The French bulldog is one of the most popular dog breeds these days, due to its small size, short hair, and playful nature. They are great family dogs and can easily fit inside an apartment. So, no wonder they ended up being so appreciated by dog loves. But, as a responsible dog owner, you should know French bulldog health-related details, in order to keep your dog in top shape.

Just like any other dog breed, the French bulldog also has a few weak spots when it comes to health. Of course, it is not mandatory for your Frenchie to have any health issues, but it is worth knowing both the advantages and disadvantages of owning a particular dog breed. So, before starting to look for a Frenchie, here are 5 most common health issues found in French bulldogs.

5 Most Common French Bulldog Health Issues

1. Problems of the respiratory system

Respiratory system issues are quite common among breeds with a short muzzle, just like the French bulldog. A “brachycephalic” breed, the French bulldog can develop certain health problem due to the way they breathe. Practically, brachycephalic means “with a short head” and their face was made to be short purely out of aesthetic purposes.

However, having a shorter face than most of the dog breeds can create breathing difficulties. In the case of French bulldogs, a smaller amount of air will reach their lungs, which will make them not too resilient to physical effort. Also, it will make the dogs breathe mostly through their mouths, instead of their noses.

So, while Frenchies can be playful, be careful not to exhaust the dog. Make sure it gets checked by a vet during its development stages as a pup, in order to notice if anything is wrong. But, again, a French bulldog can easily live a long and beautiful life without respiratory issues.

2. Distress created by heat

Having a short face can mean more than just breathing problems. In cases of high temperatures, a French bulldog can have an issue with cooling its body down.

In order to understand better, just think about how a dog is panting when it’s hot outside. Well, dog breeds with a longer face and wider nostrils will be capable of reducing body temperature very effectively this way. But, the French bulldog may encounter some issues at this chapter as well.

This is closely connected to the entire respiratory system of this particular breed, which is shorter and slightly more ineffective. In other words, they will have to work much more than other breeds to get air over their tongue through panting, in order to cool it down and reduce the temperature of their bodies.

Due to a small mouth, the airways can get inflamed and swollen as the dog forces air through them over and over again. So, the dog can get in an even more uncomfortable state, suffering from heat and inflamed airways.

3. The so-called “cherry eye”

The “cherry eyes” is a condition a French bulldog can develop when the tear gland pops out from behind the protective lid of the eyes. Thus, the eye will appear larger and redder, due to the mass of tissue that is not supposed to be visible.

What causes cherry eyes? The condition can be triggered by an infection, weakness in the muscle that supports the eye, or inflammation of the tissue. It is worth knowing that the condition itself is not painful or uncomfortable for the dog, in spite of the awful way it looks. However, the exposed tissue can risk getting infected, which is not something to look forward to.

In order to correct the problem, surgery could be recommended by the vet. But, even if the problem is corrected, the dog can develop dry eyes later on during its life.

4. Hip dysplasia

The rather bulky body of the French bulldog can lead to hip dysplasia, the risk being higher in overweight dogs. The condition happens when the head of the long bone, or femur, pops out of its place within the pelvis, where it has a special socket.

This condition creates a lot of pain and discomfort, not allowing the dog to move properly. The treatment of hip dysplasia depends very much on the severity of the issue after it has been checked by a vet.

5. Deafness

Usually, deafness is a hereditary problem in French bulldogs that can be passed on from one generation to another. Specialists still don’t know why this is happening, as there is no obvious pattern. A pup may develop the condition in its early life stages, some signs being its inability to respond when it is called or sleeping undisturbed regardless of conditions.

Unfortunately, this is a health problem that has no treatment. So, if you realize that your Frenchie is deaf, all you can do is to provide it a safe and comfortable life.

Alayna Mayer Ph.D. has accrued more than ten years of professional veterinary experience. She emphasizes homeopathic care in her practice, but she makes all options known to her patients’ humans so that they can make well-informed decisions about their pets’ health. Email: [email protected]

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