English Bulldogs Need Cross-Breeding For Survival

Posted: Jul 29 2016, 10:52am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
English Bulldogs Need Cross-Breeding for Survival
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  • The Genetic Cul-De-Sac Situation of the Average English Bulldog

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The genetic cul-de-sac situation of the average English Bulldog is such that there seems to be no way out of the conundrum.

While the English Bulldog is among the most popular breeds of canines on the face of the planet, it is also facing an impasse. This is regarding its health status as a breed and a stock of pet pooch for the average individual.

These thickset, beefy, wrinkled dogs have certain genes that are missing for genetic diversity. Thus the end result is that the betterment of the breed is not possible. So this can only mean one thing and that is that their current health status is about as good as it gets.

In a novel study, researchers found that the English Bulldog’s genetic constraints have led to a situation of dreary deadlock. Breeders cannot produce new types from this dead end of a dog and so they are stuck with it for better or for worse.

It would be very difficult if not impossible to create some new mutations in the English Bulldog. The small base from which English Bulldogs were bred (they consisted of 68 dogs way back in 1835), the extreme inbreeding and regard among owners for physical traits alone have led to this genetic SNAFU.

Furthermore, this breed of canine is already facing several health issues. So the prognosis does not look good at all. Bulldogs do not live for more than half a dozen years or so. They encounter some pretty upsetting symptoms during this short, nasty and brutish existence.

These include: hip dysplasia, CV issues, cancer, cysts between their toes, allergies and cherry eye. It is the ten thousand odd folds on the face of the English Bulldog that are responsible for the majority of these symptoms.

Also the small nasal cavities of these otherwise powerful dogs doesn’t allow them to cool off sufficiently. So they become susceptible to developing hyperthermia.

To a large extent the health issues that these dogs have developed have been a direct result of the features for which they were bred in the first place. The changes in morphology have come at a cost.

This is the healthy functioning of the immune system. They just happen to catch so many diseases that their fierce appearances do not matter in the long run.

It is a sad fact that nothing can be done for now. The diversity of this dog is coming to an end and so we might have to bid it adieu sometime in the future which is indeed a tragedy.

The findings of this study will be published in the open access journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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