French Bulldog Health Problems and Raising a French Bulldog Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
The most common health problems in French Bulldogs:
The sweet-natured French Bulldog, unfortunately, is a grossly deformed breed. In fact, he's deformed in two ways – his short legs and long back are chondrodysplastic, and his short pushed-in face is brachycephalic. Both of these syndromes can cause orthopedic problems, respiratory problems, and eye problems.
The French Bulldog Club conducted a health survey in which 1 out of every 4 French Bulldogs had bone or joint problems, especially intervertebral disk disease and hemivertebrae.
Hemivertebrae is an inherited orthopedic disease in which one (or some) of the little bones in your French Bulldog puppy's backbone is deformed into a shape called hemi.
Your puppy already has some of these deformed vertebrae in his tail, which is why it's bent into that curly/kinky shape that looks cute but is actually deformed. Hemivertebrae don't harm the tail, but if they also occur in the backbone....
A single deformed vertebra in the backbone is usually okay, but multiple hemivertebrae (or a single one in the wrong place) can compress the spinal cord, and then, at 3-6 months old, your puppy will experience pain when you press on his back, or loss of sensation (weak hind legs).
Mild symptoms can be relieved by acupuncture, but most puppies with severe symptoms are put to sleep before a year of age, because major surgery would typically put the puppy through a lot of pain for nothing.
Hemivertebrae occur in French Bulldogs more than any other breed. In my opinion, any anatomical structure that compromises a dog's health in this way should be changed by breeders – most certainly not "preserved" for the sake of appearance.
Other orthopedic issues occurring regularly in French Bulldogs are luxating patella and hip dysplasia. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of over 350 French Bulldogs and found 32.5% dysplastic – the 14th worst rate of 142 breeds. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation.
The most common eye diseases in Frenchies are corneal ulcers, retinal dysplasia, cherry eye, entropion, and eyelash abnormalities. At 6-24 months old, cataracts can appear and can progress to blindness.
Heart disease is a concern in French Bulldogs.
Skin diseases occur regularly in Frenchies, especially allergies (which cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma) and demodectic mange in French Bulldog puppies.
Blood-clotting diseases include von Willebrand's, factor II deficiency, hemophilia A, and the more serious hemophilia B.
Other health issues in French Bulldogs are epilepsy, colitis, and inherited deafness in puppies with a lot of white on their head.
Virtually all French Bulldog puppies are born by C-section, birth defects are common, and the puppy mortality rate is high.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR French Bulldog?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in French Bulldogs today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a French Bulldog puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your French Bulldog puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy French Bulldog puppy or adult dog:
How Long Will Your Dog Live? – Take This Quiz!
Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your French Bulldog lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your French Bulldog
The best diet for feeding your French Bulldog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your French Bulldog
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your French Bulldog puppy really need? Does your adult Frenchie need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed. Find out what many vets aren't telling you.
The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female French Bulldog.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
Copyright © 2000-2013 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.