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The statement follows new VetCompass research that shows English Bulldogs in the UK are twice as likely to have health issues as other dogs.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has responded to findings from a study by the Royal Veterinary College, which reveals that English Bulldogs in the UK are more than twice as likely to have a health issue in a year than other dogs.
The Royal Veterinary College’s VetCompass programme identified the breed to be at a significantly higher risk of suffering from 24 out of 43 common disorders than other dogs, with skin fold dermatitis, cherry eye, protruding lower jaw and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) emerging at the top of this list.
The researchers have called for ‘urgent action’ to move the English Bulldog away from its current extreme body shape.
Commenting on the research, BVA President Justine Shotton said:
“The findings of this study are shocking but, sadly, they confirm the experiences of vets on the ground.
"Our members have been seeing increasing numbers of flat-faced dogs such as English bulldogs coming into their practices with distressing health problems, from breathing difficulties to skin and eye issues, on a daily basis.
“Vets have told us that over half of the flat-faced dogs they see in practice need treatment for breed-related health issues, but worryingly only a few dog owners could recognise these issues, while the majority were unaware these potential problems even existed before deciding on the breed.
“A dog should never be bought based on the latest social media or celebrity trends. Our advice to anyone looking to get a dog would be to pick a healthier breed or crossbreed instead, always talk to a vet first, and to use the free Puppy Contract to make sure you’re buying a puppy from a responsible breeder.”
For more on vets' concerns about flat-faced dogs, see BVA’s #BreedToBreathe campaign, which calls for collective action to improve the health and welfare of flat-faced dogs.
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