English Bulldog Back Leg Problems – The Ultimate Guide

The English Bulldog is one of the best pet dogs to have. However, having, owning, and petting them needs you to understand not only their origin, temperament, grooming, and training requirements. It is also important for you to learn the English bulldog back leg problems. This is generally a common health-related issue associated with this dog breed.

Usually, the back leg problems of this bully are connected with limping or some indications of lameness. Moreover, some kind of limping occurs right after sleeping. The good thing is that it will eventually fade off. There are even some limping that may not cause pain with the English bulldog.

To further understand the English bulldog back leg problems, just keep on reading until the end.

Deeply Knowing the English Bulldog’s Limping Concerns

Usually, once the tendon, muscle, or ligaments of the English bulldog get strain, the pooch started limping. Veterinarians can easily diagnose this canine’s injury and eventually prescribed the dog’s pain killers. This is one way to help reduce the English bulldog back leg problems and anything associated with it.

Moreover, better methods of intervention include the appropriate time of recuperating, resting, and preventing the dog from jumping or running. Doing this for a few days will let the English bulldog recover faster and relieve discomfort from the English bulldog back leg problems.

In case, you want to make an initial assessment for your English bulldog back leg problems and limping, just look for the following:

english bulldog back leg problems
  • Bleeding or cuts over the paw
  • Broken nails at the toe and claw
  • Lethargic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Signs of swelling
  • Splinters present in the paw

But, remember to take note if you notice any of the above signs so that you may discuss it with the vet once you have your visit.

Causes of the English Bulldog Back Leg Problems and Limping

As a pet owner, you may be wondering how limping or the English bulldog back leg problems do occur. In order to give you some idea about it, listed below are the common causes of limping and English bulldog back leg problems.

1. Injured Claws

Most of the time, the English bulldog back leg problems occur when they have a broken claw. Keep in mind that an injured claw gives an enormously painful feeling to the bully. This applies true when there is a tear in the claw that is generally close to the nerve ending.

2. Over-exertion

If ever your bully undergoes a vigorous exercise, they could experience limping afterward or the English bulldog back leg problems occur. Basically, the English bully has the tendency to get exhausted after extreme activity. This will generally make the English bulldog to worn out quickly. The good things to address the English bulldog back leg problems and limping due to over-exertion are giving ample supply of water and enough recovery time.

3. Strain

Having a strain in the leg muscle might lead to the English bulldog back leg problems or limping.

4. Wound or numbness of the paw

Other causes of limping or English bulldog back leg problems include open wound, presence of stone or chewing gum, and insect bite that leads to numbness.

More Serious Conditions of Limping or English Bulldog Back Leg Problems

Limping or the English bulldog back leg problems will generally get better as it goes. However, there are instances that this condition is linked to more serious health-related conditions.

ACL injury

One of the conditions that generally affect the English bulldog back leg problems is damage to the ACL. Initially, this occurs once the English bully begins to elevate a leg. Operation surgery is a way to resolve this medical issue in the English bully.


Most often, the English bulldog back leg problems of the older bully are due to arthritis. Their joints become swollen in which therapy and pain medication is the key.

Bone cancer

Usually, large dog breeds are the ones highly susceptible to canine bone cancer. But, it is better to consult the vet for this condition if there is a presence of the English bulldog back leg problems.

Breaks, dislocations, and fractures

Because of genetic disposition, the English bulldog back leg problems are highly possible to occur. Moreover, their active lifestyle may also allow them to get hurt quickly through fractures or bone dislocations.

Inflammatory disease

The inflammation of the leg bones of the English bulldog puppies allows the shifting of the legs to have a balanced weight. Panosteitis is another term for this canine’s condition that leads to the English bulldog back leg problems.

Luxating patella

Another common medical condition that links with the English bulldog back leg problems is the luxating patella or also known as the kneecap dislocation. Initially, the characteristic of this canine’s condition is a pronounced limping that generally leads to the English bulldog back leg problems. Having this condition, the English bully may be limping in pain.

Lyme’s disease

The English bulldog back leg problems due to Lyme’s disease are the hardest to diagnose. The limping and back problem won’t start immediately but will occur for a number of months after exposure to the disease. Antibiotic is the main treatment for this canine’s medical condition.

Neurological disorders

This canine’s condition basically occurs due to the spine damage in which the disc touches against the dog’s nerves. It will generally cause the English bulldog back leg problems.

Torn ligaments

In case the English bully experienced unexpected twists and get out of balance due to jumping, damaging their ligament will most likely happen. Although very painful, this dog’s condition is easily treated by the veterinarian.

Valley fever

Fungal disease in dogs that is found generally in the United States, the Valley fever results in English bulldog back leg problems. This can affect an English bulldog puppy or an old English bully.

Hip or elbow dysplasia

Since they belong to the brachycephalic breed of dogs, the English bulldog is highly susceptible to dysplasia of the hip or elbow. Generally, one of the conditions that are closely linked to the English bulldog back leg problems is hip dysplasia. Meanwhile, elbow dysplasia is usually experienced over the front legs or paws.

Signs of Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is the most prevalent orthopedic condition of the bully related to the English bulldog back leg problems. The main causes of hip dysplasia are genetic and joint malformations. It can cause too much pain to the dog and trigger the English bulldog back leg problems. Detecting its early signs is the key to prevent its progression into other medical conditions.

Check below for the signs of hip dysplasia that you should look for:

1. Reluctance in getting up

Since it is painful for the bully, the dog may have a hard time getting up. Standing from a laid-down position generally takes longer. This applies true if the English bulldog is resting on a slippery surface. Basically, among the other, this is the most common sign of the back leg condition of the bully.

