Do French Bulldogs Have Health Issues? What To Know


The French Bulldog is quickly becoming one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, thanks to its lively and affectionate personality. They are loving, cute tiny dogs with many quirky idiosyncrasies which can adapt to most surroundings and get along with other animals and kids.

They don’t require as many walks as larger dogs do! If you’ve ever had a Frenchie, you’ll understand why.

However, the Frenchie breed has several health issues. Most French Bulldogs will develop one or more of the breed’s most frequent health issues.

These health issues generally appear in children as young as two or three years old, and they might result in unexpected veterinarian costs. Additionally, it substantially influences a pet’s quality of life.

Most Common French Bulldog Health Issues

Allergies

Allergies affect our Frenchies in the same way they affect us people. While heredity might raise the likelihood of your French Bulldog acquiring an allergy, it’s vital to remember that allergies can strike during their lives.

Flat-faced breeds, such as the French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, and Pug, are more likely than non-brachycephalic breeds to develop allergies.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction of your Frenchie include:

  • Increased scratching
  • Itchy, red, scabbed, and moist skin
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchy ears and infections
  • Paw chewing
  • Snoring, inflamed throat
  • Itchy back or base of the tail

Some common allergens that might cause a reaction are:

  • Grass, weed, and tree pollens
  • Dander
  • Feathers
  • Dust and house dust
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Perfumes
  • Fabrics
  • Cleaning products 
  • Prescription drugs

Hip Dysplasia

It is a bone condition in which the ball and socket joint of the hip is not developed correctly. Hip dysplasia can be treated with surgery. In the absence of treatment, it can result in decreased activity, discomfort, and the development of hip arthritis.

Some symptoms of hip dysplasia include reduced activity, difficulty standing up, inability to jump, hip pain or sensitivity, and inability to climb stairs.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is when the tissue that covers the front of the eyeball becomes inflamed. Conjunctivitis, often known as pinkeye, is associated with swollen eyelids, red “bloodshot” eyes, squinting, and eye discharge.

Allergies, dry eyes, and other irritants can all contribute to this condition. Conjunctivitis can be caused by more dangerous infections such as canine distemper in certain rare circumstances.

Some symptoms that can appear when your Frenchie has conjunctivitis are red eyes, squinting, discharge from the eyes, and rubbing eyes.

Deafness

Hearing loss, sometimes known as deafness, is an all-too-common health issue in French Bulldogs. Due to genetic abnormalities, it might be present at birth or develop over time in older dogs.

Fortunately, you can rule out congenital deafness in puppies as young as 6 weeks old by administering the BAER test.

Due to a piebald gene, which is commonly characterized by a mostly white coat with patches of black and blue eyes, deafness is more likely in white-coated dogs.

Cherry Eye

It’s a red membrane in the eye that makes it appear as if your Frenchie’s eyes are rolling back in his head, which you undoubtedly observed when he was sleeping.

This membrane protects the eye from debris, helps to fight infection, and produces some tears.

Cherry eye is a condition that arises when the third eyelid’s tear gland pops out of place.

If the cherry eye is not treated, it might harm the eye or the third eyelid gland, resulting in chronic dry eye.

Also READ: Why Do French Bulldogs Fart?

Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic means “short-headed” or “flat-faced” and refers to the smushed faces of dogs like French Bulldogs, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Chihuahuas that we’ve learned to adore.

The flat-faced appearance of these canines leads your French Bulldog to snort and snore, so these charming appearances don’t come without consequences.

It can dramatically impair your Frenchie’s ability to breathe correctly in severe circumstances.

Stenotic Nares

Stenotic nares mean that the dog has narrow nostrils. This condition affects many short-nosed dogs, causing difficulties breathing through the nose, snorting, and snoring.

The severity of stenotic nares varies, with some nostrils being virtually closed and others being only slightly narrower than normal.

This condition can significantly affect your Frenchie’s quality of life by making it difficult for them to exercise, endure heat, and breathe.

Tracheal Collapse

Tracheal collapse is a chronic, progressive condition of the trachea (or “windpipe”) in French Bulldogs. Chronic respiratory illness, Cushing’s disease, or heart disease are all common causes.

It might exist from birth or evolve over time. Symptoms of tracheal collapse include exercise intolerance, labored breathing, honking cough, and bluish tinge to the gums.

Heat Stress

One of the most prevalent problems affecting French Bulldogs is heat stress. They have a hard difficulty breathing and controlling their body temperatures because of their flat faces.

Some symptoms of heat stress include signs of discomfort, excessive panting, convulsions, diarrhea, vomiting, blue or bright red gums. Heat stress can progress to heat stroke if left untreated.

If you live in a hotter climate, it’s even more vital to keep an eye on your French Bulldog for signs of heat stress.

Laryngeal Collapse

Laryngeal collapse is a disorder that occurs when the laryngeal cartilage loses its stiffness and support, leading the larynx, or voice box, to collapse. The larynx, or voice box, serves as a channel for airflow to the lungs and protects the lungs from aspiration during swallowing.

