Common Health Issues in French Bulldogs

Black French Bulldog wearing Pink and Blue Stripes Dog Health Harness

Common health issues in French Bulldogs

Patriotic Frenchies

Did you know that Frenchies are well known of having a long list of genetic and other health issues despite them being one of the healthiest among the “bully” breeds?

French Bulldog and English Bulldog

Medical bills can quickly add up and frenchie owners may struggle to pay vet expenses and eventually surrender their fur baby to a French Bulldog rescue.

Before getting your first Frenchie breed dog

Frenchie mermaid
  • We encourage you to do as much research as possible and explore all possible health issues in the French Bulldog breed.
  • While selecting a good responsible breeder can greatly reduce the risks of major health issues in your Frenchie, you must understand that life does not have guarantees.
  • Breeders usually provide one year health guarantee against major genetic health issues. After the year is up you are pretty much on your own.
  • Frenchies are not cheap! If you are struggling financially to get your first Frenchie you probably  should not get the Frenchie breed.

Here are the most common French Bulldog health issues:

1. Brachycephalic Obstuctive Airway Syndrome

BOAS stands for Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and affects dogs with a smushed face. These dog breeds are popular and include the Frenchie, all types of Bulldogs, Pug, Boxer, Pekingese, Lhasa Apso and the Shih Tzu etc.

While these dogs have an unusually squeezed face, they are loved by many pet owners all over the world. Unfortunately, the physiology of their face predisposes brachycephalic dog breeds to certain health conditions.

While these dogs have an unusually squeezed face, they are loved by many pet owners all over the world. Unfortunately, the physiology of their face predisposes brachycephalic dog breeds to certain health conditions.

What Frenchie owners need to know about BOAS

BOAS is the most common health condition in brachy dogs. The condition is not a single health problem, but can manifest in different forms including:

  • Labored breathing
  • Loud snoring
  • Inability to exercise for a sustained period due to reduced oxygen intake
  • Tendency to suffer from heat stroke because of their inability to pant efficiently

Brachycephalic dogs suffer from all these conditions because of the shape of their head. These dogs have an elongated soft palate which obstructs the windpipe which is very narrow in brachy dogs, cutting off air supply from the outside.

The nostrils are miniature and narrow, severely curtailing the dog’s respiration. The shape and morphology of brachycephalic dog’s throat increases the risk of choking.

Paddy, a 1 year old male English Bulldog, was referred by his usual vets to see Chris Shales, one of Willows soft tissue Specialist surgeons, because his owners had noticed he was having increasing problems with his breathing. Chris found that Paddy had severe airway problems associated with his head shape (a condition known as 'brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome' or BOAS, which affects short nosed breeds of dogs and cats). Chris discussed things with Paddy's concerned owners and it was decided that he should undergo surgery to try to improve his breathing and his quality of life.

During surgery, Chris performed a number of procedures inside Paddy's throat to help to improve the flow of air passing to and from his lungs. The good news is that Paddy recovered well from his surgery and was soon able to go home. Paddy's at his re-check appointment with Chris a week later when he was a much happier (and quieter) boy!

Our personal experience with our Frenchie Bluenjy and BOAS

Bluenjy the Frenchie

Our French Bulldog Bluenjy was diagnosed with BOAS when he was a little over a year old.  We looked at many hospitals and surgeons.

We took him to several surgery consultations until we felt comfortable and confident with the doctor we chose.

We asked success rate of each and every surgeon we saw. Please do not be afraid to ask their success rate as well as how many dogs died in their care. This question alone had a huge impact on the surgeon we ultimately chose.

Problems with Anesthesia -due to their compromised airways, brachys face a higher risk of complication due to anesthesia compared to dogs with normal facial physiology. The reason is the dog cannot get enough oxygen during the anesthetic and while trying to wake up from the procedure.

Many vets feel jittery to perform surgeries on brachys due to the increased risk of something going wrong during and after the operation. If you own a brachy which needs surgery, make sure the veterinary doctor informs you of the risk involved in the procedure and take necessary precautions.

One thing the surgeon or vet will not tell you is that BOAS surgery is not a fix for life. In time BOAS does come back somewhat. The nose and other parts do close up and resort to the genes of the dog.

An owner of a dog with a previous diagnosis of BOAS will never be care free however there are many ways you can help and manage this condition and give your dog the best quality of life possible.

How we innovated our Health Harness

Prior and after surgery we struggled to find a harness that did not choke Bluenjy while walking due to pulling. When using the back D ring in a regular harness the fabric of the neck region would pull him backwards and constricted his neck.

Bluenjy the French Bulldog sniffing flowers

Inspired by our Frenchie for the health and safety of your pet.

On several occasions we noticed Bluenjy choking to stop for air with a cough. We couldn't find a single dog harness on the market that had all the elements we were looking for. We wanted a harness that was suitable for his condition and would support his walking/pulling without choking him.


Bluenjy® Health Harness

We wanted a harness free of plastic, that we felt was strong and secure. Lastly, we wanted a dog harness that was fashionable to accommodate Bluenjy's sense of style.

After months of engineering, trial and error we developed a Health Harness that is vet approved and supports the emotional and physical well being of our Frenchie Bluenjy.

Blue Frenchie eating tacos

Boas surgery in French Bulldogs

Cost of BOAS surgery:

The cost of BOAS surgery will depend on the severity and the obstruction of the dog's airways, however here are some rough numbers:

  • Surgery consultation: $200 to $750
  • Soft palate resection: $500 to $2,000
  • Stenotic nares resection: $200 to $1,200
  • Overnight care: $200 - $750
  • Aftercare: $100 to $500

Not all dogs need overnight supervision. Furthermore there may be other charges associated not mentioned above for instance we had to get a cardiovascular assessment and tests prior to the BOAS surgery which resulted in additional costs.

