12 Widespread French Bulldog Well being Points

A veterinarian doctor and two French Bulldogs at the vet on exam table.

French Bulldogs high the AKC listing of the most well-liked canine breeds within the U.S., and for a lot of good causes. Who can resist these cute bat ears and smushy faces? These spunky, fun-loving little pups are filled with affection and loyalty for his or her relations. In the event you’re contemplating adopting a Frenchie, you could be questioning, are French Bulldogs wholesome? Or do French Bulldogs have well being points?

Sadly, Frenchies are predisposed to an awfully excessive variety of well being points in comparison with many canine breeds. These medical issues can find yourself costing you hundreds of {dollars} in veterinary payments — and potential heartache coping with an unhealthy furry good friend. In the event you already personal a Frenchie, remember that early analysis is vital for a lot of well being points.

I’ll share the commonest ones that have an effect on Frenchies together with signs to observe for thus you will get veterinary care as early as potential. In the event you’re contemplating adopting a Frenchie, all of my data also can make it easier to perceive the potential issues you could face.

12 French Bulldog Widespread Well being Points

A current research by the Royal Veterinary School of greater than 2,000 French Bulldogs discovered that over 72% had at the least one well being dysfunction. The info additionally confirmed that Frenchies had “considerably elevated” odds of being recognized with 20 widespread situations in comparison with different canine breeds. Right here’s a high 10 listing of the commonest well being points that have an effect on this breed. It’s so vital to familiarize your self with the signs so you may contact your vet as quickly as you see indicators.

1. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)

“The most typical downside I see with French Bulldogs in my follow is brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), says Dr. Rebecca MacMillan, BVetMed, BSAVA, PGCertSAM, MRCVS, a companion animal veterinarian in Gloucester, United Kingdom. “Many Frenchies have respiration points to various levels. These are brought on by their narrowed, slit-like nostrils, flattened faces, elongated mushy palates, and narrowed tracheas (windpipe).”

All brachycephalic breeds (flat-faced breeds like Frenchies, Pugs, Boston Terriers, and so forth.) have some type of genetically inherited BOAS, and respiration issues can vary wherever from gentle to extreme. Sadly, 50% of French Bulldogs have “clinically vital indicators” of BOAS, based on the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Affiliation.


Canines with brachycephalic syndrome can exhibit the next signs, which may vary from gentle to debilitating.

  • Noisy respiration
  • Snuffling
  • Loud night breathing when sleeping or relaxed
  • Coughing and raspiness
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Train intolerance (snorting with train)
  • Warmth intolerance
  • Gagging and retching

It’s vital to have your vet examine your Frenchie each one or two years for vital indicators of BOAS, as this situation can progress throughout his lifetime and even shorten his life. In critical circumstances, surgical procedure may help enhance airflow. Milder circumstances are often managed with weight management, restricted train, and avoiding stress and sizzling temperatures.

2. Warmth Stroke

French Bulldogs are significantly susceptible to warmth stroke due to BOAS. Even in gentle circumstances, Frenchies can overheat fairly simply. Canines don’t sweat the identical means people do; they use panting as the first technique to quiet down. On high of BOAS, their flat faces make it troublesome for this breed to pant. So, it’s best to keep away from sizzling climate and decrease train.


  • Extreme panting
  • Fast respiration
  • Dry, sticky gums
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Collapse
  • Lack of consciousness
  • Disorientation and confusion

In case your pup is panting excessively, take him to a cool space and provides him loads of water. You may also attempt to cool him down by giving him a cool tub, hosing him down, or inserting a chilly towel or bag of frozen veggies on his head. In the event you imagine that your canine is affected by a warmth stroke, it’s essential to deal with it as a medical emergency and instantly search assist. Your vet will administer intravenous (IV) fluids and oxygen remedy and constantly monitor your canine’s physique temperature throughout therapy.

3. Pores and skin Issues

Positive, a part of what makes Frenchies so cute is their wrinkly, scrunched-up pores and skin. Whereas aesthetically endearing, their pores and skin and tail folds are, sadly, breeding grounds for micro organism and fungi to thrive. This will result in frequent bouts of pores and skin fold dermatitis and different pores and skin infections. Nevertheless, recurrently cleansing your pup’s pores and skin and tail folds can go a protracted technique to stopping infections from creating.

