The French bulldog is a domesticated dog breed with large ears (just like bats). They are compact and small and have a physical build-up of a muscular body with wrinkled skin around the face and shoulders. Frenchies grow to about 11 to 12 inches tall and weigh between 20 and 28 pounds for males and 16 to 24 pounds for females. They shed a moderate amount of fur and require occasional brushing to stay clean. These dogs are very friendly with humans and do well around other pets too. Due to their small size, they are suitable pets in tight living spaces and are easy to travel along with. But what about French bulldogs health problems?
The Royal Veterinary College, UK, published a paper in 2018 regarding French Bulldogs. It found that 72.4% of French Bulldogs had one, two or, more common health problems. These health problems included diarrhea (7.5%), ear infections (14%), and conjunctivitis (3.2%), and skin problems (17.9%). The research also found that male French bulldogs had a higher percentage of health problems than females.
Common Health Problems Associated with French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs have a problem with yeast infection in the ear. They are also prone to hereditary deafness and other ear-related issues. In time, they can go deaf in one or both ears. If left untreated, this ear illness can lead to permanent deafness.
Diarrhea and Flatulence
Due to the sensitive nature of French Bulldogs, they are prone to excessive food sensitivity. It results in an extreme case of flatulence and diarrhea. While this is a common problem for French Bulldogs, it can become life-threatening without proper medical attention. A proper diet is a way to combat this illness. Good quality dog food is important.
Allergies cause most cases of conjunctivitis in French Bulldogs. In some rare cases, cancer is due to conjunctivitis, where the tumor’s removal becomes necessary. The veterinarian treats conjunctivitis with Radiation therapy and Cryotherapy.
Frenchies Breathing Problems
Research published by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine found that 66% of French Bulldogs had breathing problems. The illnesses include upper respiratory tract disorders and infections, stenotic snares, i.e., small or narrow nostrils, and brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. French Bulldogs have breathing problems associated with them due to their shorter noses and squashed faces. Shortness of breath and labored breathing are common symptoms of this breathing problem.
Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
A study published in 2017 found that intervertebral disc disease was a common health problem in French Bulldogs. While 2% of all dogs had this illness, the number of French Bulldogs is higher due to their predisposition to their breed’s illnesses. In the study, it found that out of 533 French Bulldogs, 45.5% were sick with Hansen type I intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH)
A study by the Finnish Kennel Club found a high prevalence of cancer among French Bulldogs. The study found that cancer accounted for 38% of French bulldog deaths, which is quite high. Hereditary and certain diseases can progress to cancer without proper treatment and medication.
Heat and Cold Intolerance
French Bulldogs have poor heat tolerance. Living in hot weather can cause life-threatening heat strokes. There have been cases around the world where French Bulldogs have died in excessively hot temperatures. Moreover, the cold weather is also a problem for them. They need to be placed in air-conditioned homes to mitigate the hot and cold weather.
Read more how to keep your French bulldog cool in hot weather here.
The eyelashes of French Bulldog can become inverted and irritate the eyes. It results in red and watery eyes. This condition or illness is known as entropion and can be treated only with surgery. Due to the protrusion of their eyes, it can lead to corneal ulcers and other eye-related problems. The protrusion of the eyes can also lead to physical injuries.
French Bulldogs have a genetic affliction of allergies. It can lead to dry and itchy skin, developing into swollen glands and skin infections in severe cases. There are three main types of allergies:
Food-based allergies – allergies caused by dietary habits,
Contact allergies – a result of the reaction to the environment and
Inhalant allergies – caused by airborne allergens like dust, pollen, etc.
A clean and dust-free environment is a must to reduce allergic reactions.
Visit this article to read more about Frenchie allergies.
Von Willebrand’s Disease
French Bulldogs are particularly vulnerable to Von Willebrand’s disease. This disease results in nosebleeds, blood in the feces, bloody urine, bleeding from the gums, etc. It also leads to uncontrollable bleeding episodes but can be controlled and monitored to prevent further severity.
French bulldogs have various bone problems such as Hip Dysplasia, Spondalytis, Back problems, etc. Due to their genetic build-up and the mass of their bone density, they are susceptible to various bone-related problems. Proper diet and medication can help to treat this problem in French bulldogs.
80% of pregnancies in French bulldogs are through cesarean section. They are incapable of natural breeding and require artificial insemination. Due to their slim hips and small build, the male French bulldogs cannot mount the females for insemination.
Because French bulldogs have a shorter snout, they often have crowded teeth. They also build-up tartar easily and hence need to have proper oral hygiene.
There are multiple multi-supplements that helps keep teeth clean.
Like other dogs, lifestyle habits attribute to certain illnesses. Diseases such as plague, diabetes, bad mouth smell, etc., result from their lifestyle and dietary habits.
The environment in which they live can also cause havoc for their health. Extreme temperature, whether cold or hot, can lead to serious health issues. Proper diet, exercises, and medication help to avoid these illnesses.
French Bulldogs Health Problems – Conclusion
French bulldogs are good companions. Their small size and stature mean they are easy to handle. But their very nature and size also bring about a lot of problems. They require minimal but regular exercises over short periods. Their genetic makeup makes them predisposed to a variety of health problems. Due to their predisposition towards the various health problems, they can rake up a huge sum of money in medical treatment. We suggest you to choose one of pets insurance companies.
A proper diet, clean environment, and medication can keep your French bulldog healthy, happy, and fit.