Is Boas hereditary?

Yes. BOAS can be passed on to puppies and is inherited. This is the reason it is extremely important to find a reputable breeder.

Why is my French bulldog gagging?

Gagging, vomiting or regurgitating in Frenchies or other brachycephalic breeds all describe their inability to digest food and water properly due to the shape of their head. This is one of the most common symptom of BOAS.

BOAS can cause heatstroke

Unlike humans, dogs cannot sweat because they lack sweat glands. The only way dogs release excess body heat is panting. However, brachycephalic dogs have a smaller mouth and inefficient airway, making it difficult for them to dissipate heat.

This weakness makes them susceptible to heat stroke. It is important to know heat stroke can lead to death in brachys, which is why such dogs must never be allowed to become overweight. An overweight brachy dog has more fat that traps in heat, increasing the chances of heat stroke.

Further read: What is the ideal weight of a Frenchie?

Whether you own a French Bulldog, or Lhasa Apso, it is vital to keep your brachy in top shape by exercising the dog regularly, providing healthy and nutritious meals and be on the lookout for any sudden changes in your pet's normal sounds.

How to Keep Your Brachycephalic Dog cool during the Summer

By design, brachycephalic dogs can’t tolerate high temperatures like other breeds with well-shaped skulls. Brachys include breeds such as Bulldogs, Pekingese, Boston Terriers, Pugs and Boxers.

The shape of the skull and nose of these dogs make it difficult for them to breathe effectively and dissipate heat. The result is that brachys tend to overheat quickly, putting them at a higher risk of heatstroke, which can become an emergency. Here, we look at simple ways to cool your brachy dogs during the hot months.

Further read: How to beat the heat with your Frenchie

Don’t Leave Your Brachy Dog Outside

Keeping the dog inside will protect them from the high humidity and heat of the outdoors which increases the risk of dehydration and heatstroke. It might be cool and breezy outside, but make sure your brachy dog stays indoors as much as possible during the summer.


Invest in dog cooling accessories

A cooling mat is an effective way to help your brachy dog cope with the high summer temperatures. You can buy a cooling mat at the store or online at relatively affordable prices.

Alternatively, you can make a simple cooling mat by freezing water and wrapping the frozen water inside a heavy towel. Place the towel in the canine's bed but make sure it does not touch your dog's skin directly.

frenchiestore cooling bandana for frenchie

Dog cooling bandana

If you want an inexpensive and effective cooling accessory you can place directly on your dog you can purchase Frenchiestore cooling bandana.

These pawfect  innovative cooling bandanas are compact, small and effective.  All you have to do is wet it, wring it and place it on your dog. The cooling light mesh fabric will stay cold for hours.

Provide Cold Water

When you get back home from a tiring trek in the sun, the first thing that comes to mind is a refreshing glass of cold water. The same applies to your smushed face pup. During the high heat season, make sure there is always an abundance of cool drinking water in your dog's bowl.

Reduce Physical Activity

While your brachy still needs to exercise during the hot months, you want to reduce the frequency of physical activity to avoid overheating. A good rule of thumb is to monitor the dog's sound.

If the breathing becomes labored or too noisy, let your dog rest immediately. Remember that the head shape of pug face dogs makes it difficult to breath, and physical activity increases the energy needs of the animal. Exercise your brachy during the summer, but in moderation.

Further read: Hiking With Your Frenchie

Get a Pool

Does your Bulldog love spending time outdoors? You can reduce the risk of overheating by providing a kiddie pool to cool down the summer heat. However, the pool must be under a shade and you need to change it whenever it becomes warm or hot. Otherwise, you will end up overheating your adorable pooch.

Invest in a vet approved no choke no pull dog Health Harness

Made by owners who know the struggles of BOAS. This condition affected our family. The Health Harness inspired and created for Bluenjy® has been a life saver for us and many dogs around the world.

Invest in a specially designed Health Harness for dogs diagnosed with BOAS. A regular harness will most likely worsen the dog’s respiratory problems, reducing comfort and causing distress.

Brachycephalic dogs need constant supervision. As a responsible pet owner, know your dog and pay attention to their sounds. Make sure to provide as much comfort and love. Support their physical and mental well being and give them the best quality of life possible. BOAS is not a death sentence, with your help your pooch can live a long and healthy life.

Further read: The Health Concerns of Breeding French Bulldogs

2. Eye challenges in French Bulldogs

Due to the smushed face of brachy dogs, the French Bulldogs eyes have limited socket space. Brachycephalic dogs’ eyes don’t fit their eye socket. Further, the overly exposed eyes of brachycephalic dogs make their eyes dry and irritated frequently.

Any trauma to the head or neck region can cause the dog’s eyes to pop out of the socket, leading to an emergency situation. This is one of the reasons a collar is never recommended for daily walks and could potentially be dangerous especially if your Frenchie dog is a puller.

Checking for a Corneal Ulcer in an English Bulldog

If you own a French Bulldog chances are you dealt with eye ulcer at some point in their life. This is a very common injury since they don't have a nose to protect their eyes.

Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)

Conjunctivitis or pink eye in French Bulldog is an inflamed eye tissue.  Symptoms include but not limited to: swollen eyelid, red eyes, squinting or blinking excessively, discharge from the eyes and rubbing the eyes with paws.

Conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, dry eye, or other irritants. Treatment can include antibiotics in the event of a bacterial infection.

Other eye issues that can be found in the French Bulldog breed:

  • Entropion.
  • Distichiasis.
  • Cataracts.

3. Skin Allergies in the Frenchie

Does your dog itch constantly? Itchiness, hair loss, and general discomfort are symptoms of skin problems & allergies. There are so many different type of skin allergies they can be difficult to identify at times even by a professional vet.

In this blog we look at the five most common skin problems that affect dogs, identify symptoms and solutions to prevent them.

