Dog Breeds Health & Hygiene

French Bulldog Health Issues | How To Prevent & Treat Them

french bulldog health issues
Written by Reena Bakir

The French Bulldog is one of the unlucky breeds vulnerable to experiencing a range of health challenges, most of which are genetic. While some of these hereditary issues are unpreventable, with special care you can save your Frenchie from falling ill to many other diseases they may be prone to!

Commonly bred for their distinct appearance; the beautiful face can come with a price. Unwanted deficiencies and health issues can easily arise when dogs are bred solely for their appearance, often related to their eyes, spines, skins and other areas of their body

1. Conjunctivitis

french bulldog health issues

Also known as Pinkeye, Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of tissues covering the eyeball, with telltale signs such as swollen eyelids, red irritated eyes, and discharge coming from eyes. Dogs may also display intense and consistent itching or scratching of eyes.

While conjunctivitis can be contracted from many sources, some more serious than others, its important to take your dog to the vet if they begin to display any of the above symptoms.

Treatment: 

The treatment your pet may receive depends largely on the cause of the illness, however your vet may issue the following treatments:

  • Antibiotic ointments
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines

2. Hip Dysplasia

french bulldog health issues

Canine Hip Dysplasia is a skeletal disorder that comes as a result of malformed hip joints. It is one of the leading causes of hind-leg lameness in canines, especially French Bulldogs who fall very prone to this condition as a result of unsafe breeding. Symptoms include inability to run or climb stairs, difficulty to walk including limping and dragging legs, difficulty standing up and decreased mobility.

Treatment and Prevention

While entirely prevention this condition cannot be guaranteed, ways of prevention and care can make your pet less likely to develop Hip Dysplasia. Prevention means could include:

  • Regulated exercise to strengthen muscles
  • Healthy diet
  • Vitamin supplements including vitamin C and E
  • Regular vet checkups
  • Keeping dog warm and away from cold, wet weather

3. Deafness

french bulldogs deafness

Hereditary deafness is a condition suffered commonly by the French Bulldog breed. Passed down through generations, French Bulldogs can at times be born deaf or develop it later on in life as a result of hearing loss. Symptoms of deafness could include unresponsiveness, long and uninterrupted sleep.

Treatment and Prevention

While deafness cannot be treated nor prevented, veterinarians can conduct a test known as the BAER test to diagnose or rule out deafness for puppies as young as 6 weeks old.

4. Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome

french bulldog

Emerging as a result of the cosmetically ‘pushed face’ of the French Bulldog, this condition affects many other flat-faced breeds including Pugs, Boxers and more. Dogs with this condition may experience difficulty breathing, noisy breathing including snoring and snorting. Your dog may also tire easily during exercise or begin coughing and vomiting.

Treatment and Prevention

Often times, in severe cases of this condition, some veterinary doctors may choose a surgical approach to alter any obstruction occurring within the dog’s airways. In order to know the proper treatment needed by your dog, follow your vet’s diagnosis and advice as it depends on the specific cause and case of the pet.

5. Allergies

 skin issues french bulldog

Allergies are a major issue for this sensitive breed, as they are prone to a number of allergic reactions as a result of food and environments. The allergies can come as skin allergies, or digestive allergies. Symptoms of skin allergies include flaky skin, redness, bumps, scratching and itching. In terms of digestive allergies, gastrointestinal effects include vomiting and diarrhea.

Treatment and Prevention

Allergies could be caused by an array of sources, including certain foods such as chicken, soy, beef, eggs, lamb, corn, and more. In order to diagnose the source of your dog’s allergies, an elimination diet may be given to your dog in order to eliminate the possible sources of the allergy before following with the proper treatment.

As for environmental allergies, corticosteroids  and antihistamines will often by given to your dog in addition to topical ointments.

Allergy supplements can also be given to your dog to lessen their chances of falling ill to certain allergies and help them maintain their health.

About the author

Reena Bakir

Reena Bakir is a passionate student, writer and animal lover who is a regular contributor to Chelsea Dogs.

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