Health Concerns of the French Bulldog

French Bulldog puppies are some of the cutest babies on the planet.  Any Frenchie parent can attest to their adorable faces and unique personalities, but just like any other breed of dog they also come with their own assortment of health conditions. Some are hereditary, others are simply more likely to happen in the Frenchie than any other non-brachycephalic dog.  Here are some health concerns of French the French Bulldog that you will need to know:

Weight Problems

While over half of the pet dogs in the United States are suffering from obesity, this is one major problem that French Bulldog owners must pay extra close attention to. This breed is called brachycephalic because of the shape of the skull and face. The dog’s nose is more flat than that of an average pooch, which can put strain on his breathing. An overweight Frenchie puts extra strain on his already prone respiratory system. The extra weight causes pressure on his lungs and wind pipe, closing it in further. Frenchies are known to snore at a healthy weight, and one who is obese may find it difficult to lie in a comfortable position so that he may breathe freely.

Your Frenchie’s breathing is not the only thing that his obesity may inhibit. Already plagued with joint disease probabilities, the French Bulldog’s joints are further burdened by those few extra pounds. He can lose his mobility at an earlier age as early onset arthritis begins to take it’s toll. The added weight puts more pressure on his bones, causing pain and inflammation. Lastly, an overweight dog of any breed is more likely to develop heart disease and diabetes, which can cut your precious pooch’s life short.

Spinal Defects

The French Bulldog was selectively bred over the years from the dwarfed individuals of the Bulldog breed, and thus has a tendency to have problems in the spine. Many reputable breeders take extra steps to prevent this from occurring in their puppies, such as breeding from only dogs who have had recent X-rays taken of the spine, but this is not always fully effective.

This breed’s particular spinal structure is not quite as comparative to a normal structure in other breeds with a more natural spine. This makes it slightly more difficult for veterinarian’s to make the call as to normal or not on any given Frenchie. Breeders that are lucky enough to have a Frenchie experienced vet may have greater luck at avoiding this somewhat uncommon issue. Any dogs that have shown signs of spinal abnormalities, defects or mobility troubles should never be bred, as it can be passed on to the next generation of puppies.

Uncommon Ailments

Frenchies are, unfortunately, subject to other severe and uncommon health concerns that sometimes can be avoided with health testing and careful breeding practices. Rescued Frenchies, such as puppy mill survivors can come with an assortment of issues, especially these more rare conditions.

Deafness is one irreversible condition that a French Bulldog can be born with, and seems to crop up with pied puppies. This feeds into the age old assumption that dogs with white are more prone to deafness. Reputable and ethical breeders take every precaution possible to avoid this, while those who are not careful are more likely to have more deaf puppies. Meanwhile, dogs who are born deaf adapt very well to their surroundings, leaning more on their eyes, nose and even vibrations on the floor to make their way through life. A caring and patient owner can easily house train, obedience train and eve trick train a deaf puppy.

Are French Bulldogs a Healthy Breed?

Frenchies are prone to a great number of health concerns, many of which can be avoided with good care and precautionary breeding practices. As with any breed, you should research the French Bulldog, learn about the most common of health conditions that can plague them and treatment options available before you adopt a puppy or dog. Don’t forget to research your chosen breeder and their dogs prior to placing a deposit, and look into the ethics of any rescue before you fill out an application. The steps you take to educate yourself on the health concerns of French the French Bulldog is what will make your dog a healthy companion.

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