French Bulldog health issues.
In this post we’ll take a look at some of the health issues commonly associated with Frenchies. French Bulldog health issues are sadly not rare and many of them can be for life. Where some can be treated with regular medication, others might require surgical procedures.
Let’s look at some of the less serious issues first.
French Bulldog health issues (allergies.)
Perhaps one of the more frequent concerns we come across when it comes to French Bulldogs is allergies. Many of these allergies will manifest in the skin as itching, red or bald patches or sometimes even a rash can appear. The stimulus for these allergic reactions can be broken down into two basic categories. External and internal. First we’ll run through some of the possible external causes of allergic reaction.
French Bulldog allergies (external and environmental.)
1: Grass. Believe it or not, many dogs and not just Frenchies can have an allergic reaction to grass. This will often show as swelling and redness around the paws and can usually be treated with medication. Sometimes medication may not be required and just washing your dog’s paws after they’ve been out can eb enough.
2: Pollen. It’s just just humans who can suffer from pollen in the summer. Dogs are equally susceptible to hay fever and this can show as redness on the skin or a rash like appearance. You might find your dog is scratching excessively. If your dog is suffering badly there are medications your vet a prescribe but one of the most simple things you can do is to give your dog a quick rinse under the shower after you’ve been outdoors. Pay particular attention to the paws and make sure to get between the toes.
3: Dust can bring about similar symptoms to hay fever. Try to keep your dog’s area clean and hoovered regularly.
French Bulldog allergies (internal.)
Internal allergies more or less means food. Some Frenchie’s can have food intolerances and allergies to a whole host of different things including grains, certain animal proteins and dairy. Much like people these products have the potential to cause bloating, itchiness, excessive flatulence, excessive shedding and diarrhea.
If you’re not the first owner of your dog then the previous owner might be able to advise you of any specific food requirements your pooch has. If your dog has developed a food allergy over time and you’re not sure what it is you can try eliminating certain foods to see if it helps. Both of our Frenchie’s have had grain allergies and the simple switch to grain free food solved our problem instantly. You can check out my other post ‘Best food for French Bulldog‘ for some recommendations on different dog foods. If you’re not sure always consult with your vet.
Other internal issues.
Although not specifically an allergy or health issue specific to French Bulldogs, tapeworm can be a problem for dogs and is easily prevented with over the counter medication which you can buy online or get from your vet. Signs of a tapeworm issue in your dog could be excessive rear end scratching/rubbing on the carpet and/or you might be able to see tapeworm in their stool. You can pick up tablets on Amazon UK or Amazon US for just a few pounds/dollars.
French Bulldog health issues (breathing, ears and skeletal.)
One problem that is common with many short snouted breeds such as the Frenchie and the Pug is often referred to as BOAS. BOAS stands for ‘Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome’ and the severity of it can vary from one dog to the next. Willows vet centre actually have a very in depth article on BOAS here.
Unlike our ears, French Bulldog ears are not self cleaning. This is partially due to the selective breeding which results in the French Bulldog having a “squashed” skull. This shape in turn leads to the ear canal being both warm and moist which provides the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive. Certain allergies can also play a part in this.
It’s important to keep an eye on your Frenchie’s ear health as any infection can lead to long lasting damage, not to mention a lot of pain.
I really like this video from My Pawsome Frenchie on YouTube which shows how you can clean your dog’s ears at home.
One of the more severe potential French Bulldog health issues that can arise in Frenchies of all ages are disc problems. Disc problems or IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) is something that a Frenchie can have from birth or can develop over time. Symptoms of back or disc injuries to your dog can vary depending on where on the spine the issue may be. For lower back problems you might find that your French Bulldog drags either or both of their rear legs. They might be reluctant to jump or even wobbly when they walk. If the problem is further up the spine your dog may struggle to walk at all and have their head bowed low. Excessive panting can be another sign that your dog is in pain or under stress.
If you suspect any kind of spinal issues with your dog it’s important to see a vet as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis. Some cases may be resolved with a simple course of anti inflammatories and rest however, more severe or prolonged cases could require surgical intervention.
French Bulldog health issues (other things to look out for.)
French Bulldogs due to their slightly squashed faces can have crowded teeth which in turn has the potential to lead to dental problems. We use ProDen Plaque Off (UK link) and have found it to work quite well. (US link here) but there are lots of products available. A regular checkup from your vet who can also clean your dog’s teeth should prevent any problems arising.
Skin fold problems.
Again, this is another one of those that comes with the package when you own a short snout breed. It’s important to clean between the folds on your dog’s face. Failure to do so can lead to dry and crusty patches which in turn can go red, itchy and become painful for your dog. We don’t use anything fancy, a towel soaked in lukewarm water does the trick. Just gently press the wet towel between the folds to allow any debris to soften then wipe down. Follow up with a dry towel. Sometimes we rub a small amount of organic coconut oil between the folds just to help keep the skin soft and soothe it a little.
This post has touched on just a few of the potential French Bulldog Health issues that you might come across but has by no means covered them all. If you have any concerns about your dog and are unsure of what the underlying cause may be then I would always advise speaking to your vet. Hopefully some of this post though has helped to explain how a few things can be avoided by regular grooming and care.
If you’ve found this article at all useful, please feel free to check out some of my other related posts below.
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