Who doesn't love English bulldogs? Their wrinkled-up faces and stocky bodies make them one of the most adorable and goofy breeds out there.
But that's exactly the problem. Apparently, bulldogs have a ton of health problems, and to keep the physical traits everyone loves about them, their health has been majorly jeopardized. It's only gotten worse and many breeders are totally in denial.
Bulldogs' issues come from the fact that many are inbred -- and breeding them with other bulldogs that have health problems doesn't help either. They experience all types of pain their whole lives all over their bodies. The worst part? It's our fault.
Dr. William Rosenblad at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston told the New York Times about how breeding practices have messed with bulldogs' mouths. He says,
We've shortened the face of this breed so much that there's just not enough space for everything to fit. The tongue, the palate, it's all compressed. The teeth often look like they've been thrown in there. They have little tiny nostrils. The end result of all the compression is that many bulldogs can barely breathe.
Because breathing is such an issue for bulldogs, more have died on airplanes than any other dog breed. Bulldogs can't even pop out pups without assistance or have sex on their own because of their size.
If we hadn't kept breeding bulldogs to keep the features we think are so adorable, they may have had a chance to be healthier and have fewer health issues -- but now many say it's too late to reverse the damage anyway.
Niels Pedersen, the lead author of another study published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, noted that we've bred out so much of bulldogs' diversity that there's no feasible way to get them back to their healthiest, most self-sufficient versions.
Other people don't even want to attempt to improve the breed's health, arguing that the process would change how they look and make them a different type of dog.
Of course, because thinking about our benefit as humans is more important than helping fix problems we've created for a breed of dogs. Ugh, people.
I'm sure dog owners would still love bulldogs even if they looked a little different.
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