Most Common French Bull Dogs Diseases and Health Risks

French Bulldogs are one of the most adored dogs in the world due to their playful and affectionate nature. The dog’s quirky habits and appearance have made it the third favorite breed among Australians. Those who already own a pug/French/bull dog need to be aware of a number of potential health problems brought about from the breed’s flat-faced, small-eared and stocky physique being purposely bred for that purpose over the years.

These health conditions usually arise when a bull dog is either two or three years old and then persist throughout the life of these French Bulldogs, significantly impacting their quality of life. This can ultimately lead to extensive veterinary expenses for their owners.A number of French bulldog health problems were identified in the study carried out by veterinary experts.

A total of 72.4 percent of puppies that were in the study showed symptoms at least once of the following diseases:

  1. Allergies

Similar to humans, all French bull dog breeds are susceptible to allergies. Unfortunately, Frenchy bull dogs are genetically more likely to suffer from allergies related to both food and environmental substances. Frenchies that have a number of allergies often display both skin and gastrointestinal symptoms while other dogs tend to only exhibit allergic reactions in their skin or stomach.

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  1. Skin Fold Dermatitis

Skin fold dermatitis is a common allergic reaction to certain substances in French dogs. The most common area affected by this is where the skin folds at the dog’s elbows, groin or other creases on his body – such as near the ear canal and vulva. Your dog may also develop redness or swelling (inflammation) as well if affected by allergies. A healthy diet, stress-free environment and appropriate grooming habits will go a long way toward keeping your pet happy and healthy with no issues related to skin fold dermatitis.


Symptoms of pyoderma are similar to those of skin fold dermatitis:


  • Itching at the area of the wound.


  • The damaged area develops redness, hair loss, crusting, or pussy discharge.


The best method to avoid skin fold dermatitis and pyoderma is to clean and dry skin folds on a regular basis with pet-safe solutions.


  1. Otitis Externa

French Bulldogs are known for their small body size, flattened faces, and pendulous ears. Excitement about this breed prompted early breeders to create a higher number of Frenchies than is necessary. So pet owners without proper breeders may accidentally acquire mutts which have the same ears as French Bulldogs but not the same genetics – leading to a wider variety of ear shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, these extra loose floppy ears may lead to complications like yeast infections or other ear diseases like otitis externa.


Ear infections can cause the following symptoms:


  • Excessive ear scratching or head shaking.
  • Inside the ears, there may be redness or scrapes.
  • When cleaning the ears, there is a lot of wax.


Keeping your dog’s ears moist and free of obstructions is the best way to prevent ear infections. Your veterinarian can recommend the best ways to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry.


The flat face of a French bull dogs can make them susceptible to minor eye infections or conjunctivitis. Also known as pinkeye, conjunctivitis is often caused by allergies, other irritants or by dry eyes which is a very common condition. The large, prominent eyes of the Frencehies means that even the slightest scratches to their corneas can become ulcers more easily.

Conjunctivitis or corneal ulcers in your Frenchie can be indicated by the following signs:

  • Eyes that are red or swollen, or discharge from the eyes.
  • Squinting, blinking, or pawing at the eyes.

Keeping your Frenchie’s eyes clean and avoiding irritants like dust or sand from getting into their eyes will help prevent certain eye disorders.

  1. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS)

Every Frenchie dog suffers from a small degree of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) due to their adorable faces. This is something they were bred for; their short snouts mean the soft palate is too long in length, causing windpipe obstruction. Secondly the upper lip and nostrils are not as open as they should be. This makes breathing through the nose somewhat difficult at times but with the right treatment it’s quite manageable.


The following are symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS):

  • Snoring, sleep apnoea, and noisy breathing are all symptoms of sleep apnoea.
  • Refusal, regurgitation, and vomiting are all symptoms.
  • Heat intolerance and exercise intolerance.


Gastric Banding Surgery is a way of decreasing the effects of bloat in your dog. However, if your dog is severely affected by Bloat then the best option to increase the quality and duration of their life would be to opt for Gastric Dilation Surgery.

  1. Heat Stroke

Brachycephalic breeds, like Bulldogs and Pugs, have short snouts, with long soft palates and many more of the nasal openings. This makes breathing very difficult for Bulldogs and Pugs – so much that the condition is known as Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. The dogs struggle to breathe through their noses due to the way in which their mouths are constructed, which also leads them to suffer from heat stress quickly from overheating.

To minimize overheating in hot or humid conditions, keep your French bull dog in a cold or air-conditioned place. The following are signs that your Frenchie may be suffering from heat stress or heatstroke:

  • Excessive panting is a problem.
  • Gums that are blue or vivid red.
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or convulsions are all possible symptoms.


If your dog starts showing any of the above signs, they should be immediately moved to a cooler area and cool (not cold) water should be run over their body, especially the back of their head and neck. Let’s get our veterinarian involved as soon as possible.

  1. Patella Luxation

Like many other small dog breeds, French bulldogs are more prone to some hereditary health conditions that may grow worse with time. Proportionately, their small size makes them susceptible to this condition where the kneecap becomes loose its groove in the knee joint.

The following are symptoms of patella luxation in your French dog:

  • Skipping or irregular hind limb movement on occasion.
  • Lameness that occurs suddenly or in the hind limbs.

There are numerous treatment options available if you have a dog that suffers from patella luxation. A common procedure involves surgery to deepen the groove in which the patella sits to improve tracking. If your dog begins to exhibit lameness or an inability to jump well, it may be due to this condition and should be looked at by an experienced veterinarian as soon as possible.

  1. Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is a genetic disease that affects the development of the hips in dogs. According to information published by the University of Maryland Medical Center, in inherited cases both males and females can be affected although it has been reported that it’s more prevalent in male dogs. Other factors such as obesity or excessive growth and exercise have been known to contribute to its development.

Hip dysplasia causes the following symptoms:

  • Bunny hopping, a lack of activity, or trouble standing.
  • Hip sensitivity or soreness.
  • Inability to climb a flight of stairs. or leap into the air.

Avoiding excessive exercise and eating when your bull dog is a small puppy, as well as maintaining a balanced diet and weight, will help to prevent Hip Dysplasia from progressing.

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