Food Allergies

Food related allergies can cause extreme itching & licking of the paws, itchy ears that can lead to ear hematomas, face, and around the anus of an affected dog, leading to serious discomfort and scooting.

Those allergies and most commonly caused by a protein in the dogs’ food such as chicken and beef. The allergic reaction also can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

To examine if your dog is allergic to a certain food, your vet will create an elimination diet comprising non-allergic foods. Once you identify the food causing allergies in your dog, slowly eliminate it from his/her diet.

Most vetrinarians recommend duck protein as it is the least known protein to cause allergies to dogs by modern medicine. For itchy paws we recommend Iodine foot soak.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis or atopy is an environmental allergy resulting from contact with allergens such as pollen, mold spores, plants, and grass or dust mite among others. Environmental allergies are a common cause of discomfort for many dogs, often requiring a visit to the vet. Brachycephalic dogs are more prone to environmental allergies because of the skin folds and short snout.

As a pet owner, you should always be on the lookout for signs of these allergies. If left untreated, the affected spot can become infected and transform into generalized dermatitis. It is best to prevent these allergies from happening in the first place as they cause great discomfort for your dog. Our hypoallergenic organic PJ's are scientifically known to minimize the environmental allergens. With our clothing you can prevent your dog from direct contact with stressors like grass, plants & pollen.

When your dog comes in contact with environmental allergens, he/she may itch in the face, ears, feet, tummy, and chest. If your dog is sensitive to the environment, you may need to provide medications or steroids, medicated wash or wipes, hypoallergenic clothing, and environmental changes to manage the condition.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

This is the most common skin allergy among dogs and other pets and results from an allergic reaction to a flea’s saliva. Your dog can suffer from this condition even with one flea bite, making it essential to keep your pooch flea-free at all times.

Limit your dogs contact with grass and other dogs whom you may not know, for a more natural remedy please use a shampoo that is gentle and prevents fleas. You can also use anti flea dog collar. In the most extreme situations you might have to visit your vet to get a professional medical opinion.


Ringworm is a fungal infection that causes serious itch on the affected area. The condition is contagious and an infected dog can spread it to other dogs and humans. If you notice circular, crusty bald patches on your dog’s skin, it may be ringworm. Call your vet for advice immediately. You can manage ringworm with oral medications and medicated washes based on the level of infection.


In dogs, dandruff results from skin irritation or excessive skin dryness. If your dog’s diet is lacking in protein and essential fatty acids and other important nutrients, his/her coat may become try, predisposing the animal to dandruff.

If your dog has dandruff, increase his intake of high quality protein and omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for enhanced skin and coat health. Giving your dog supplements like fish oil might help significantly. Breeders also swear by CBD oil and coconut oil. (both considered a natural remedy) Increase water and hydration intake. 

There are several skin problems that can affect your dog. But many of them are preventable with the right precautions. Hypoallergenic clothing made from natural organic 100 percent cotton can help reduce your dog’s contact with environmental stressors irritants and allergens that cause skin problems. 

Iodine foot soak can help with itchy paws and coconut oil is great for the dog’s skin coat and also prevents dry nose. If your dog experiences any extreme allergic reaction please contact your vet immediately.

Itchy paws and your Frenchie

Is your Frenchie seems to be itching licking & biting his/her paws a lot? It even looks like it is an obsession. French Bulldog are the type of breed that  suffer from allergy problems quite often.


The changing seasons can also play a major role in this, so if you are a new Frenchie owner just because your puppy didn't seem to have an issue last summer doesn't mean that allergies won't develop next season.Be sure to be on the look out for any signs or distraught in your Frenchie.

If your dog is exhibiting any of the above mentioned issues you may want to consider a foot-soak.

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian discusses about pets foot soaks.

Mix povidone iodine and water until it looks a bit cloudy, and soak your pup's paws 5 minutes. You can find povidone iodine pretty much anywhere that has a pharmacy or you can get it online.

It kills germs & burns. It's anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, It will NOT irritate your dog in any way and it doesn't stain. A completely safe method to give your dog some relief and comfort!

4. Reverse Sneezing In French Bulldogs

Reverse sneezing in Frenchies is not necessarily a health concern but rather a result of a breed with breathing difficulties. Reverse sneezing also known as a snorting attack is a common phenomenon in dogs and especially French Bulldogs.

In a regular sneeze, your Frenchie pushes air through the nose; in a reverse sneeze air is pulled into the nose.Reverse sneeze is usually triggered byexcitement or stress and may be related to allergies, nasal irritants or nasal inflammation.

It can also be triggered by a viral infections like the common cold or a dog collar pressing against the throat too tightly. It happens more often in small breed dogs (Brachycephalic breeds like pugs and bulldogs)  perhaps because they have smaller throats and windpipes.

Symptoms of reverse sneeze attack

  • Your dog will look distressed.
  • May besnorting or choking.
  • Will have rapid and long inspirations
  • Struggle for air.

 Its important to keep calm and not to panic!!!

Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian discusses reverse sneezing.

A reverse sneezing attack may look scary however, it is not a harmful condition and there are no ill effects. Reverse sneezing attacks are generally quite brief (lasts a minute or two) and not life threatening.

3 Ways to help your Frenchie during reverse sneezing:

    • Persuade your dog to swallow -  this usually helps stop the spasms.You can try placing your fingers over his nostrils for a second or two. Your dog's automatic reaction is to lick, and this is followed by a swallow. A couple of licks will usually resolve the situation.
    • Stimulating saliva. (offer a chew toy, treat or anything that will produce saliva).
    • Stroke or massage your dogs' upper throat area to encourage relaxation and dilation of the trachea.

      Can reverse sneezing kill a dog?

      Your French Bulldog will come out of an attack of reverse sneezing without help and will not suffer permanent damage quite shortly. Just as dogs sneeze intermittently throughout their lives, most dogs have at least a few reverse sneezing episodes during their lives as well.