It also allows for barking and growling. This causes serious respiratory difficulties in your dog, making it difficult for him to breathe. This disease is most common in dogs over the age of two, but it can occur sooner in brachycephalic breeds like the French Bulldog.

Hemivertebrae

Hemivertebrae is a spine disorder that is present from birth. It occurs when the spine’s vertebrae become distorted, fuse, or develop improperly.

This ailment causes certain bulldogs to develop a “corkscrew” tail.

Where the spine should be straight, this anomaly forms a twisting wedge. This can cause twisting and compression of the spinal cord.

Because the spinal cord is the central nervous system’s structure, compression of the spinal cord is a dangerous disorder that can prevent nerve impulses from reaching their intended destination.

Intervertebral Disc Disease

The discs between the vertebrae in the spine expand or herniate into the spinal cord space, causing this disorder. These discs can put pressure on nerves, resulting in discomfort, injury, and paralysis.

Symptoms that can be linked to this disease include unwillingness to jump, crying out in pain, anxious behavior, hunched back or neck, reduced appetite, loss of bladder or bowel control. 

Degenerative Myelopathy

Degenerative myelopathy is an uncommon, degenerative spinal cord illness that mainly affects older canines between the ages of 8 and 14. The lack of coordination in the hind legs is usually the first symptom, followed by buckling limbs and difficulties standing.

Because it is a progressive condition, it tends to worsen with time. Although French Bulldogs are less prone than other breeds to suffer this hereditary condition, it is still a possibility.

Patellar Luxation

When the patella, or kneecap, is displaced or subluxated from its natural position, it is known as patellar luxation. The kneecap gets displaced from its native placement in the femur due to a hereditary condition.

There are presently no recognized strategies to avoid patellar luxation, unlike hip dysplasia and other illnesses. Fortunately, a dog will only suffer discomfort while the joint is dislocated; they will rarely feel pain after that.

Entropion

Entropion is a condition in which the eyelid “rolls” inward, rubbing the cornea with the hair on the surface of the eyelid. Entropion is an eyelid condition that runs in families. Unfortunately, brachycephalic breeds like the French Bulldog are more prone to entropion.

You must get this addressed as soon as possible; if left untreated, entropion can cause discomfort, corneal ulcers, and erosions by causing hairs on the eyelid’s surface to rub against the cornea. Corneal scarring might occur as a result of the injury, obstructing vision.

Distichiasis

Distichiasis is a genetic condition in which an eyelash develops in an irregular direction or from an odd spot on the eyelid. Some symptoms that appear with distichiasis include eye discharge, inflammation, pain, cornea ulcers, excessive tearing of the eyes, excessive blinking and squinting.

ALSO READ French Bulldog Eye Problems

Cataracts

Cataracts are a degenerative condition that, if not treated promptly, can result in blindness. Cataracts are defined as cloudiness in the eye’s lens. The opacity of the cloudiness might range from entire to partial. When cataracts are caused by diabetes, they grow at a faster rate.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

In humans, Von Willebrand’s Disease (vWD) is a congenital, persistent bleeding illness related to Hemophilia. A lack of an adhesive glycoprotein in the blood, which is necessary for adequate platelet binding, causes it.

Cleft Palate

Cleft palates in French Bulldogs are a hereditary condition that is frequent in brachycephalic breeds. It is distinguished by an unusual aperture in the back of the mouth.

The sides of the palate (roof of the mouth) struggle to come together and fuse during embryonic development. This creates a gap between both the nasal passages and the mouth.

Hypothyroidism

When your dog has hypothyroidism, he isn’t secreting enough thyroid hormones.

Hypothyroidism causes your dog’s metabolism to slow, which might result in the symptoms listed below:

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Lethargy
  • Weight gain without a change in appetite
  • Obesity
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Mental dullness

Hyperthyroidism

When your dog’s body generates too much thyroid hormone, it develops hypothyroidism. It has the potential to raise the metabolic rate to dangerously high levels.

While this is uncommon in dogs, it is rather prevalent in cats. When it does affect dogs, it typically has a major impact.

Thyroid cancer is the most prevalent cause of hyperthyroidism in dogs. Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, hyper-excitability, increased appetite, increased thirst, enlargement of the thyroid gland, diarrhea, vomiting, heart murmurs and more.

How To Prevent French Bulldog Genetic Problems?

When shopping for a French Bulldog puppy, it’s critical to select a reputable, ethical breeder to reduce the possibilities of getting a French Bulldog with avoidable hereditary illnesses.

Many unskilled, unscrupulous breeders have little to no consideration for the health of the puppies they’re breeding, and many of them are susceptible to hereditary disorders that may be avoided.

You should collect family history documentation to establish that their blood does not include any hereditary health concerns. The family tree should go back at least five generations.

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