2. Hip sensitivity and pain

Once the bulldog has hip dysplasia, the cartilage within the hip joint breaks down and gets damage. Eventually, it leads to pain and joint inflammation as there would be friction when the pelvic bone and femur have contact. If your bully whines or bark the moment you touch his hip it means that he has hip dysplasia. They may also show aggression when in pain.

3. Losing interest in playing or moving

The pain and discomfort of hip dysplasia let the English bulldog lose their interest in doing some activities like walking or playing. Remember that the English bulldogs are active dogs, so refusing to move is not normal for them. Because they are in pain, they might as well not move in order to avoid feeling the pain. Moreover, they can also refuse your commands.

4. Bunny-hopping

The English bulldog back leg problems including hip dysplasia can be detected on its early onset by noticing the bunny-hopping act of the pooch. In bunny-hopping, the bully is trying to lift the hind legs as they walk or move from one location to another. This is basically the dog’s way to avoid any feeling of pain and preventing themselves from putting the weight on the limb that is painful.

5. Loss of hips muscle mass

If the dog has hip dysplasia the muscle mass within that area loses. This usually happens because of the refusal of the dog is using his hips and thighs thus making the muscles on the area shrink.

6. Difficulty in pooping and peeing

Hip dysplasia is painful for the dog, especially on the hind leg. This English bulldog back leg problems will also result in difficulty to potty. It may include having a hard time squatting or lifting up the legs.

7. Falling over
english bulldog back leg problems

Most of the bulldog that has hip dysplasia experience issues with their motor skills. With this, they may fall over as they are trying to balance their body weight to avoid hurting the hip area.

8. Frog sit

Hip dysplasia also lets the dog have a hard time sitting in a normal position. So, they often rest in a slouching position or do the frog sitting. This makes them comfortable as it allows resting without stressing the hips.

Vets Diagnoses for Limping

Basically, you will have to visit the vet and seek their professional assistance when the English bulldog back leg problems are concerned. They will usually perform a manual check-up for the initial assessment of the dog with just their bare hands. Pressing and pulling their hands over the bulldog will be done to look for the possible causes of pain.

  1. Initially, the veterinarian will assess any signs of injury over the dog’s paws.
  2. Stretched the legs out and observe for a reaction.
  3. Massage the four legs gently.
  4. Apply some pressure on the spine and check for the resistance of the dog.

In case, the manual check does not offer help, a deep diagnostic test will be conducted such as the following:

  • Blood test
  • Fluoroscopy
  • MRI scan
  • X-ray

Helping the Dog to Deal with the English Bulldog Back Leg Problems

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to help your dog in dealing with his condition. Generally, it may be easier for them to cope up if you will support him up in managing his problem. Below are some of the ways to help your English bully recuperate from his leg issues.

* Exercise, Massage, and Therapy

Generally, like in humans, massage helps a lot in relieving the pain. Aside from that, it also maintains blood circulation. Along with this, light exercises also help the bully to address stiffness and pain. At the same time, muscle atrophy would also be prevented through massaging.

Moreover, there are also some physical therapy methods applicable to dogs. One of these is water therapy that is beneficial for the English bulldog in recovering or feeling more comfortable from the pain in the back legs.

But, keep in mind that you must have to consult it first on your vet. It is very much important that the exercises are highly recommended by the vet even the easiest and simplest methods.

* Diet Modification

In order for the English bulldog to recover faster, diet adjustment may help a lot on this matter. Some vets may recommend dog joint supplements to support the faster recovery of your dog. In fact, there is a wide range of joint supplements for canines available in the market nowadays. These specifically involve supplements for improving the bone health or strength of the joint. Still, a self-prescribing supplement is a no-no, and a vet’s recommendation is highly needed.

* Make life comfortable for your dog

This is the simplest and easiest thing that you can do for your pooch especially for the elderly. The English bulldog back leg problems may generally lead your dog in roaming in a limited space with pain and exhaustion. So, it is better for them to make their life a little bit easier. Consider doing the following things for them:

  • Provide dog ramps and dog stairs for them
  • Make use of dog mobility carriers that will basically support the abdomen and hip of the English bulldog while moving
  • Use carpet on the floor or put gripping socks on your dog to prevent them from slipping
  • Consider buying orthopedic beds to alleviate the pressure on the dog’s joints as they sit or lay down.
  • Dog wheelchair is also a big help as it supports the back legs of the dog and helps them in moving around.

Other helpful tips to avoid leg injury of the bulldog

Generally, prevention is much better. So, to avoid injury, here are some tips that you might consider:

  1. Do not allow your dog to walk on surfaces with sharp objects or covered with debris.
  2. Letting them walking on surfaces that are either hot or too cold is also a big no.
  3. Overworking or over-exercising of the dog is not allowed most likely in hot weather condition
  4. Do not allow your dog to jump too high to prevent spine damage.

Final Thoughts

Among other dog breeds, the English bulldog is highly susceptible to limping concerns. Because of this, the English bulldog back leg problems are more pronounced despite their ages and dog life stages. Luckily, you can easily check if your bully has problems with his hind legs. And there are also ways to help them alleviate the pain.

However, it is always important to consult the vet if you already notice any unnecessary behavior or signs of pain in your English bulldog. Besides, the veterinarians may assess your dog professionally and can even recommend the appropriate treatment for them. Remember that self-medicating may even worsen the condition. So, we don’t want that to happen to our bullies.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of bulldogpapa.com. Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!

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