      In the vast majority of cases, the episodes are temporary and intermittent, resolving on their own, and leave the dog with no aftereffects to be concerned about.

      When should you seek for help?

      If your pet’s reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem, with more frequent or longer in duration episodes we recommend you make an appointment with your vet to rule out things that could be serious and life threatening.

      If your Frenchie is experiencing bloody or yellow discharge from the nose, or any other accompanying respiratory problems, it’s time to make an appointment with your veterinarian.

      How do I stop my French bulldog from reverse sneezing in the future?

      To minimize the chances of a future snorting attack episode try to be as cool and calm around your dog as possible. Excitement can be a major trigger when it comes to sneezing attacks in Frenchies.

      5. Bad odor in Frenchies

      We all love kissing our French Bulldog however if your dog has bad breath kissing your dog would be the last thing on your agenda. Foul odor can indicate a health issue in your Frenchie so it is best to do your research, be well informed, treat the cause and prevent it from happening in the future.

      Causes of Bad Dog Breath:

      • Oral Hygiene - The most common reason of awful breath in mutts is due to oral cleanliness. Just as human beings, the development of plaque and tartar can prompt bad breath. A lot of plaque and tartar can push the gums from the teeth, uncovering new microscopic organisms. This arouses the canine's gums, and can prompt gum disease, and discharge. Obviously, it will come with incredibly, terrible breath.
      • Dietary Habits - where has your dog been? Dogs once in a while will get into things they shouldn't have such as: drink from a toilet, get into trash and even eat their own feces.  Some pooches eat the feces of other canines, a condition called coprophagia. In addition to the fact that this is foul, it is incredibly unhygienic. The above will cause awful breath in dogs  and every so often even make them sick.
      • Diabetes -If your Frenchie's awful breath has a sweet or fruity smell to it, you should see your veterinarian. Sweet, fruity breath is an indication of diabetes.
      • Kidney Disease -If your Frenchie's awful breath has a has a pee scent to it, you should see your vet. This can be an indication of kidney disease.
      • Liver Disease -If your French Bulldog's gums have a yellow tinge it may indicate of liver issues and you need to see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
      • Infected or blocked anal sac gland -can produce a foul smell. 
      • Fish Oil -can have a fishy smell linger around your Frenchie's mouth.
      • Facial Folds -can produce a bad smell if not cleaned daily.
      • Ear Infections -like any other infection can produce a bad odor and needs immediate medical attention.
      • Paw licking -can cause odors especially is the paw is injured.

      Treating your French Bulldog's Bad Breath

      As critical as it is to apprehend the underlying issues of your Frenchie's breath, what we really need to understand is why it is happening and how we can prevent it.

      Curing awful dog breath relies upon the cause. If plaque, tartar, and periodontal disorder are the cause of your canine’s awful breath, then you may need an appointment with your veterinarian to check if your French Bulldog is a candidate for a dental cleansing.

      Your veterinarian may run blood work and other tests to be certain your Frenchiecan endure anesthesia. Your vet will also rule out other potential reasons such as diabetes, kidney, and liver sickness that may contribute to your dog’s terrible breath.

      Once the underlying problem is identified your dog’s bad breath should be resolved.

      Prevent bad breath in Frenchie puppies

      The most effective manner to prevent bad breath in your Frenchie puppy is to brush the dog's teeth on a regular basis. Tooth brushing reduces plaque and promotes higher oral hygiene.

      With a bit of training most puppies learn to adjust to having their teeth brushed. Offering your canine with plenty of chew toys can also be helpful.  Chewing prevents plaque and tartar construct-up and relieves boredom, maintaining your dog healthy and happy.

      Smaller dogs may require extra dental care than large dog breeds as they are more prone to periodontal disease, according to the akc health foundation.

      Smaller breeds have a tendency to have teeth that are closer together, which promotes plaque and tartar build-up, so make certain you provide them with lots of bite toys from a younger age and brush their enamel frequently.

      Feeding your Frenchie a well balanced diet and providing plenty of exercise will prevent health issues like diabetes.

      There are different oral health products apart from dog toothpaste in the marketplace. Talk in your veterinarian about the options and what is best for your French Bulldog.

      Homemade Dog Treats for Bad Breath Recipe

      Do you dream of the day when you can snuggle Fido without having to smell his stinky breath? There are a lot of products on the market that can help stop foul breath. If you're looking for a cheaper, healthier alternative to commercial products, try these homemade dog treats for bad breath.

      Why does my canine smell like fish?

      When was your dog's anal sac gland checked? It is possible your Frenchie has an infected or blocked anal sac gland. If the anal sac(s) are not operating properly, the fluid builds up inside those glands and might result in a foul smell. 

      What are anal sacs glands?

      Despite the fact they are usually known as anal glands, they're technically not glandular in structure. Anal sacs are small sacs located on both aspect of the anus between the inner and outside anal sphincter muscular tissues. (we are able to spare you a image, but you can google it)

      Anal sacs will certainly empty on their own during a bowel movement. There are instances, however, that they may not function the way they were supposed to and turn into bags of fluid.

      If your dog has been experiencing watery stools or diarrhea chances are that no sufficient strain is being applied and the sac can possibly get full.

      A tell tell sign your Frenchie's anal glands are full:

      A fishy smell may not be the most effective and only sigh that your French Bulldog has a full anal sac(s). Another sign that you could watch out for is your canine dragging his or her bum throughout the floor.

      We've all seen it before and even though this may seem funny to some, it is probably a sign that your dog is stricken by a blocked anal sac and is experiencing pain.

      Other signs your French Bulldog's anal sac glands might be blocked

      • A foul odor.
      • Butt scooting or sitting awkward and uncomfortably.
      • Red accompanied by swelling around the anus.
      • Dog scratching or nipping at the rear.

