French bulldog popularity grows day by day. Unlike other dog breeds, Frenchies posses many unique and adorable features that make them attractive. On the other hand, they are also famous for a number of health issues.
Unfortunately, French bulldog health issues take a great place in dog ownership. Since Frenchies' popularity rapidly went from 13th to 4th position on the AKC list of most popular dog breeds, irresponsible breeders realized it's a great chance to quickly earn a lot of money.
What are the most common French bulldog health issues?
First of all, before you decide to buy a French bulldog puppy, I advise you to choose the responsible and trusted breeder. It's extremely important to make sure that the puppy's parents are completely healthy and that all the health checks and vaccinations were done. Here is the list of most common French bulldog health issues that owners should be aware of:
Hip dysplasia in French bulldogs may occur for a couple of reasons. The first reason can be found in their genetics. The other three reasons present obesity, age, and inappropriate exercising.
Hip dysplasia is a skeletal disorder that is followed by a number of symptoms such as bunny hopping, inability to go up and down stairs, decreased activity, clicking sound coming from a dog's hips, inability to jump, and pains.
It is a condition where the ball and the socket don't fit each other and cause painful friction. The best ways to prevent hip dysplasia in Frenchies are choosing the appropriate diet, keeping their weight in normal ranges, avoiding over-exercising, and adding different joint supplements.
In mild cases of hip dysplasia, the recommended treatment is adding glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as well as corticosteroids. Physical therapy is also one of the possible treatments. On the other hand, when a French bulldog experiences a severe level of hip dysplasia, vets recommend hip replacement surgery.
French bulldog allergy can much affect a dog's quality of life. Unfortunately, French bulldogs are prone to suffer both from food and environmental type of allergy.
A dog that suffers from an allergy often shows itchy and red skin, blisters, sneezing, teary eyes, hair loss, and many others. In order to avoid potential allergies in Frenchies, I recommend you not to feed your pooch with food rich in fat, by-products, eggs, corn, soy and grains in general.
In my opinion, one of the best diets to feed a Frenchie is the BARF diet. It's the only way you can control and tailor your dog's diet and calories intake.
Environmental type of allergy can only be treated with regular cleaning your Frenchie's coat, and bed. In case your doggie shows paw allergy otherwise called Pododermatitis, I advise you to buy him dog socks or boots.
Cherry Eye in French bulldogs is probably one of the ugliest health condition to see on their wonderful faces. It presents an issue when the third eyelid prolapses and becomes visible. A Frenchie with the cherry eye condition will scratch the eye, act very nervous, and unable to settle down. His eyes will also become teary and squinty.
Although it does not present a fatal condition, it must be treated on time otherwise, your Frenchie may develop a bacterial infection. It usually occurs due to the weakness of the ligamentous attachments.
The treatment may include surgical and non-surgical methods. Massage presents one of the possible solutions with included eye drops treatment. Cherry Eye Surgery is more likely to be successful if it’s done soon after the gland prolapses. The prolonged chronic swelling of the gland can make the surgical re-positioning more difficult, thus increasing the chance for recurrence.
In many cases, a Frenchie's cherry eye can be healed in a few weeks. As the best prevention for this type of issue, I recommend regular eye massage, as well as using a tear stain remover.
Otherwise called 'screw tail', Hemivertebrae in French bulldogs presents a congenital condition. It occurs when Frenchie's spine bones are abnormally shaped and causes twisting of the spine. Hemivertebrae also occurs in large dog breeds such as Great Danes because of their rapid growth in the puppyhood.
This kind of condition can be very painful and even lead to instability and deformity of the spinal column, which in turn can lead to the spinal cord or the nerves arising from it becoming squashed and damaged.
French bulldogs affected by Hemivertebrae can also lose function in their hind limbs and sometimes lose bladder and bowel control. Therefore, I highly advise you to take all health checks before you buy a puppy. Luckily, hemivertebrae can be checked by performing an X-ray examination.
Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome
Despite the fact their flat faces are something the most adorable you'll ever see, they are actually the biggest culprits for their tendency to suffer from a Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome. This type of condition is followed by a dog's snoring, heavy breathing, snorting and makes them tire quickly.
That's why French bulldog owners need to pay special attention to their activity level and to notice their exercise limit. Due to their shortened nostrils, these gorgeous pooches can't inhale enough air. Unfortunately, that often leads them to experience high blood pressure and rapid heart rate.
I also highly advise you not to take your pooch out during the hottest part of the day because of that way you'll only make the things worse. The same rule applies to extreme weather conditions as well.
Overheating in Frenchies definitely presents one of the most common issues they are prone to. Since these furry gremlins have brachycephalic skulls, their body temperature can quickly grow over the limit and turn out to be fatal.
A French bulldog that experiences heat stroke shows the symptoms such as panting, drooling, trembling, loss of energy, inability to stand on the legs, vomiting, and diarrhea. Therefore, I advise you to always provide your pooch with plenty of water wherever you go. Here you can find a great assortment of portable water bottles and bowls for your French bulldog.
One of the most important things to provide your pooch in summer is a natural shadow, self-cooling pad, and air-conditioned room.
Elongated Soft Palate Syndrome
Elongated Soft Palate Syndrome is an airway and breathing problem that occurs in brachycephalic dog breeds such as French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Boston terriers and other. It's actually an abnormality that causes increased airway resistance, as well as an increase of negative intra-airway pressure.
The soft palate develops further back and can extend into the larynx. Unfortunately, it is too long for the length of the mouth and can cause difficult and noisy breathing in a dog. Frenchies' elongated soft palates are usually the reasons for their snoring and snorting.
The best prevention presents choosing a harness instead of a collar for your French bulldog. I also advise you to minimize other factors such as exercising, overexcitement, and to regulate your dog's diet as well. If nothing could help, then you might consider elective surgery to widen nostrils and elongated soft palate.