If you are planning to bring a Frenchie home or you already have a Frenchie puppy, you need to know about some of the common health issues to which they’re predisposed. Knowing these issues will help you identify and treat them early so you and your pet can live a happy life.
In this blog, we will discuss some common French Bulldog health issues and how to care for them.
- Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
Humans created French Bulldogs by cross-breeding them with dogs having shorter heads to get the long erected ears that they have now. However, there were things that they bred into them, like narrow nostrils and a small windpipe, which made it harder for them to breathe.
Their treatment depends on the severity of the condition. However, you can do oxygen therapy or surgery to widen your nostrils. Talk to your veterinarian if you notice any issues.
French Bulldogs prefer to stay in a cool and comfortable atmosphere. Since they don’t sweat like humans, they cool their bodies by panting. So, if their nostrils are blocked because of BOAS, it can be difficult for them to cool down. So, keep them in an air-conditioned room on hot or humid days.
You can take your Frenchie for a walk in the morning or evening when the temperature is colder. Also, make sure they stay hydrated throughout the day.
- Sensitive Skin
You might find the tails and skin folds on French Bulldogs cute. However, these folds create a warm and moist environment which leads to skin infections. So, if you pet a Frenchie, you need to clean their skin and tail folds to prevent these infections.
Most common French Bulldog health issue is ‘allergies’. Skin allergies most often present when a Frenchie is 1-3 years old. The French Bulldog health issues are three main types of dogs allergies:
- Food-based allergies: you can avoid giving them certain food items they are allergic to.
- Contact allergies: they might be allergic to bedding, flea powders, dog shampoos, and other chemicals. Identify it and avoid contact with your dog.
- Inhalant allergies; these are caused by airborne allergens like pollen, dust, and mildew. Their treatment depends on the severity of the allergy.
If you notice any skin issues in your dogs, then that might be an allergy. Common signs of allergies include:
- Hot spots
- Hair loss
- Red bumps
- Redness of the skin
- Itching or scratching severely at the paws or body
- Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary joint issue that is a commonly seen French Bulldog health issue. In this condition, the dogs have a loose hip joint, which typically leads to arthritis. This can be treated with pain medications, joint supplements, and physical therapy. However, if the situation is severe, your dog might need surgery.
- Ear Infection
French Bulldogs have wide-shaped ears that easily collect dirt/dust. This makes them more prone to ear infections. If taken proper care, these ear infections can be easily prevented.
Hemivertebrae are spinal deformities or incomplete vertebrae. These French Bulldog health issues can put pressure on the spinal cord and lead to pain, weakness, and or paralysis. Mild spinal cord issues can be treated medically; however, if there is any major issue, it might require surgery.
French Bulldogs are genetically prone to cataracts. In these diseases, the eye lens hardens, which causes them to be opaque (cloudy) instead of clear, eventually leading to blindness.
- Dental Disease
Dental disease is one of the most common diseases that is seen in the Frenchies. These dogs have small mouths, and fitting 42 teeth leads to overcrowding of teeth. Hence it makes tartar build up faster and gets under the gumline, which leads to gingivitis and deterioration of the gums and surrounding bones.
- Cherry Eye
French Bulldogs usually have a third eyelid in the inner corner of the eye. When the tear gland attached to this third eyelid flips outward, this leads to the cherry eye. This looks like a pink or reddish mass in the corner of the eye. Though they are not painful, if not treated, it can lead to chronic dry eye. They might need surgery to correct this.
- Bladder or Kidney Stones
Bladder and kidney stones are made of crystals called cystine, usually one of the most common adult male French Bulldog health issues. These can be very painful for your pet. However, the right medication and diet that adjusts the acidity of the urine to help dissolve the stone. But if the stone blocks their urinary passage, then they will need surgery to remove them.
- Pulmonic Stenosis
It is a congenital heart disease in which the pulmonary valve and artery are narrowed. Hence, it is difficult for the heart to pump blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen. In some cases, it might become severe and can lead to congestive heart failure.
Not everyone requires treatment, but if it does, then it might require a high-risk procedure to widen the pulmonary artery and valve. Since it is congenital, a good Frenchie breeder will have a cardiologist assess their dogs prior to breeding.
- Patellar Luxation
Also known as “slipped stifles,” it is a congenital disease that occurs when the patella (knee cap) slips in and out of place (luxates). It leads to lameness or an abnormal gait. In some mild cases, it can cause arthritis. However, if severe, then they might need surgery to solve it.
You can notice a pet with luxating patella while running. They might need to kick a few times then continue running.
- Corneal Dystrophy and Corneal Ulcers
In Corneal dystrophy, the cornea (the eye’s outer surface) becomes opaque (cloudy). It is not painful and doesn’t affect a dog’s vision. But it may make the dogs more susceptible to corneal ulcers. These can be painful to your pet and need to be treated as soon as possible.
- Chronic Diarrhea
Gastrointestinal issues is one most common French Bulldog health issues. They have many food allergies which can lead to off-and-on diarrhea or soft stools. Also, Frenchies are prone to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes intestinal tract inflammation. This leads to chronic diarrhea. This can be treated with proper medications and diet.
French Bulldog Care
- French Bulldogs are small. So they don’t need much exercise. You can take them for a 10-15 minute walk to avoid them from being overweight.
- They have a fun-loving nature and would love to keep themselves engaged in various activities. However, they only have a little energy. So they will only play for a short period.
- They are predisposed to heat exhaustion. So, you should keep them at a cool temperature and ensure they are hydrated. You can take them for a walk or play with them in the mornings/evenings.
- Regularly clean their folds, ears, and tail pockets to prevent infection.
- Take care of their dietary needs and provide adequate nutrients to have a happy, healthy life and live longer.
These are some of the most common French Bulldog health issues that the owner must be aware of. Not every Frenchie will get any or all of these diseases. Yet, you should stay prepared. Despite their health issues, these dogs are adorable and considered one of the best dogs one should pet.
BlueHaven French Bulldogs breeds high-quality French Bulldog puppies. We ensure that the puppies and their parents are growing in a safe and friendly environment. Contact us now and get the Frenchie of your desires as soon as possible.