      Are blocked anal gland sacs in French Bulldogs dangerous?

      A full anal sac(s) can inflict bodily pain on your Frenchie making him or her act out of the ordinary.  If a full anal sac is a reoccurring occasion and left untreated it may cause an infection on your dog. If you notice blood or puss mixed in along with your canine’s fecal, please discuss with your veterinarian.

      What can be done to relief a dog's blocked anal gland?

      Proper diet and regular exercise is key.  As referred to above, a healthy bowel movement is greatly affected by your Frenchies' diet. If your canine’s stool is continuously watery it will prevent the draining of the anal gland correctly.

      You can try increasing your dog's fiber intake if the stool is not firm enough. Raw food diet may help your dog to have a ordinary bowel movement.

      Treating your French Bulldog allergies to prevent anal gland infections.

      If your French Bulldog gets sufficient amount of exercise and has healthy bowel movements, but still experiencing blocked anal glands, you might want to consider allergies.

      Your likely wondering, how do allergic reactions causes my Frenchie to have a blocked anal gland? Allergies are a reaction of the immune system when it releases histamines that cause swelling and infection.

      The swelling and infection precipitated from hypersensitive reactions and can cause your dogs anal glands to become blocked and inflamed.

      If your dog suffers from a blocked anal gland,we recommend seeing your vet. There are natural remedies you can try but we suggest you first see a vet to rule our other causes.

      Visit your vet

      Your veterinarian can manually empty your dog's glands. Although this method will work in emptying the gland, it does not solve the issue of why the gland didn't empty on its own in the first place.

      Your vet will help you identify the core issue until it is resolved. In some cases with  chronic anal gland blockage, you may choose to surgically remove the gland.

      Why does my French Bulldog's breath smell like fish?

      It is possible that a blocked anal gland can cause a fishy smell in your Frenchie's mouth indirectly. A natural response of your Frenchie dog would be to bite and lick their rear ends in an attempt to relieve the discomfort due to a blocked gland.

      As gross as it may sound some fluid in the anal sac can release onto your Frenchie's tongue or mouth which can ultimately affect their breath.

      How can I treat my French Bulldog's Fish Breath?

      Treating the source will fix the bad breath in your Frenchie.  If the source is stemming from a blocked anal gland you need to treat the condition in order to see improvement.

      Are you giving your Frenchie fish oil supplements?

      Fish oil can have great health benefits for your French Bulldog however giving it to your dog does come with a fish breath price. Your Frenchie dog or puppy just like humans do and with that may come the foul linger fish smell.

      Good Frenchie oral hygiene may be helpful in preventing fish breath.

      Brushing your French Bulldogs teeth on a daily basis will prevent plaque and tartar and prevent any bad odors coming out of your dog's mouth.

      DIY DENTAL DOG TREATS | Dental Chews

      These diy fresh breath treats or homemade greenies for your dog are a great way to promote dental health

      Your Frenchie's diet can play a role in fish breath

      What do you feed your French Bulldog? You should check your dog food ingredients to see if it contains fish products. If you see omega-3 or omega-6 then there is a good possibility that it contains fish product.

      Other ingredients to look for that might cause fish smell in dogs:

      • Fish oil
      • Fishmeal
      • Docosahexaenoic acid
      • Eicosapentaenoic acid.

      Things to consider before you change your Frenchie's food:

      You should do your research before switching your French Bulldog's diet. Please keep in mind that although fish products may cause your Frenchie's bad breath, food that contains fish ingredients supports healthy cell growth.

      In addition, some French Bulldogs suffer from various food allergies and a fish base protein diet may be the best option for them.

      Kidney and liver failure in a Frenchie can cause fishy smell

      If you have done your research and have not been able to get to the bottom of your French Bulldog's fishy breath, then we suggest getting your pup checked by a vet to rule out kidney and liver failures.

      Do French Bulldog’s Smell More Than Other Breeds?

      A Frenchie's delicate stomach and breathing/snorting and scarfing food can be a recipie for gas and bad odors. On top of that the Frenchie's facial folds can have a bad odor if not cleaned daily.

      Easy DIY dog treats that will give your pup fresh breath

      These DIY dog treats will keep your furry friend happy AND healthy

      Why Does My French Bulldog Smell?

      Here are the most common reasons your French Bulldog might smell bad:

      • Facial folds - should be the first thing you check. Moisture is trapped in the French Bulldog's skin folds and needs daily cleaning. If cleaning is neglected a yeast infection can easily develop. Your vet might recommend medical wipes.
      • Ear infections - an ear infection, like any infection can be smelly. Check your dog's ears for any discharge or redness and visit your vet if you see anything abnormal.
      • Paws - irritated or injured paws can get a little smelly. Check their paws carefully to see if that’s the source of any bad smell. It is a natural response for your Frenchie to lick his or her paw after injuring it and causing a bad breath.

      How often should I wash my French Bulldog?

      You do not need to give your Frenchie a bath two times a week. In fact washing your Frenchie so often might wash their natural protective layer off. Your dog's natural oils keep them clean and free of infections.

      Say bye to your French Bulldog's smelly breath by setting up an appointment with your vet to discuss the causes and treatment options. Prevention is the best course of action so be persistent and mindful of your dog's oral hygiene.

      6. Patellar luxation in French bulldogs:

      Patellar luxation is one of the leading causes of lameness in dogs. Although it is rarely caused by injury, it can result in significant pain and suffering for your pet if allowed to degenerate. It is important to get the condition checked right away by your vet as this condition will only get worse in time, not better as some may believe.

      In order to help you understand just what patellar luxation is and what risks it holds for your dog, we decided to create this guide. It explains exactly what you need to know about the meaning, causes and symptoms of patellar luxation in dogs and French Bulldogs in particular and how to treat this condition.

