet at the People’...

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Reviewed by Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS
Veterinarian Dr. Pippa Elliott BVMS, MRCVS

UPDATED: Jul 8, 2021

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English bulldogs—or British bulldogs, or simply bulldogs—are immediately recognizable by their scrunched-up faces and barrel chests. The breed was developed in England for hunting and for the now banned sport of bull baiting. Modern breeding has selected for dogs that are gentle and patient, and they are known to be especially good with children. Just be sure to let your bulldog in on all the action around the house, since they hate to be alone.

3 English Bulldogs walking on leashes

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Pet Insurance for Your English Bulldog?

Unfortunately, bulldogs have relatively short lifespans, less than ten years on average. The most common causes of death are heart disease and cancer, and they are at risk for a number of other health problems:

  • Hip dysplasia: these dogs may inherit a condition where the hipbone fails to fit correctly into the pelvis. Over time, wear and tear can cause these joints to become inflamed, resulting in pain and restricted movement. The condition can often be reversed with surgery. Owners are urged to ask breeders for confirmation that the hips of the parents are not affected, though this does not guarantee that puppies will not develop dysplasia.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

  • Interdigital furunculosis: some bulldogs develop non-malignant cysts on the webbing between their toes, which cause pain and restricted movement. The cause is often bacterial, so a biopsy and culture are usually part of the diagnosis; treatment may involve administration of antibiotics, application of topical medicines and, in extreme cases, laser surgery.
  • Patellar luxation: the kneecap (patella) of some dogs may become dislodged, causing pain and restricted movement. In severe cases, surgery may be required to reposition the affected bone and connective tissue.

The sad fact is that your bulldog is probably going to have some medical problems, and some treatments can be quite expensive. One way to be sure that you will never have to let financial concerns get in the way of tending to your bulldog’s health needs is to purchase the right pet health care plan.

For other types of dogs, check out our full list of dog breeds.