Pores and skin allergic reactions are additionally extraordinarily widespread on this breed,” shares Dr. MacMillan. “I recurrently see Frenchies for this downside. In case your canine licks his paws steadily, scratches excessively, or has sore ears or patches of pores and skin, then it’s essential to search veterinary assist for this.”

What causes allergic reactions in Frenchies? This breed is genetically predisposed to atopic dermatitis, which is brought on by inhaling or having direct pores and skin contact with environmental allergens (pollen, mud mites, grass, mould spores, and so forth.). Frenchies are additionally at a better threat for meals intolerances and allergic reactions. Not like people, canine allergy signs sometimes current as pores and skin issues.

Allergy Signs

  • Extreme scratching, licking, or chewing
  • Crimson and infected pores and skin
  • Papules or pustules (pus-filled lesions on the pores and skin that resemble human pimples)
  • Dry or flaky patches of pores and skin
  • Patchy fur loss
  • Itchy ears
  • Swollen face and paws

It’s typically tough to determine what’s inflicting your pup’s allergic reactions, so consulting your veterinarian is the very best plan of action. Your vet may help decide potential causes by way of a scientific strategy of elimination and will even wish to conduct allergy checks. Remedy choices differ based mostly on the trigger, however testing and potential lifelong therapy, together with allergy drugs or prescription pet food, can get fairly costly.

4. Ear Infections

French Bulldog getting ear examined at vet.

Oh, these ridiculously cute bat-like ears. It’s but once more one other irresistible function that isn’t all the time excellent for this breed’s well being. Sadly, Frenchies face a double whammy relating to the propensity for ear infections. First, the form of their ear canal is narrower than many different breeds, so grime and particles can simply turn out to be lodged within the canal, inflicting an infection of the outer ear canal (otitis externa).

It additionally doesn’t assist that their ears have vast openings, making it a lot simpler for particles and germs to get into their ear canals. One other downside for a lot of Frenchies — allergic reactions typically trigger ear infections. One of the best factor you are able to do to forestall ear infections is recurrently clear your little man’s ears.


  • Head shaking
  • Scratching ear or areas across the ears
  • Rubbing ear on the ground or furnishings
  • Redness or swelling
  • Ear odor
  • Yellow, brown, or bloody discharge
  • Fur loss across the ear
  • Scabs or crusted pores and skin close to the ear flaps

Happily, occasional minor ear infections are simply treatable with correct vet care. Nevertheless, power ear infections could cause modifications to the form of the ear canal (making it even narrower). Continual otitis externa also can result in extra critical infections of the center and interior ear.

5. Continual Diarrhea

French Bulldogs are genetically susceptible to a number of gastrointestinal (GI) points that end in power diarrhea. The most typical trigger is meals allergic reactions, however typically inflammatory bowel illness (IBD) is in charge. Frenchies even have a threat of creating a extreme, breed-specific type of IBD referred to as Granulomatous colitis (GC). Indicators of GC embrace bloody diarrhea, weight reduction, anemia, and debilitation. 

Whereas antibiotics could cause GC to enter remission, therapy for allergic reactions and different types of IBD is usually lifelong, involving medicine and/or prescription diets.

6. Hip Dysplasia

Yet one more genetically inherited challenge in French Bulldogs, hip dysplasia is a power situation that causes the pinnacle of the femur bone to satisfy with the hip socket incorrectly. Canine hip dysplasia typically results in degenerative joint ailments like arthritis.


  • Ache or discomfort throughout train
  • Lameness
  • Stiff again legs
  • “Bunny hop” like run
  • Stiffness getting up or operating
  • Problem getting up
  • Muscle tone loss in again legs
  • Lack of enjoyment with bodily actions that had been beforehand gratifying

Remedy consists of your vet taking an x-ray of the canine’s hip sockets and deciding a course of therapy. In extreme circumstances, canine might have surgical procedure. Different therapy strategies embrace drugs to deal with irritation, joint dietary supplements, weight administration, and bodily remedy.

7. Patella Luxation

Patella luxation is one other hereditary joint downside present in French Bulldogs. A luxating patella happens when the patella, or kneecap, sporadically shifts and dislocates exterior of its regular location. It happens within the hind legs however not the entrance legs. In half of all circumstances, it impacts each hind knees. 


