Hip Dysplasia in English Bulldog Puppy

January 12, 2008

Hi Jan,

I have some bad news regarding my 6 month old Bulldog Biggie, it seems he
has hip dysplasia, when he walks or sits the hip joint makes a loud popping

We are devastated considering he is from Champion bloodline from a breeder
with 40 years experience. What do you know about it? Do you have
advice regarding going back to the breeder, our goal was to show our dog and
to breed we have been considering starting our own line eventually after a
learning curve of course. From my understanding this malady would most
likely occur with backyard breeding and such. I am anxious to hear what you
think about it. I know we will need to get him neutered and most likely he
will eventually need a hip replacement, but ANY and all preventative
measures since it is early would be greatly appreciated.

I have really enjoyed the videos you have sent. Thanks for all of your



Hi Sherry,

I’m sorry to hear that about Biggie. This definitely does not sound good.

Unfortunately all bulldogs have hip dysplasia to a degree because of their
specialized breeding. It is not exclusive to back yard breeders although they
would not be as careful as reputable breeders.

Championship breeding lines don’t guarantee your dog won’t have genetic
disorders. There are only so many bulldogs and they are very inbred.

The good news is Biggie is still young and some bulldogs grow so fast they
their joints can’t keep up with their bones and will manifest some hip problems.
When they mature the hip ligaments strengthen and the problem goes away.
This may resolve itself with time, or it may stay the same, or it may get worse –
only time will tell.

I would definitely tell the breeders about it because they need to know which
of their dogs passes this on. It is a genetic disorder and any dog that’s passed
on this gene should not be bred. It is possible that both parent dogs did not
show any signs of dysplasia and it was a recessive gene that was passed on,
so the breeders would have no idea this would happen.

A couple of suggestions about him would be to be sure you are not feeding him
too much because if he’s growing too fast the problem could worsen. Also,
don’t let him jump up and down on the furniture, car, bed, etc.

If he’s in pain there some medications you can give him, but be sure to consult
your vet before giving them to him.

You could also try acupuncture.

Here’s a site with some good information on hip dysplasia:

I hope you don’t give up on the breed because of this!

Your Bulldog Pal,



Hi Jan,
Thanks so much the information you gave me is so helpful.  I feel more
adamate than ever that I would like to comit my life to breeding HEALTHY
bullddogs.  I am so in love with the breed that I cannot imagine having any
other type of dog.  They are high maintence though!  This gives me hope, I
am feeding a little more than the suggested for his wieght and I will take
it down to the minimum amount, but a wieght control diet wouldn’t be
suggested for a puppy would it?

Thanks again,


Hi Sherry,

A puppy does tend to eat a lot, about 3 cups, but if he’s chubby, I’d
cut it down.
You always want to see his waist when you look down on him from above.
You should be able to feel his ribs under his skin – this takes some practice
on a bulldog!

A puppy can get overweight because they are always hungry and we have
trouble denying them.  But a lean dog is always healthier, especially in terms
of orthopedics because too much weight stresses a dog’s joints.

A lot of people thing a puppy should have a belly but I disagree with that
philosophy.  They should have a contoured body.  An overweight puppy
will be an overweight adult.

The puppy food has the extra calcium and nutrients a puppy needs when fed
in normal amounts.  You don’t need to feed him more than the recommended
for his weight.

That’s my opinion!  I keep my guys lean and I exercise them every day.

Your Bulldog Pal,


2 Responses to “Hip Dysplasia in English Bulldog Puppy”

  1. cipcom13 Says:

    Hi Jan I’ve noticed your comments and I think that I could use your help.
    In the last week of last year my dog started to shake from his back legs, then fall back, he tried to get up but then he fall on his back he moved his legs in the air a few times and then he almost didn’t move or breath. (I was to nervous to observe every single detail). I took him to the hospital they did his blood work and after a few days they call to say that everything was fine.
    The dog was OK after that and I kept a close eye on him.
    Three weeks after (yesterday night) he woke up in the middle of the night crying, so I let him out, and after three second I heard him screaming, and Ias I was looking at him I’ve noticed that his left leg was almost hanging. He started again to shake and he got again into a very bad position almost like his loosing his mind (like half parallized), I massaged him and talk to him, and after a half an our he was fine (I’ve noticed that he was still limping) I took him to the hospital and they think that he might have a hip problem.
    Anyway I have to tell you that I love my dog like my son and it’s driving me crazy not being able to do nothing to help him.
    My dog is a 5 years english bulldog last time he had a problem with his hip was 2 years ago, but not even close to what I’ve seen this past month.
    Can a hip problem create such a huge painfull reaction?
    What is to be done?!
    Thnk you in advance, Cprian

  2. jaimelyn Says:

    Hi Jan,
    My little bully is almost 8 months old and I noticed a few days ago by putting my hands on her back hips that every step she was taking each back leg popped, shes not in any pain and I can tell its definantly not bothering her she runs all the time, and is always playing, I just wanted to find out if that could possibly be an early sign of hip dysplasia?! I also read your posts above here to sherry, ***some bulldogs grow so fast they their joints can’t keep up with their bones and will manifest some hip problems. When they mature the hip ligaments strengthen and the problem goes away. This may resolve itself with time, or it may stay the same, or it may get worse -only time will tell.*** once again my little Lola is almost 8 months old and weighs about 50 pounds the vet said shes healthy but do you suggest cutting back on her food alittle bit, she has grown really fast over the past few months, what can I say my baby girl loves her food lol… also what do you think about royal canine food? we have been feeding her that since we got her, and thats what our breeder suggest to us. we use the larger breed puppy food right now…
    thank you so much

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