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
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 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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