Most canine begin exhibiting indicators between 4 and 6 months of age. When the kneecap dislocates, you could discover your canine:

  • Hopping on his hind leg
  • Holding his leg up
  • Working on three legs
  • Stretching the leg out to attempt to pop the kneecap again in place

As soon as the kneecap pops again in place, canine stroll usually once more on all 4 legs. Usually, this illness progresses over time, inflicting extra frequent dislocations, cartilage injury, structural put on and tear, and arthritis. This situation is graded from 1 to 4 (gentle to extreme), with the latter maybe requiring surgical procedure. Canines with grades III and IV require surgical procedure, and it’s typically really useful for grade II as nicely.

8. Intervertebral Disc Illness (IVDD)

With intervertebral disc illness (IVDD), the cushioning discs between the spinal column bones (vertebrae) deteriorate or turn out to be broken and transfer or bulge into the spinal canal, inflicting ache and nerve injury. One massive research discovered that French Bulldogs had been among the many high 5 breeds with the best charges of IVDD. It’s believed that the mix of this breed’s weight coupled with brief legs is the first explanation for disc degeneration that results in IVDD.


These indicators can happen slowly (over a number of weeks to months) or quickly (over minutes to hours). Most canine develop indicators over just a few days.

  • Irregular, unsteady strolling 
  • Hunched again or neck with tense muscle tissues 
  • Crying out in ache 
  • Lack of bladder or bowel management 
  • Paralysis

Remedy relies on the severity of the illness and sometimes includes medicine to manage ache and swelling, in addition to strict train restrictions. In additional extreme circumstances, surgical procedure is required to stop paralysis.

10. A number of Eye Issues

A close up of French Bulldog and veterinarian wiping dogs eye.

The adorably bulgy eyes of Frenchies are one other of this breed’s endearing bodily options. The dangerous information is that these buggy eyes undergo from an inordinate quantity of ocular well being issues because of genetics. Additionally, as a result of their eyes protrude, they’re extra susceptible to damage and infections. Listed below are some widespread Frenchie eye issues. A few of these situations might be current on the identical time.

  • Continual dry eye or Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS): a power situation that causes the irritation of the cornea because of a scarcity of tear manufacturing. Remedy sometimes is the common use of vet-prescribed tear-stimulating drops.
  • Cherry eye: typically a recurring downside, cherry eye happens when the tear gland of a canine’s third eyelid prolapses and protrudes from the attention socket. You’ll discover a big, pink or crimson mass within the nook of your pup’s eye. Usually, surgical procedure is really useful to maintain the gland in place.
  • Entropion: a hereditary situation, entropion includes the inward rolling of the highest and/or backside eyelids. This causes the eyelashes to rub in opposition to the cornea, leading to power irritation and corneal ulcers. Remedy requires surgical procedure.
  • Corneal ulcers: a critical and painful situation, corneal ulcers are open wounds on the cornea. They will happen from damage, an infection, or secondary to lots of the eye issues listed above. Remedy sometimes includes topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and ache meds; nonetheless, deep wounds could require minor surgical procedure.
  • Cataracts: A standard situation in lots of canine (and people), cataracts happen when the lens turns into firmer and fewer clearBecause the cataract matures, it blocks an increasing number of mild from reaching the again of the attention till imaginative and prescient is misplaced. Remedy requires surgical procedure.


Except famous above, many eye issues share related signs.

  • Eye sensitivity
  • Squinty eyes
  • Repeated blinking
  • Bloodshot or cloudy eyes
  • Yellow or inexperienced discharge

11. Mind Tumors

Frenchies are at a excessive threat of creating mind tumors, even at youthful ages. A research printed in 2015 discovered that French Bulldogs are among the many high 4 breeds with a heightened threat of creating glioma, the commonest type of malignant main mind tumors in canine (and people). Frenchies’ brief snouts make them extra more likely to develop glial cell tumors, in addition to pituitary tumors.


Mind tumor indicators can differ relying on the place the mass is situated within the mind, however listed here are some indicators to be careful for.

