The extreme English bulldog face

For some time, now, those who are in the know understand that some dog and cat breeds have been selectively bred to extreme to emphasise their facial features which are dictated by the breed standards. However, breeders tend to overemphasise these guidelines in order to gain an advantage and in doing so you get the extreme face as is the case in this bulldog, named Tuna.

In fact, Tuna had to receive a facelift in order to remove a substantial amount of excess skin on their face which rubbed and became infected. It is ironic that careful extreme breeding automatically resulted in the need for an operation to neutralize the effects of extreme breeding. Sounds bizarre when you think of it. It is terrible for the dog because they suffer twice, all at the hands of self-indulgent breeders playing God and sadly paying customers who initially ignore health issues and prioritise appearance above all else.

RELATED: The extreme Maine Coon face.

The before and after photographs tell the story. You can see that the skin above the nose has been removed and you can see the stitches. It doesn’t look very pleasant it has to be admitted but the extreme rolls of skin around her nose can only be a result of extreme selective breeding (artificial selection) to produce this well-known squishy and interesting face but one which is inherently unhealthy.

This dog received a canine facelift if you want to put it another way which was performed by the RSPCA veterinarians.

Tuna also had to have an operation to remove part of the eyelid to correct for a defect which resulted in her eyelashes rubbing against her eyeball. This is a condition called entropion in which the eyelid turns inward allowing it to rub against the cornea of the eye.

Lunar’s excess facial skin was causing a lot of problems such as sore skin and hot spots “that often led to infections” said Katherine Malling, a veterinary nurse who works at the RSPCA Blackberry Farm Animal Center in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK. Katherine is Tuna’s owner as I understand it.

And the weight of the excess skin pulled her eyelids down which exposed her eyeball and made her eyes weep. Apparently it was particularly bad in the summer. Katherine had to constantly clean and dry the area which was uncomfortable for Tuna.

Katherine says that Tuna’s been much happier since the operation. In order to resolve the entropion health condition, the “vets removed part of the eyelid, tightening up the area around the eyes which has made her much more comfortable” according to Katherine.

I’m told that canine facelifts are not new but they are becoming increasingly common because of the craze for flat-faced dogs and regrettably extreme breeding.

Bulldogs are known for difficulties in breathing due to a condition called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome which makes them pant and snore. The flat faced dogs are known to be unhealthy. The same for the flat-faced cats.

Their existence flies in the face of the policies of The Kennel Club. They should not be encouraging the breeding of these unhealthy dogs.

The same problem exists in the cat world with breeds such as the Persian (flat face), modern Siamese (rat face) and even the Maine Coon (lion face) with super-heavy muzzles and over-sized triangular ears. The Persian also has a breathing problem because their head is also brachycephalic which means round which creates anatomical distortions in the cranium resulting in health problems such as tear duct overflow and poor breathing.

Extreme breeding is a great stain on the purebred dog and cat worlds.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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