In 2018, The UK Royal Veterinary College examined 2,228 French Bulldogs to study health problems in French Bulldogs. Of those, 72.4% had at least one of the considerably significant health problems listed below. Those included are skin problems (17.9%), ear infections (14%), diarrhea (7.5%), and conjunctivitis (3.2%).
Part of my job as a Canadian French Bulldog breeder is to EDUCATE existing and potential French Bulldog owners on everything and everything Frenchie related. I want them to be just as prepared and knowledgeable as they are excited!
Below I’ve compiled a list of what I deemed fairly common health concerns in French Bulldogs.
French Bulldogs have very narrow ear canals and, because of this, are very vulnerable to ear infections. These ear infections can also be the result of extreme allergies, which French Bulldogs are very susceptible to. Their ear glands swell up to resist infections and produce more wax than usual. This results in an overproduction of ear tissue, making the canal narrower and more inflamed. In severe cases, the eardrum can rupture, causing your French Bulldog a lot of pain and potentially irreparable damage.
Upset stomachs are extremely common in the sensitive breed of French Bulldogs. It is crucial that you monitor their diet carefully and pay close attention to any changes. Consistent bouts of diarrhea can be a sign of parasites, viruses or e.coli. It’s also advantageous to peek at their stool and make note if they are wet, runny, tarry, have a foul smell or noticeable blood. These are telltale signs of severe digestion problems. Other signs are undesired weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting or feverous.
Due to the genetic makeup of French Bulldogs, they are at a higher risk than a lot of breeds for conjunctivitis. This is due to their short-nosed breed structure, known as “brachycephalic.” Conjunctivitis is caused by viral and bacterial infections or allergic reactions to substances. Be aware of any pink or red tinges in your French Bulldogs eyes or if they start blinking excessively, have mucus, pus or discharge.
Cherry eye is a prolapse of the gland in the third eyelid. There are different severities of it, some are minor where they can be massaged back in where others are more severe where surgery is needed to correct it.
French Bulldogs have folds of skin on their faces around their muzzle and nose which can lead to dermatitis if not thoroughly and frequently cleaned. This can also occur anywhere else on their little bodies that have folds, such as their armpits, necks, and crotches. This is shown by itching, biting, and scratching around the area. There will also likely be redness and sores on the affected skin. Keeping these skin folds dry and clean will help prevent dermatitis from occurring as well as limiting the severity of it when it does.
Check out the video below to see how I clean Füli’s folds.
Due to French Bulldogs having a very short nose, they are very at risk of upper respiratory tract infections. Almost every French Bulldog will experience this at least once in their lives. Upper respiratory tract infections are very infectious, so they will occur if/when your French Bulldog spends time with other canines. Symptoms of Upper Respiratory infections showcase symptoms that are like those of a cold in humans: nasal congestion, coughing, and lethargy.
Many French Bulldogs are also at high risk of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) due to their squashed, wrinkly, and short-snouted faces. This can bring shortness of breath, trouble breathing, sleeping problems, and heat intolerance. This program will become quite amplified in your French Bulldog during exercise and in warmer temperatures/climates.
Fuli recently had a nose job and his breathing has dramatically improved! Check his surgery day video on YouTube
French Bulldogs develop a range of mobility conditions. Everything from congenital disorders to injuries and degenerative diseases. Conditions like hip dysplasia and luxating patella can be caused by both genetics and old injuries. Other common mobility issues you’ll see in French Bulldogs include IVDD and spinal disc issues.
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a common cause of French Bulldog paralysis. Frenchies with IVDD suffer sudden paralysis and cannot stand or engage their back legs in walking. This condition needs immediate veterinary attention.
If you’ve stuck with me this far, you’ll now know there are quite a few common health problems in French Bulldogs. Now, that isn’t to say YOUR French Bulldog will suffer from each one- they may suffer from none or they may collect them all, like Pokemon. This is why it is SO imperative that you do your research on the breed and are aware of the costs involved. French Bulldogs are not a cheap breed to purchase or to own. Be prepared with knowledge, an emergency vet fund, insurance and work with a trusted breeder (HI! Hehe). Your puppy shold come with a 1 year health guarantee as well as papers stating they have been thoroughly checked and the parents tested.
As your friendly neighbourhood Ontario French Bulldog Breeder, I would be more than happy to explore the journey of French Bulldog ownership with you. You can reach me through my contact page
Stay safe and keep your Frenchies safe!