  • Seizures
  • Irregular conduct or temperament
  • Imaginative and prescient issues
  • Unsteady gait
  • Strolling in circles
  • Lack of urge for food or thirst

X-rays can’t detect mind tumors, so essentially the most correct technique to detect them is with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. Remedy choices could embrace surgical elimination, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), radiation remedy, chemotherapy, and palliative care.

12. Dental Issues

A veterinarian at the clinic examines a French Bulldog's teeth.

Frenchies and different brachycephalic breeds are significantly predisposed to dental illness. All canine have 42 everlasting grownup enamel, however for French Bulldogs and different breeds who’ve small mouths and shortened jaws, all of those enamel don’t match nicely collectively, inflicting enamel overcrowding. This overcrowding can simply trigger elevated tartar buildup, which ends up in dental illness within the gums and, ultimately, the dental bones.


  • Dangerous breath
  • Brown or yellow enamel
  • Unfastened enamel or tooth loss
  • Plaque and tartar buildup
  • Crimson and bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Bother consuming

Remedy relies on the stage of gum illness. Within the early phases, a common dental cleansing or deep cleansing could assist decrease illness development. Extra superior gum illness could require deep cleansing and tooth extractions.

Common Prices For A number of Frenchie Well being Points

Fetch Pet Insurance coverage says of its insured French Bulldogs that allergic reactions, eye irritation, and respiratory infections are widespread diseases they cowl. As reported by Fetch, the vary of common prices for these well being issues are:

  • Allergy symptoms: $1,400 to $2,600
  • Eye irritation: $475 to $850
  • Respiratory infections: $1,425 to $2,600

Embrace Pet Insurance coverage lists hip dysplasia, IVDD, and entropion as widespread well being points this supplier sees in insured Frenchies, with the next common prices based mostly on claims.

  • IVDD: $2,500-$7,000
  • Hip dysplasia: $1,500-$6,000
  • Entropion: $300-$1,500

Fetch Buyer Testimonial For French Bulldog Medical Care

Fetch has been with me for the reason that day I adopted my French Bulldog in 2019. Mainly a four-pound potato, my little pup stole my coronary heart from the beginning, and I used to be certain to insure him shortly after I took him house. We’ve been by way of sudden dental surgical procedures, poison ingestion, numerous allergy visits, and emergency x-rays and Fetch has been with us by way of all of it. Their claims course of is easy, their protection is unbeatable, and their reimbursement course of is fast. We’re so grateful for Fetch. They’re principally the very best fairy godparents a Frenchie (and his mother) may ask for.

– Ashley A.

Regularly Requested Questions

Listed below are some questions our readers ask most frequently about French Bulldog well being issues. Don’t see yours right here? Ask us in our feedback.

What do French Bulldogs often die from?

A research of Frenchies within the U.Ok. by the Royal Veterinary School reported that the main causes of demise had been mind problems, akin to mind tumors, and spinal wire problems, like IVDD. Different widespread causes of demise included respiratory problems and most cancers.

What’s the life expectancy of a French Bulldog?

The typical life expectancy of a French Bulldog is 10 to 12 years. Nevertheless, a number of elements affect each pup’s lifespan, together with genetics, general well being, and way of life.

Why are Frenchies predisposed to so many well being points?

A long time of selective breeding for aesthetic options have contributed to the a number of well being issues that French Bulldogs and a number of other different brachycephalic breeds face. Due to the hovering reputation of this breed for its look, breeders haven’t correctly weeded out lots of the hereditary points Frenchies can inherit.

Nevertheless, this downside is gaining extra consideration. Within the U.S., the French Bulldog Membership of America has partnered with the Canine Well being Info Middle (CHIC). The CHIC researches and maintains data on the well being points prevalent in particular breeds and has established a really useful protocol for breed-specific well being screenings. For Frenchies, these at present embrace hip, eye, patella, and cardiac (coronary heart) screenings.

What’s The Greatest Eating regimen For French Bulldogs?

As a result of Frenchies are susceptible to so many well being points, feeding them the healthiest food regimen potential may help preserve signs at bay and enhance their immune techniques to struggle off their threat for infections. See our high picks for the finest pet food for French Bulldogs in all life phases. You may additionally wish to try our evaluations of the finest pet food for allergic reactions and the finest pet food for delicate stomachs if these are well being points your pup faces.

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