French Bulldog Health
Health concerns in French bulldogs may be grouped into two
- Congenital diseases
- Acquired conditions
Congenital diseases are those the dog is born with and these are commonly noted at birth, though some may be
noted later in life.
Acquired conditions on the other hand are those that the French bulldogs get during the course of their life. Of
the two, congenital conditions pose more danger for the dog and are more commonly the cause for worry in
Congenital conditions will include
- Stenotic nares
This is common in bulldogs due to the compressed structure of their faces. The nostrils appear as slits and will
often close during inspiration. This will compromise breathing and should be rectified as soon as possible. The
dogs are at times forced to breathe in through their mouths.
- Elongated soft palate
The soft palate which is the roof of the mouth is abnormally long and extends to the larynx during breathing
closing up the passage. This makes breathing difficult and may cause the dog to snort or gag.
The occlusions of the air passage may also cause the dog to collapse. Treatment of this condition is usually
- Cleft palate
This is a condition in which there is communication between the oral and nasal cavity. Nursing puppies may be
unable to suckle since they cannot create a vacuum and the milk will come out through the nose. Such puppies may
die of starvation if the cleft is not closed.
- Laryngeal Collapse
In French bulldogs with stenotic nostrils and elongated soft palate the French bulldog may also suffer from
laryngeal collapse. There is reduced air pressure causing a collapse of the laryngeal ventricles into the lumen of
The conditions mentioned above are usually fatal if not corrected when they are noted. They also make the French
bulldog very intolerant to exercise and will severely compromise the breathing process.
Acquired conditions may include
- Atopic dermatitis
This is a hypersensitivity reaction that results after exposure to some allergens in the environment. It usually
manifests with excessive itching of the skin, chewing and licking of paws. The skin may also be inflamed.
These conditions can be managed by removing the dog from the suspect allergen and use of ointments that will
soothe the skin. There are also anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids that can be injected to reduce the
- Hot spots
These commonly follow bacterial infections. These infections will affect part of the skin causing irritation;
the dog will bite and scratch the affected area enlarging it. The hot spot is usually red, swollen, painful and hot
to touch. They may spread to the surrounding area rapidly causing the dog a lot of discomfort. Hot spots are
usually managed using antibiotics and steroid creams. You can also apply an ointment that will soothe the skin.
Other health concerns of Frenchies include inherited conditions such as Hip dysplasia, Patellar luxation and
Von-Willebrand disease which cause defective clotting of blood. This disease is usually tested for in any
prospective parents before they are bred.