      What is patellar luxaion in dogs?

      Patellar luxation occurs when a dog’s patella slides out of place in the knee, usually far to one side or the other. It is also referred to as a "trick knee". The term is made up of two separate words: patella and luxation. The patella is simply a dog’s kneecap.

      Every dog has two knee caps, one on each rear leg. Luxating on the other hand means “out of place” or “dislocation”. Ordinarily, a dog’s patella sits at the front of the stifle joint, what passes for a dog’s knee joint.  

      When it functions properly, the patella should ride smoothly in a groove along the femur which allows better joint flexibility and leverage for the knee. But when the groove is too shallow, it can cause the patella to slide out of place and move to one side or the other.

      When the patella slips out of the femoral groove and rests on the inner side of the dog’s leg, it is regarded as a medial luxation. When it rests on the outside, it is a lateral luxation.

      The disease is most commonly associated with young dogs, but it often only becomes evident as the dog grows. According to Prevalence studies the disease occurs more in female dogs than male dogs and may be seen in cats as well.

      What are the different grades of patterlar luxation in Frenchies and what do they mean?

      Patellar luxation in dogs usually occurs in grades. These grades determine the seriousness of the affliction and how much treatment the dog is likely to need. There are generally four grades.

      • Grade I -  for this grade of the disease, your dog may only exhibit minor symptoms that will be difficult to discern. At this point, the patella can be manually moved out of normal position but it will return when released.
      • Grade II -  at this point, the patella will luxate when the dog flexes the stifle (knee joint) or on manual manipulation. It will however return to its normal position after the stifle is extended or if it is manually returned. So, the dog will only be occasionally lame at this stage.
      • Grade III - when the condition is at this stage, the patella will be continually dislocated. Even though it is manually replaced, it will move out of its normal position when manual pressure is removed.
      • Grade IV - this last grade will be diagnosed when the patella luxates continually and can no longer be manually replaced. The dog will appear permanently lame and will most probably need surgery.

       What dog breeds are prone to luxating patellas?

      As patellar luxation is basically hereditary, it is useful to know if your dog is one of those associated with the disease. The dog breeds prone to the disease include the following:

      • French Bulldog (or a Frenchie )
      • Other Bulldog types (such as English Bulldog, Australian Bulldog American Bulldog etc...)
      • Poodle
      • Jack Russell Terrier
      • West Highland White Terrier
      • Pomeranian
      • Chihuahua
      • Lhasa Apso
      • Shit-tzu
      • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
      • Bichon
      • Pug
      • Yorkshire Terrier

      What are the causes of pattellar luxation in French bulldogs?

      Studies indicate that patellar luxation is mostly genetic or congenital, with dog breeds passing them down from generation to generation. It rarely happens due to trauma or injury to the dog’s knee.

      It is a developmental disorder that results in prevention of an adequately deep and wide femoral groove. This is usually caused because the dog has a patella ligament that is attached too far inward. The patella ligament runs from the bottom of the patella to the tibia.

      When the thigh muscles, which are attached to the top of the patella contract, it pulls the patella ligament which then straightens the knee joint.When it is attached too far inward, it causes the patella to pull against the femoral groove. After a while, the constant movement will wear down the groove and cause the patella to luxate.

      How do you know if your Frenchie or dog has luxating patella?

      Depending on what stage your dog’s patella luxation has degenerated to, you may be able to tell if they have the disease.Unfortunately, it’s quite unlikely that you’ll find out until the patella has started to dislocate.

      You can usually tell from your dog’s sitting posture or how the dog walks. Due to the pain cause by the dislocated patella, an affected dog’s movement would be accompanied by a hopping motion.

      Eventually, the dog may refuse to put any weight on the leg, holding it permanently off the ground.If both legs are affected, the dog may move in a permanently crouched gait or may even walk with both legs off the ground.

      What happens if you don't treat your dog's luxating patella?

      Untreated patellar luxation in dogs can lead to severs disability, it will not improve with time as some may assume. Every time the patella dislocates, it damages the cartilage lining the inside of the joint, leading osteoarthritis.

      This will also cause your dog a lot of pain. Continuous rubbing of the patella on the outside of the groove will eventually expose bone and this can lead to infection. In puppies, serious deformation of the limb can occur from the constant dislocation.

      In all dogs, the continually abnormal position of the patella will eventually destabilize the knee and cause a rupturing of the cranial cruciate ligament.

      What are the treatment options for luxating patella in pets?

      Thankfully, it is possible to treat patellar luxation in dogs and cats. You may consider natural remedies which may include supplements and physical therapy or invasive treatment such as surgery. It is important to mention that you may not have many options if your dog’s condition has degenerated far enough.

      Homeopathic treatment for luxating patella in dogs

      It is possible for you to adopt homeopathic, alternative medicine non-surgical treatment and care if your dogs' condition is still mild.

      You can try a range of natural remedies including but not limited to:

      • Weight management- ensure that your dog is not overweight. Excess weight will stress the dog's joints and allow arthritic changes to the knee happen much faster.
      • Adopt a raw or homemade diet - for your dog which will greatly help improve cartilage and joint condition of your dog.
      • Give your dog glucosamine and chondroiton supplements to help improve the cartilage and potentially joint fluid.
      • You could also try acupuncture from a veterinarian that specializes in treating knee conditions.

      Invasive - surgical treatment for luxating patella in dogs

      For cases from grade 3 to 4  you may be limited on treatment options other than surgery. When done correctly, and early enough, surgery will help rehabilitate your dog’s knees and repair any damage to the ligaments.

      Surgery will ordinarily entail moving the patella ligament and fixing it to the proper position. The femoral groove will also be deepened so the patella will stay in place. The capsule around the knee will also be tightened.

