French bulldogs are a fan favorite on Instagram, and even celebrities like Lady Gaga and Megan Thee Stallion can’t get enough.
If you’re considering taking home your very own frenchie, it’s best to be prepared in every way possible, which includes staying informed on all of the potential health issues that might affect your French bulldog.
If one dog breed had to win for most Instagrammable pet, I’d put my money on the frenchie.
“French bulldogs are delightful companions, and their pleasant temperament makes them the perfect ‘court jester’ to add to many families,” explains Dr. Jo Myers, DVM.
However, there are some negative sides to being so popular.
“A surge in popularity leads to an increase in breeding to meet that demand,” explains Dr. Myers. High demand means that breeders are often cutting corners when it comes to taking care of a frenchie from birth and staying on top of all of their potential health issues.
The best way to keep your pet healthy is to be an educated pet parent. Here are all of the things you need to know about potential health issues to look out for in your French bulldog.
Common French bulldog health issues
There are two words that often come up when discussing the health issues found in French bulldogs: dwarfism and brachycephalism.
“Dogs with dwarfisms are predisposed to joint and spine issues, many of which are severe,” explains Dr. Myers. “Brachycephalic dogs like frenchies, bulldogs, and pugs have an assortment of breathing problems. After all, that frenchie has the same nasal apparatus as a golden retriever, but is forced to squeeze it all into just an inch or two,” she adds.
Other common health issues include:
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
This syndrome comes with a long list of potential health issues, including stenotic nares (narrow nostrils), and an elongated soft palate—all of which make it difficult for a frenchie to breathe and eat normally.
“Their short, bristly fur combined with their skin folds predisposes them to skin infections,” explains Dr. Myers. “Skin infections can be successfully treated, but as long as the frenchie has skin folds or underlying allergies, they will recur.”
Read: Dog Allergies: Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment Of Allergies In Dogs
French bulldogs are also susceptible to joint issues. While surgical treatments can be performed in an effort to relieve some types of breathing and joint issues, it’s important to note that there won’t be a cure.
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“No amount of surgery is going to give a frenchie normal breathing structures, normal skin, or normal eyes; then he wouldn't look like a frenchie anymore,” says Dr. Myers.
Cataracts & eye issues
According to Dr. Myers, this is one health issue that breeders have been working to fix.
“The large and bulging nature of a frenchie’s eyes, and the fact that they're set into a genetically shrunken skull, still leaves frenchies predisposed to a variety of other eye problems, especially injuries,” she adds.
If your frenchie happens to experience any of the breathing or joint issues that are so common within the breed, ask a vet about available treatment options.
What to do if your French bulldog has health issues
As listed above, there is no cure for many of the health ailments that will affect your French bulldog. In this case, the best thing you can do as a pet parent is to be proactive about your pet’s health and stay on top of vet appointments.
If you’re getting your French bulldog from a breeder, Dr. Myers suggests doing your research and choosing one that’s reputable, as this will reduce the likelihood of severe health issues (of course, there are no guarantees).
Pawp vets understand all of the specific health conditions related to different dog breeds, so chatting with a vet online is a great way to start if you’re ever concerned.