Health Issues with French Bulldogs
French Bulldogs are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK. In 2021, they were reported as the fourth most popular dog breed in the country. According to data from the Kennel Club, a leading organization for dog breeders in the UK, French Bulldogs have consistently ranked as one of the top five most popular dog breeds in the country for several years.
Why are Frenchies so popular?
The popularity of French Bulldogs in the UK can be attributed to their friendly and affectionate nature, as well as their small size and low exercise requirements, which make them a good fit for apartment living and busy lifestyles.
French Bulldogs and their health
Like many dogs, French Bulldogs are prone to certain ailments and health conditions which owners should be aware of in order to provide the best care possible for their dogs. A lot of these health concerns are related to how the dog has been bred over the years, with many breeders wanting their dogs to look a specific way to meet customer demands.
Shortness of Breath
French Bulldogs are classed as Brachycephalic dogs, meaning they have a very short snout compared to most dog breeds, this makes them extremely susceptible to a number of respiratory issues. One of these is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, a condition affecting the airflow through the upper respiratory tract. Due to their short snouts, French Bulldogs can very easily become short of breath following exercise and many will snore. Having an overlong soft pallet may mean that sometimes French Bulldogs will ‘reverse sneeze’.
French Bulldogs are much more prone to developing heatstroke in warm conditions as they are not effective at regulating their own body temperatures. On warm days keep your Frenchie sheltered and offer them plenty of water. Walks in hot conditions for these dogs are a big no no. You may wish to invest in a household fan that will circulate cold air to help keep your dog cool and comfortable during the summer months.
French Bulldogs are prone to developing cherry eye, a condition where the tear gland prolapses and becomes visible on the surface of the eye. Cherry eye can be extremely uncomfortable and may lead to further complications.
Due to their build, French Bulldogs are at a higher risk of developing a number of musculoskeletal problems such as invertebrate disk disease and hemivertebrae. These conditions affect the vertebrae and spinal cord, and in severe cases can lead to paralysis. They are also more susceptible to developing hip dysplasia, a genetic condition that can cause arthritis and other joint problems. Feeding a joint supplement can help to support and maintain healthy joints.
French Bulldogs are also more prone to a number of skin concerns including allergies which can cause inflamed skin, itching and hair loss. Due to the presence of wrinkles and skin folds, this breed is also particularly susceptible to developing yeast infections. Skin concerns may need to be managed through dietary changes, use of medications and topical ointments and washes. A supplement can also be really beneficial.
Purchasing a French Bulldog
Despite their ailments, with the right care French Bulldogs can live normal, heathy lives. If buying a French Bulldog puppy ensure that you research the breed and only purchase from reputable breeders. Ensure you get your dog registered with a vet and look into pet insurance options, as vet bills can be very expensive. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health at any time don’t hesitate to contact your vet and they will be more than happy to help, it could save you a lot of money and heartache in the long run.