      Did you know?  Frenchiestore helps dogs worldwide one harness at a time.Since January 2019 we have launched the Frenchiestore Back 2 Health Program which gives one free Health Harness to any dog that is recovering from surgery, going through physical therapy, water therapy or any other health related issues.

      Can you prevent your Frenchie dog from developing luxating patellas?

      Unfortunately, patellar luxation in dogs is genetic and difficult to prevent. Although exercise can help prevent or reduce the impact on the dog’s knees but it may not prevent the condition. Keep your dog's weight down with the proper amount of exercise and diet to give your pet the best chance at a healthy pain free life.

      7. IVDD in Frenchie

      This is one of the congenital diseases that effects the spinal cord over time even though this may not be apparent. IVDD stands for Intervertebral Disc Disease and it mainly affects dogs with abnormally short legs, like Dachshunds or French Bulldogs etc. (long list below) .

      The disease occurs when the intervertebral discs between vertebrae rupture and burst into the spinal cord space. This causes the discs to press on nerves that run through the spinal cord, leading to paralysis.

      In most cases of IVDD the dog appears to be completely healthy and then the next day in acute pain. This is due to a degenerative process of a disc that has already been weakened by IVDD gradually. Any jump or fall of the dog can damage the spinal vertebrae severely and suddenly.

      IVDD symptom of disc hardening can cause disc bulges and compression the spinal cord. In addition to the possibility of paralysis, the compression the spinal cord and nerves may impair bladder and bowel control.

      How to express my dog's bladder?

      Watch this video brought to you by South Paws Veterinary Surgical Specialists


      When you are inexperienced in expressing your dog's bladder it is recommended you do so often (5 times daily). Once you become familiar with the process and able to empty your dog's bladder completely you can move to three times a day which is the typical sufficient amount for a normal dog.

      IVDD symtoms in French Bulldogs:

      • Paralysis which is the most obvious sign.
      • Lowered head when standing, knuckling under, dragging back legs, impaired gait, incontinence.
      • Stiffness back, limbs neck, back/muscle spasms.
      • Howling, whining, barking, screaming.
      • Weakness, pain, sensitivity to touch.

      Figure 1: Normal Canine Spine              Figure 2: Canine Spine with IVDDHill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.  Figure 1: Normal Canine Spine Figure 2: Canine Spine with IVDD

      What breeds are more prone to IVDD?

      • Bassett Hounds.
      • Beagles.
      • All Bulldog type: French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs.
      • Corgis.
      • Cocker Spaniels.
      • Dachshunds.
      • Pekingese.
      • Poodles.
      • Pugs.
      • Shih Tzus.

      Please note - Overweight dog of any breed is more likely to get IVDD. Also there are other breeds that are susceptible to IVDD even though they are not a small breed such as German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers and Doberman Pinschers. It is important to remember IVDD can happen to any dog and is not breed or size specific.

      Diagnosis of IVDD:

      Diagnosis tests by your vet may include the following:

      • Thorough neurological exam.
      • Imaging - X-rays, myelogram, CT scan, MRI etc.

      IVDD Treatment:

      The treatment course will depend on the severity of the injury. Treatment for mild to moderate injury may be limited to steroids injections and anti inflammatory medications for pain reduction and swelling as well as crate rest.

      In dogs with severe injury a surgery may be the only option. Surgery has better success rates if the dog is taken to a vet right away (within 24 hours) and has not lost the ability to walk prior to surgery. The prognosis is not optimal for a dog that became completely paralyzed prior to surgery.

      Physical rehabilitation or water therapy is often recommended post op. If the surgery is not successful your vet will most likely recommend a dog wheelchair. A wheelchair can give your dog a healthy and happy life.


      How do you prevent IVDD in your French Bulldog?

      We recommend the following in order to minimize the risks of IVDD:

      • Keep your dog at a healthy weight.
      • Use the Health Harness with dual leash attachments to reduce neck and back stress and pressure that traditional collars and harnesses create.
      • Do not allow jumping on and off furniture, if your dog insists please get ramps or steps to minimize jumping.
      • Do not use stairs. Use elevators if possible or carry your dog. Alternatively use a dog carrier.
      • A back brace might be an excellent investment to minimize the risks.

      Other spine issues that can be found in the French Bulldog breed:

      • Hemivertebrae.
      • Degenerative Myelopathy

      8. Deafness in French Bulldogs

      Deafness in Frenchies can be congenital (present since birth) due to genetic issues or develop during time. Frenchie puppies as young as 6 weeks old can be tested for deafness with the BAER test. Deafness that is congenital exists more in white or merle coated dogs due to a piebald gene.

      Symptoms of deafness in Frenchies

      • Unresponsive to sounds.
      • Not woken up easily.
      • Startle or jump easily.
      • No head tilt and no movement of the ears.
      • No barking - this could be different from dog to dog.
      • Confused - looking at your hands or eyes to see what you want.

      How to wake up a deaf dog

      There is so much wrong information of how to wake up a deaf dog it is unbelievable. You do not want to ever wake up a deaf dog with a touch. Start with light taps on the floor and call their name. They can still feel vibrations when you speak. Slowly increase the tapping and become louder as you go.

      This always works like a charm. You don't ever want to wake up a deaf dog abruptly.  The deaf pooch will feel vibrations from the floor signaling for him/her to slowly wake up. If your dog doesn't wake up immediately take your time and increase the taps.

      This is the absolutely the best method to wake deaf dogs up. Do not touch the dog whatsoever. Any abrupt movement could cause panic anxiety or worse, a heart attack.

      Training your deaf Frenchie:

      You have to be consistent with hand signals. Do the same signal every time you want your do to do the same thing and reward when your dog does it.

      Check in method

      You can train them to walk off leash with the "check in" method. Start in a fully fenced area to ensure safety and slowly teach your dog to check in with you every couple of minutes. Also use the same area to teach your dog to walk besides you.

