French bulldogs are adorable and cute. With their petite size and lovable demeanor, it is no surprise that you would love to have them too. Providing their basic needs such as food, water, a place to rest and even a place to potty is not enough for a Frenchie puppy. As a good Frenchie owner, you should also understand their health so that you can do necessary precautions or treatment, if need be. There are a few concerns when it comes to a Frenchie puppy’s health and we’ll discuss them one by one in this section.
French Bulldog and Heat
Frenchie puppies and adults alike don’t like hot temperatures. Unlike other breed of dogs that have a longer snout, the Frenchies cannot easily cool off in the same process as other breeds would. Usually other dolichocephalic and mesocephalic dogs would cool off their bodies by panting. The process of panting pushes more air to flow over their wet tongue where evaporation of their saliva takes place. As this happens, the blood running through the tongue area also gets cooled. As this cooler blood circulates throughout the body, the rest of the body is eventually cooled down.
Unlike other breed of dogs that have a longer snout, the Frenchies cannot easily cool off in the same process as other breeds would.
Cooling Off A Brachycephalic Dog
On the other hand, Brachycephalic dog breeds, like the French bulldogs, have more difficulty in cooling off their body in this way. Due to the shortness of their snout, there is a smaller amount of air that their small mouth can accommodate. This makes it more difficult for them to cool off. It is also possible that due to panting, a Frenchie’s airway can be irritated, causing it to be inflamed and blocked. This causes more problems as the Frenchie is already overheated and having an even more difficult time breathing.
How to cool off your frenchie ?
Let your Frenchie stay indoors or in the shade when its too hot and sunny outside to prevent them from overheating. Make sure you provide your adorable Frenchie with enough water so they won’t also be dehydrated. Having enough water in the body makes it less likely for your Frenchie to get overheated too.
French Bulldog Back Problems
Bred to be small, Frenchies, like other small dog breeds genetically have back problems that they are born with. Back problems may not be that obvious but they should be taken seriously because they can lead to discomfort, paralysis or even death of your Frenchie. Most, if not all French bulldogs have some sort of abnormality in their spine and early identification of what it is and what needs to be done can be a life saver.
Beware of Hermivertebrae
French bulldogs can be born with a condition known as hermivertibrae. This is a condition wherein a vertebrae comes in an abnormal wedge shape, which then causes the spine to have a twist to it. This is common in a Frenchie’s tail, which is described to be in a corkscrew appearance. If the condition only occurs in the tail, then it may not be fatal and your Frenchie can live with it.
A problem arises when the hermivertebrae is also found on the back. Due to the twist, the spinal cord can be pressed, which disrupts the nerves and can cause paralysis in the lower extremities of your Frenchie. Signs of such condition would include uncontrollable bowel or bladder movement, stiff neck, weakness of legs, and pain.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Another condition affecting the back of a Frenchie is the IVDD or Intervertebral Disc Disease. This condition is characterized by the bulge of the cartilage in between the vertebrae of the spine. In severe conditions, the cartilage may even burst, which results to the absence of a cushion in between the two vertebrae. When that happens, the nerves get pushed by the vertebra causing pain, paralysis and nerve damage.
How to care for your frenchie’s back ?
Frenchies are active and fearless. Too much of their athleticism can worsen their back problem. It is best to limit them from jumping activities or from playing rough with them. Talking them out for a walk is ideal because it gives them the exercise they need while also keeping their weight under control. You should also carefully pick them up and support the spine whenever you want to carry your Frenchie.
Respiratory and snoring health issues.
A snoring Frenchie can level up its cuteness factor but it may also be a sign of a bigger problem. Due to having that cute squished flat face, their respiratory system is affected. They have a difficulty in breathing that is why they make a noise while breathing and they can also snore while sleeping.
Factors That Can Cause Snoring In Frenchies
- Narrow Nostrils – One factor that can cause your Frenchie to snore while sleeping is the size of their nostrils. Frenchies with narrow nostrils don’t only snore but they may also snort. Surgery to enlarge the nostrils is available if it is really needed.
- Longer Soft Palate – Usually, Frenchies have a soft palate that slightly reaches the flap of tissue that covers the dog’s windpipe to prevent food from getting to it. In Frenchies with a longer soft palate, it doesn’t only touch that flap but it may overlap. This results to a snoring sound even when your Frenchie is awake
- Laryngeal Problem – The larynx of your Frenchie can also collapse as a result of the long soft palate. This does not only cause a Frenchie to snore but it can also be a dangerous condition that can prevent air to pass through the respiratory system. Surgery is usually done on the soft palate to prevent it from causing the laryngeal collapse.
How to monitor your frenchie’s snoring ?
Frenchies will naturally snore and it is best to simply make their sleeping area as comfortable as can be. Make sure it is cool and well-ventilated because they already having a difficult time in breathing. It is best to have your Frenchie checked by a vet to especially if you notice that the snoring worsens. The vets can determine whether there is something blocking your Frenchie’s airway. Keeping the Frenchie’s weight under control also helps with the snoring problem because the excess weight can worsen their breathing problem.
French Bulldog Hips Problems
Due to the miniature body of the Frenchie, other parts of the body also gets squished. In the hips, hip dysplasia can occur in many French bulldogs. This is due to the abnormal growth and development of the hip bones and hip joints. Some Frenchies show signs of hip dysplasia as early as 4 months but others may not show signs of it at all until it is too late.
Signs Of Hip Dysplasia
- Inability to stretch
- Lack of body coordination
- Reluctance to walk, jump, run or climb the stairs
- Swaying the rear back and forth while walking
- Inability to stretch
Diagnosis And Treatment
Diagnosis of hip dysplasia is done by the vet through an x-ray and a physical examination. Treatment for the condition varies from one Frenchie to another may involve controlling the Frenchie’s weight, undergoing conditioning exercises, swimming, using heat packs to alleviate the pain, taking in of pain medication and surgery.
How to care for your frenchie puppy’s back ?
The symptoms of hip dysplasia can show-up later on and when it does, it may already be too late because the joint is already degraded. It is important to have your Frenchie undergo annual or semi-annual check-ups to make sure any health condition is diagnosed early.