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Bear's Blog - Week 8

 21st Dec 2018

Well, I continue to get my 5* treatment here and am awaiting my operated leg to be fully recovered before they proceed with my other leg. But on a more serious note, there is something to consider.

Over the years my ancestor’s physical traits have been bred to be more extreme. The face has become flatter, the legs have shortened, the head has grown larger, and the under bite has grown. These changes have been made to give us Bulldogs a more expressive face, emulating the look of a human child.

It’s these extreme changes that have led to the many health problems facing my breed today. My poor old Mum would have more than likely had to have a caesarian to give birth to me and my litter mates. Most of my fellow Bulldogs are unable to breed without human intervention, both in the actual mating & birthing process. Our head has been bred to become larger over the years, and as a result, 95% of the female Bulldogs cannot give birth naturally through the pelvic canal. If it weren’t for this intervention in breeding the Bulldog as it stands now would become extinct.

We can have problems with our breathing and respiratory systems due to the enlargement of our soft palate. We have big, long tongues and a lot of loose tissue and narrowing at the back of our throat and when we breathe in, it all gets sucked into the top of our windpipe. We are also known for problems with our heart, hips, eyes, and skin. We also have the highest rate of hip dysplasia in any breed.

Bear in his Suite

Here I am in my deluxe suite at Wingletang.

This time last year, there was a lovely Bulldog (so I’m told) here, by the name of Fat Lil, apparently she was about 5kg overweight, and she also had to have orthopaedic surgery. My friends here, also put her on a diet, so there wasn’t so much stress on her joints. She lost the 5kg in weight, but inadvertently, they created another problem, because she also lost the fat pads around her eyes, she developed a condition called entropion, this caused her eyelids to turn inwards and the hair rubbed her eyes, which can lead to corneal ulceration or perforation, so this genetic condition also had to be corrected by surgery prior to Lil going to her new home.

I am a very lucky boy (like Lil and other brachycephalic breeds that have arrived at the centres before us) to have so much emphasis placed on our welfare, because the charity’s aim is for me and others to have a normal and ultimately pain free life. Despite the problems explained above, dogs like myself and Dame Lil (as she is now formally known) make happy, well mannered, social pets with very cheeky personalities to match.

That’s all for this week so, thank you for following me over the past few weeks and I will back with more updates in January - Merry Christmas all!