French bulldogs are growing in popularity in the U.S. They hit an all-time high in popularity ranking 4th in pure breed dog ownership behind Labs, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.
Are you interested in a French Bulldog? These dogs are adorable, but you need to make sure you understand French Bulldog health issues. Let’s take a look at common problems and how you can treat them.
French Bulldogs are at high risk for allergies. They can also develop allergies at any point in their lifetimes.
Allergies are an overreaction when exposed to an allergen. There are several types of allergies including drug, seasonal, food, and environmental allergies.
Symptoms of allergies include:
- Chewing paws
- Itchy or runny eyes
- Itchy, red, or scabbed skin
- Increased scratching
- Itchy ears
- Persistent ear infections
- Consistent licking
Pets have similar reactions to humans. Common pet allergens include dust, food ingredients, pollen, and dander.
You may need to try changing your pet’s diet. You may need to do a process of elimination. You may also want to try some allergy supplements to help boost your dog’s immune system naturally.
2. Tracheal Collapse
Tracheal collapse is a progressive and chronic disease of your dog’s windpipe. Cushing’s disease, chronic respiratory disease, and heart disease can cause this condition. It could also be present at birth.
Symptoms of tracheal collapse include:
- Labored breathing
- Honking cough
- Bluish tinge on the gums
- Exercise intolerance
Tracheal collapse can happen at any age. Various treatments for tracheal collapse include:
- Bronchodilators to help with breathing
- Cough suppressants
- Corticosteroids for inflammation
- Lose weight if the dog is overweight
There are surgical procedures if the medication does not work, but typically, medications can help control the disease. The surgeries are expensive and should be considered a last resort.
3. Brachycephalic Dog Syndrome
Brachycephalic dog syndrome causes a dog’s snout to shorten. This is more common for flat-nosed breed dogs like French bulldogs, pugs, and boxers. These dogs tend to have respiratory issues because of the small trachea size.
- Noisy breathing
- Exercise intolerance
The cause of this disease is caused by selective breeding. Dogs with this condition need to be careful in warmer climates and when exercised. This is because they are susceptible to heatstroke.
4. Intervertebral Disc Disease
This condition happens when the discs between the vertebrae herniate or bulge into the spinal cord area. The discs will press and put pressure on the nerves. This causes nerve damage, pain, and in extreme cases paralysis.
Symptoms of intervertebral disc disease:
- Pain and weakness in back legs
- Reduced appetite
- Crying in pain
- Unwilling to jump
- Loss of bowel and bladder control
- Hunched back
The damage to the discs is typically caused by a forceful impact. Your dog may do this by jumping and landing wrong. The best way to fix this problem is surgery.
5. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a disorder where the ball and socket joint don’t form correctly. if this is not treated, the dog will develop hip arthritis, pain, and need to limit activity.
Symptoms of hip dysplasia include:
- Inability to jump
- Unable to climb stairs
- Decreased activity
- Problems standing
- Pain sensitivity in the hips
This can be a genetic predisposition. Environmental factors can also contribute including obesity, exercise, nutritional issues, or excessive growth.
You can help prevent hip dysplasia by keeping your dog a healthy weight, regular exercise, and prevent your dog from landing or humping on hind legs. You also don’t want to overexercise your puppy.
It’s important to get an early diagnosis. This will help reduce any arthritis or damage done to the area.
Entropion is a disorder of the eyelids that is often hereditary. This condition is an abnormality where the eyelid rolls inward. This causes the hair to rub against the cornea.
It’s important to treat this condition immediately with surgery. Left untreated, this condition can cause damage to the cornea including erosions, scarring, and ulcers. All of these conditions can cause issues with vision.
7. Thyroid Issues
The thyroid produces thyroxine and other hormones. These hormones control your dog’s metabolism.
If your dog is not secreting enough thyroid hormone, then your dog may suffer for hypothyroidism. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include:
- Thickening of skin
- Cold intolerance
- Change in appetite
If your dog’s thyroid produces too much hormone, your dog may suffer from hyperthyroidism. This is rare in dogs, but the symptoms include:
- Increased appetite
- Weight loss
- Increased urination
- Increased thirst
- Enlargement of the thyroid gland
Your dog can also get a non-cancerous enlargement called a goiter. An iodine deficiency can cause goiters.
8. Stenotic Nares
Stenotic nares are pinched or narrow nostrils. This disorder causes breathing issues. Symptoms include snoring, snorting, and difficulty breathing through the nose.
There are different levels of severity. This condition can make it hard for your dog to breathe, exercise, and tolerate heat.
There is a simple surgery to help treat this condition. You can have your vet perform this surgery to widen the nostrils while your dog is being spayed or neutered.
This condition is hereditary and present at birth. This is why you should work with a reputable breeder that has documentation or owns both parents of the French Bulldog puppies.
9. Elongated Soft Palate
The soft palate is the soft tissue at the back of the mouth. If a dog has an elongated soft palate, the tissue is too long for the head. This can block the windpipe.
Symptoms of elongated soft palate include:
- Bluish gums
- Difficulty breathing
If your dog has this condition, he or she was likely born with it. Your vet can perform a simple surgical procedure to remove this extra soft tissue.
10. Cleft Palate
Cleft palates is a genetic disorder that causes an abnormal opening at the roof of the mouth. There is an opening between the mouth and nasal passages.
- Runny nose
- Slow growth
- Weight loss
- Respiratory issues
- Lack of appetite
If there is a small defect, your dog may not have any issues. However, more serious defects can cause serious issues like pneumonia.
Treating French Bulldog Health Issues
Now you know the top French Bulldog health issues. If you really want one of these cute dogs, you need to meet both the parents and check for any hereditary disorders, especially with the eyes, respiratory system, and hips.
If you are ready to take the plunge and get a puppy, keep checking out our site for other advice on pet care.