Conner and his litter mates   at 10 weeks
We are finding out new ideas and opinions all the time ,the latest  is that Cleft palate, harelip are associated with Spinal deformity.If Cleft palate puppies are born they are usually put to sleep straightaway occasionally it gets missed and is small and the puppy survives ,recently I have heard of two who have gone onto develop hemivertebrae.
Some things breeders can watch out for in the puppies early development ;
Puppies whose Chest seems 'different' to the others the rib cage actually being rather short when the puppy is felt from underneath , watch for any puppy that seems to pee and poop on the move this is not normal even the tiniest puppies crouch or at least stay still .Puppies are usually up on their feet with the others if they have a tail they can also wag it leaving the breeder no clue something is amiss,around about the 8 week mark  if you watch the back legs it seems like a first clue is if the puppy is standing on the back of his feet and the toes are not on the floor and are 'cocked up ' this has been apparent in at least three cases I have seen recently .Normal puppies sometimes toddle so the movement is not a sign of this however if the puppy has been walking normally but starts to stumble it can go completely off its legs in about 3 days or even overnight .X ray will confirm the condition but a lot of vets don't xray high enough , make sure it is from the back of the neck on the plate....If the puppy has no control over excretion it is no life for the dog or the carer however if that is under control its worth trying to let the puppy develop a little more , we have seen success in using the Bio Flo magnetic collar ,which seems to help   but make no mistake this will be permenant and the puppy will be like a diisabled child,developing a 'look'  that makes them distinguishable from normal bulldogs ,often they become dwarfed ,
If you are unfortunate  in having this happen to you  you must take on board it has    Denial is extremely irresponsible  not good for the bulldog breed or the reputation of breeders .Xray the mother of the puppy if she has hemivertebrae herself send the Xray into the screening scheme for advice as to future breeding if the prognosis is bad remove that bitch from your breeding programme .If you can't find any in the mother one must assume that the gene is recessive and do not mate again into the lines that produced the affected puppy .Inform the Stud dog owner  and be watching the litter mates, xray any puppy you have kept to breed on with , do not mate that puppy close line breeding .If you have sold a puppy to a show home it would be considered very responsible if you tell the new owners so they can avoid breeding close in the litter mate it may not be popular with the other breeders but unless we do this the likelyhood of this condition occuring will be multiplied
Notes of interest and help to breeders