13 French Bulldog Health Problems to look out for!

Image: Pixabay

1. First and perhaps the most common issue this beautiful breed has is Allergies. They are prone to both environmental and skin allergies. Skin conditions can develop due to scratching, itchiness and licking caused by environmental  triggers. If not properly treated these conditions can lead to skin infections. Common environmental triggers include dust mites and mold spores. Food allergies are also common and can cause severe digestive problems. There is an array of food, including chicken or wheat that they can be allergic to, causing runny or hard stools, itchiness, and nausea.

2. Ear infections can cause a lot of discomfort and pain when not treated, it can also cause hearing loss. It is important to keep in mind that their cute batlike ears mean they are prone to infections due to their unique shape and narrow ear canals, the ear wax cannot move or function properly within the ear. It is crucial to take good care of your Frenchie’s ears and treat ear infections the very moment your dog shows signs of discomfort often this will be by shaking their heads or having slightly droopy ears.

3. All Brachycephalic breeds have great difficulty “venting” themselves due to their narrow nostrils and short snouts, making them extremely Heat Sensitive. It is not uncommon for Frenchies to suffer from heatstroke, even a short ride in a poorly ventilated or hot car, or a short walk on a hot day can be too much for them to handle. Signs of heatstroke are: noisy panting, vomiting and disorientation. It is best to rush them to the vet while you try to cool them so the vet can stabilize them. It may mean the difference between life and death.

4. Cataracts are common in most breeds, especially when the dogs get older. However, the problem is very common in Frenchies as well, especially if the dog comes from a line who suffers from cataracts. They also tend to develop cataracts at an earlier age

5. Cherry eye is a very common condition in all brachycephalic breeds. When the third eyelid that gives the eye extra protection has a weak attachment area, it can result in cherry eye or a prolapsed eyelid.

Image: Pixabay

Above photo: Cherry eye typically causes irritation and redness, swelling and excessive tearing may also occur. The eyelid can often be massaged back into place, though surgery is often needed to permanently correct the problem.

6. Conjunctivitis or “pink eye” as it is also known is a condition triggered by infection causing bacteria. Its easily  recognizable by the redness in the eye and a watery or gunky discharge. It can be extremely itchy, uncomfortable, or painful. If left untreated it can lead to vision problems and even spread to other dogs in the home as it is contagious.

7. Frenchies have a genetic predisposition to food allergies, which can lead to upset tummies and more serious digestive problems like Colitis, chronic diarrhea, and irritable bowel disease. Colitis can be especially difficult to deal with. It is a painful condition that causes inflamed bowels, which causes severe stomach pain and a runny tummy.

8. Gastroenteritis is also very common in the French bulldog breed. When they eat, they cannot breathe well through their noses like other dog breeds can, so they tend to breathe through their mouths. This causes them to suck in air as they eat, causing bloating and an upset stomach.

9. Some of the scariest health problems with this breed have to do with the Cardiovascular system. Some of the most common Cardiovascular Issues include heart murmurs which can cause irregular beats and skips. Although some  murmurs do not affect the dogs, others can be severe if they are caused by another condition or heart abnormality. Another common occurrence is dilated cardiomyopathy. This disorder is genetic and can pass through generations. The condition causes enlarged heart chambers that can not correctly contract, which causes irregular heart beats and weakened heart muscle.

10. Hip Dysplasia is a genetic condition caused by breeding tactics that favor the body shape but causes hip joints to not form correctly. This inherited disease is degenerative meaning it will likely get worse with age. Current treatments focus on making the problem less severe and treating pain and inflammation.There are also surgical options to treat the disease however physical therapy, weight reduction and joint supplements are more favorable non-invasive treatments.

11. Patellar Luxation is a condition that causes the patella or kneecap to slide out of place, this is extremely painful and can cause lameness. Dog breeds with stubby bodies tend to suffer from this usually congenital condition. Treatment ranges from natural remedies like diet control, weight management and massage therapy to corrective surgery. Surgery is however most effective when completed during the earliest stages of the condition.

12. French bulldogs can suffer from more serious conditions like Spinal disorders. These conditions effect the spine, causing pain, lameness, and even low quality of life for some. Some of these disorders include intervertebral disc disease, degenerative myelopathy and hemivertebrae, which is a condition in which the spinal bones don’t form correctly. French bulldogs are especially susceptible to this due to their screw-tail.

13. Dogs with short noses are often prone to a condition called Brachycephalic respiratory syndrome, otherwise known as Brachycephalic airway syndrome, which affects a dog’s respiratory system. This syndrome can lead to several other issues like stenotic nares, which causes narrow nostrils that prevent ample airflow. Laryngeal collapse due to airflow restrictions placed on the larynx. This syndrome can affect the rest of the body as well, for example the digestive system, due to the stress it places on the organs.

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Above photos: A visual comparison between a dog with stenotic nares, and a dog with normal wide nostrils. While the dog on the right can breathe easily, with effective airflow through the nostrils, the dog on the left struggles with insufficient airflow which means the only way to find relief will be breathing through the mouth. The only treatment for this condition is surgery to widen the nostrils enough so the dog can breathe properly.

Do your homework

Image: Pixabay

While Frenchies, whether a puppy or adult, are cute and full of personality, they are a high maintenance breed. Their folds need cleaning, their ears need to be wiped out regularly. They need a home where they will not be left outside on hot days. They are utterly adorable, but they are not for everyone. And chances are you will deal with vet bills higher than your own medical costs. So, if you are looking for a dog that will remain healthy for most of its life, or if you want a dog who is minimal effort and cost effective, then this breed is probably not for you.

Source: English & French Bulldog Rescue SA

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Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.