A long-range problem of the small short heads is the genetic defect of chondrodystrophy. Some know this term from dachshund breeding, connected with dachshund paralysis. An extensive health consequence of the chondrodystrophic races (Bullys, dachshunds, Bassets etc.) can be the premature aging of the intervertebral discs and tendency to premature wear of the skeleton.
As a consequence, loss of stability and pain may occur. This can result in herniated discs and stiffening. If one notices the announcements of unwillingness to move and painfulness too late, it can come to dramatic consequences for the dog.
The calcifications of the intervertebral discs often occur in quite young dogs of the chondrodystrophic breeds. In the Bully, calcifications can also already be detected during the growth phase, i.e. before the first to second year of life. Some dogs get old with the calcifications without any problems, with others these cause considerable problems early up to the feared herniated disc with paralysis symptoms. In order to prevent this, the Bully, no matter how sporty bred, should really only be kept as a companion dog or be led under medical control in light sport!
Today we have the possibility of testing the genetical predisposition for chondrodystrophy and we luckily found dogs that carry only one mutation. It may be possible to select and dilute even if the majority of the bully population has one or two copies of the mutation on chromosome 12. This mutation is responsible for chondrodystrophy and susceptibility to Hansen Type I herniated discs in many dog breeds. Since also dogs with one copy will fall ill with premature calcification of the intervertebral discs, which however does not necessarily result in a herniated disc, a clear improvement within the breed is probably only possible with outcrossing.
This test cannot predict whether the calcifications will cause a disease-relevant condition. Many bullys are getting old without any problems. Others have a unrencognised slight slipped disc without appreciable problems.Those are found by coincidence.
If you would like to support us with saliva samples of your bully for further research, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Gesunde Bulldoggen e.V.