One of the most heartbreaking aspects of becoming attached to these fun loving, playful dogs is that they are a pedigree breed and with pedigrees, they can develop certain health conditions. So you ask the question do french bulldogs have health problems? and in some cases they do unfortunately breeding over time can cause issues.
It’s important to understand these conditions before you ever consider buying a Frenchie puppy.
One of the easiest ways to reduce the probability of your dog developing a condition is to ensure that their parents have passed all the relevant health screenings.
One of the most effective ways to ensure you get a healthy dog is to only purchase a French bulldog from a registered Kennel club assured breeder.
These breeders have to meet additional requirements that ensure the health and welfare of their puppies and their parents before their awarded membership.
French bulldogs like many other flat-faced breeds can develop breathing issues that are commonly related to overheating. This means you should be careful with them when exercising in warmer weather.
For someone who’s looking for an exercise companion, a French bulldog probably isn’t the breed for you.
Maybe consider a crossbreed, as this will instantly reduce the probability of any breed related health problems.
But if your heart is set on buying a Frenchie, we advise that you try to purchase a puppy that is fully screened as mentioned above.
Look for one that has a longer nasal passage and wider nostrils.
Here are some of the most common health problems that French Bulldogs are prone to and some steps you can take to either help treat or prevent the conditions occurring.
BOAS (Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome)
This condition is extremely common among shorter faced breeds of dogs. The easiest way to avoid this is to do effective parental screening before you purchase.
Unfortunately, even with the most effective screening, in my experience, you can still end up with a Frenchie that suffers from BOAS.
If you do, the easiest way to reduce their stress and to prevent serious symptoms from arising is to keep their body heat as normal as possible.
To prevent your Frenchie suffering from undue distress, there are some steps you can follow, including to consult a veterinarian if the symptoms don’t improve.
Here are some tips to help treat or prevent BOAS
- Avoid exposing them to hot or stressful environments
- Always use a high-end tires instead of a collar
- Never overfeed your Frenchie to the stage where they’re above their ideal body weight
- if symptoms continue, you may need to consider surgery to correct the problem
Slipping Kneecaps (Luxating Patellas)
Thankfully, this condition if caught early enough can usually be treated without surgery.
What’s most important is to ensure that the muscles surrounding your dogs knee joint remain strong, especially their quadriceps.
This will help prevent their kneecaps from popping or slipping.
Here are some tips to help prevent slipping kneecaps
- Adding turmeric to your dog’s diet, a natural antioxidant turmeric can also help reduce inflammation and it’s being used in traditional medicine for centuries.
- Water therapy is a very effective way to help treat French bulldogs suffering from slipped Kneecaps, as it helps them exercise without putting weight on the joints.
- Physiotherapy is also highly effective as it can help strengthen your dog’s leg muscles.
- If your dog is truly struggling, you can purchase a joint aid which will help support the knee and speed up the healing process.
Dental issues in French Bulldogs
Your Frenchie like many other short-faced breeds of dogs can often suffer from overcrowded teeth.
Here are some tips to help you deal with any dental problems.
- By scheduling a regular oral cleaning and exam your fat can get a full picture of what’s happening with your dog’s teeth.
- if it all possible you should try to brush your dog’s teeth daily by keeping his pearly whites in top condition. Despite appearing a daunting task purchasing the right tools can quickly relieve many of these issues your dog will have with his teeth.
- By restricting your dog to a high-quality diet which could include dental chews, this can prevent unnecessary plaque buildup and protect their teeth.
- By encouraging daily chewing and offering your Frenchie a wide variety of tooth-friendly goodies, this can quickly prevent the buildup of gum disease.
- Try not to purchase any chew toys that are too hard in my experience. My Frenchies respond best to thin strips of rawhide, but monitor these to make sure that they don’t end up swallowing any large pieces.
Eye problems up to and including Cataracts
Unfortunately, if your Frenchie has reached the stage where they have cataracts, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent it.
However, you cannot preserve their vision, especially if the root of their condition is caused by an underlying disease such as diabetes.
Tips for keeping your dog’s eyesight healthy
- if you see any bluish-gray or cloudy film over your dog’s eyes, instantly take them to your vet.
- If your Frenchie exhibits any problems navigating or seeing it’s time for a veterinary check-up.
- Getting a full medical history of your Frenchy’s parents will often be important, as cataracts are a genetic problem.
- A healthy diet is central to preventing your dog from getting cataracts as a regularly developed because of conditions such as diabetes.
- Take them for regular eye exams.
Intervertebral disc disease or other back problems
French bulldogs are prone to back problems such as intervertebral disc disease, which can cause a bulge or worse.
A burst happening to the discs that provide a cushion between the vertebrae.
This can end up pressing on their spine causing them extreme discomfort and in the worst-case paralysis.
Tips to help treat or prevent back problems
Much like cataracts canine back problems and your ability to avoid or treat them will depend on the root of the problem.
The vast majority of cases back issues result from trauma, and they can treat these with some chiropractic intervention.
Getting care for your French bulldog sooner rather than later can dramatically reduce their level of pain and discomfort.
Unfortunately, more complex problems that may need surgical intervention are a more comprehensive treatment plan.
If your French Bulldog is suffering from a herniated disc or even a tumor, surgically intervention would be needed.
Skin conditions in French Bulldogs
Frenchies like any other breed of dog that has skin folds can be prone to dermatitis resulting in these wrinkles becoming sore irritated and inflamed and the worst-case scenarios infected.
A lack of hygiene is usually at the root of most skin problems, but bathing your Frenchie using a hypoallergenic, sulfate free, organic shampoo can help reduce any chronic itches and quickly get the dermatitis under control.
I like to use shampoos that include ingredients that have anti-inflammatory properties such as aloe vera, which will help heal the inflamed, itchy skin.
In my experience, the root of most skin problems with my Frenchie came from food allergies.
You could be forced to consult your veterinarian and put them on an elimination style diet. They design these diets to identify the root of the problem through a process of elimination.
If you have any doubts, the first step you should take is to put your dog on a fresh food diet and this will quickly help you identify the root of the food allergy.
Elimination diets aren’t difficult over the space of 8 to 12 weeks; you’ll simply remove one ingredient at a time from your French bulldog’s diet and monitor the results.
Urinary tract issues such as hyperuricosuria
If your Frenchie is prone to issues with their urinary tract such as hyperuricosuria.
This condition causes crystals or stones to form that result in urine detract infections, making it difficult for your dog to urinate.
There are several things you can do to both prevent and treat the condition.
Tips to help prevent or treat these issues
These stones result from a high purine diet and the only way to treat them is to instantly put your dog on a diet with much lower purine content.
In the vast majority of cases, this may involve your dog turning vegetarian for a period.
By putting your dog on a vegetable based diet, you can quickly bring the roof of the problem under control by reducing the acidity level in the urine and preventing the formation of stones or crystals.
Meat is a rich source of purines and eliminating these from your Frenchie’s diet while adding vegetables and fresh fruits can have a stabilizing effect.
The purpose of this article is not to alarm you, we just want you to be aware of potential issues and encourage you to buy your French Bulldog puppy from a reputable source.
In the vast majority of cases, once you do your research you will receive a perfectly healthy puppy and enjoy many happy years together.