Zoey is one of our favorite bulldog puppies, but like many bulldogs, she has a couple of conformation problems particular to her breed. The most common bulldog medical problems are related to the skin, respiratory system and the musculoskeletal system. Because bulldogs have a lot of loose skin and deep skin folds, especially around the face and base of the tail, these areas are prone to inflammation and infection. The breathing problems that are common to bulldogs are generally related to their brachycephalic or “pushed in” faces. The can have narrow nostrils, elongated soft palates, and everted laryngeal saccules, which are structures present in the back of the throat. Orthopedically, due to the straight “up and down” nature of their rear legs, they lack the shock absorbing angles present in the legs of most dogs. This predisposes them to rear leg problems, most commonly patellar luxations (“trick knees”) or tearing of the ligaments in the knee (cruciate ligaments). Poor Zoey had a breathing problem due to her narrow nostrils and a painful limp due to a “trick knee”. Our surgeon, Dr. Phil Pacchiana, first corrected her nostrils a month ago and her breathing has been fine ever since. She is coming in Friday to have her “trick knee” repaired. Dr. Pacchiana recommended doing the two surgeries separately, as bulldogs are at a higher risk for complications related to prolonged anesthesia. We will post an update regarding Zoey’s knee surgery in our next blog.

Dr. Sean Bell, 9/12/2012

Update: 9/20/2012

As mentioned in our previous entry, Zoey the bulldog was scheduled to come in this past Friday for her second procedure with our Board Certified Surgeon, Dr. Pacchiana. This procedure was to prevent Zoey’s kneecap from popping out of place as it had been doing the past several weeks causing her to limp. Zoey’s surgery went extremely well and she went home the next day. Even though the surgery was very successful, Zoey now has a long period of rest and physical therapy ahead of her. She will be on strict rest for the next 6-8 weeks to allow her knee to fully heal. After that point, we will gradually increase Zoey’s exercise back to her normal level. We wish our Zoey-dog the best in her recovery! The problem was corrected early which will decrease the likelihood that Zoey will develop arthritis in the knee due to this problem as she gets older and will also relieve her of the discomfort of having her kneecap pop in and out of place as she moves around. We will keep you posted on how Zoey is doing!