      We would still never recommend walking off leash with your deaf dog in an open non-fenced area however, this will give your dog the framework to know what to do in case he/she accidentally gets off leash in a public space.

      9. Cleft Palate in French Bulldog puppies

      Cleft palates in Frenchie puppies is a genetic disorder that is noticeable with an abnormal opening between the nasal passages and the roof of the mouth.

      Symptoms of a French Bulldog puppy with a cleft palate :

      • Runny nose
      • Pneumonia
      • Coughing
      • Lack of appetite  or difficulty in eating.
      • Slow growth & weight loss

      10. French Bulldogs and Dysplasia

      This may be hip or elbow dysplasia. The hip condition occurs when your dog’s hip joints are improperly formed. Usually, the hip is formed of a ball and socket joint that should fit perfectly together. But due to this condition, the ball is either irregularly shaped or the socket is too shallow, keeping the ball and socket from fitting perfectly. The condition can only be inherited.

      Recognizing Hip Dysplasia in Dogs

      Learn about Hip Dysplasia in dogs. Dr. Anthony Cambridge, who is board certified in veterinary surgery, talks about what Hip Dysplasia is and how to recognize if you dog has this problem.

      How can you tell if your dog has a mobility problem?

      There are signs that you can look out for, however, the plain truth of it is that it is often difficult to tell until the condition has become pronounced. This is because dogs are naturally stoic.

      They rarely show pain or discomfort until they are really suffering. Thankfully, vets have become attuned to the natural behavior of dogs, so they can tell much earlier if your dog has a problem.

      Warning signs:

      • Changes in your Frenchie's eating habits
      • Changes in your French Bulldog's movement habits.
      • Have you noticed any changes in your dog’s play habits? Is he or she more reluctant to play fetch?
      • Has there been any change in how your dog interacts with family members or other dogs?
      • Do you notice any change in your dog’s personality? Pain can make your dog exhibit aggressive/sad behavior.

      If you notice any of these symptoms, get your dog to be seen by his/her vet. If there is nothing wrong, you can relax knowing that your dog is okay. If you find a problem, you can be thankful that you discovered it early enough.

      How are dog mobility problems diagnosed?

      The vet will first examine your dog’s movement to test mobility, response to reflex tests and ability to feel pain in his or her legs. They may use a special x-ray called a myelogram to check the spinal cord for irregularities with the vertebrae.

      They will go over the history of your dog with you, as this can provide pointers as to what may likely be wrong. They will also carry out some tests to try and isolate the specific problem. Such tests may include a complete diagnostic blood test, urinalysis and biochemistry profile.

      These will help the vet determine if there are any infections or imbalances causing or contributing to the mobility issues.

      How can mobility issues affect your dog?

      There are many that consider lameness in a dog to be the beginning of the end but it most definitely does not have to be that way. Dogs are resilient and will find a way even if they cannot walk, sit, lie or stand well.

      It is important to mention that if mobility issues left untreated, the conditions may progress and eventually lead to paralysis.

      Terms of paralysis:

      • Tetraplegia - inability to move all four legs
      • Paraplegia -  inability to move rear legs
      • Paresis - partial paralysis.

      What are the treatment options for mobility problems in dogs?

      Thankfully, the conditions that lead to mobility problems in dogs are not irreversible in all cases. Even the ones caused by birth defects can be managed properly, and even treated. The following are some treatment options for your dog’s mobility problems:

      • Medication: This usually consists of dietary supplements such as glucosamine, Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin C. They will help provide the raw materials for cartilage repair.
      • Physical therapy: Methods such as hydrotherapy, therapeutic massage, acupuncture and acupressure can help. This will be especially helpful to relieve pain for arthritis and conditions caused by neurological disorders. Therapeutic tools like harnesses, wheelchairs and slings may come in handy.
      • Surgery: Conditions such as malignant tumors, dysplasia and some severe cases of arthritis and IVDD may require surgery.
      • Natural remedies: The best natural remedy for your dog is physical exercise. Especially for conditions such as arthritis, you want to work on managing your dog’s weight. You can also apply non-toxic essential oils like chamomile and peppermint for senior dogs.

      Helping your dog recover

      After undergoing treatment for mobility issues, you can help your dog bounce back stronger by taking the following recovery measures:

      • If you have slippery floors, use area rugs to help your dog achieve better traction.
      • Skid-proof socks can also help them walk better in the house.
      • Keep your dog’s nails properly trimmed.
      • Food and water should always be within easy reach, preferably elevated.
      • Keep your house temperature moderate.
      • You can get a doggy ramps to help your dog reach beds and sofa without risks of injuries.
      • Use elevator instead of stairs. If no elevator exists pick your dog up or use a carrier.
      • Use a dog stroller when needed.
      • Use the Health Harness made especially for dogs with mobility issues. The dual D ring attachments help relive back pressure that a standard harness causes.
      • Invest in a back brace to minimize any further injury to your dog.

      11. Von Willebrand’s Disease in French Bulldogs

      Von Willebrand’s Disease is a congenital (present since birth) , chronic bleeding disorder. Mild to moderate cases in French Bulldogs does not usually affect their quality of life and your Frenchie will not need special care. In more severe cases French Bulldogs may require blood transfusions due to uncontrollable bleeding.


        How can I prevent genetic problems in my French Bulldog puppy?
        • Find an ethical and reputable breeder - the above health concerns are the reasons why breeders must continue to find ways of improving the health and well-being of French bulldogs. A responsible breeder will do all necessary genetic testing to ensure quality and healthy Frenchie puppies.
        • You must understand that while selecting a good responsible breeder can greatly reduce the risks of major health issues of your French Bulldog, however, life does not have guarantees.
        • Invest in pet health insurance - When it comes to a breed that is prone to so many health problems investing in pet health insurance is a smart option.

        After learning all the potential health issues your Frenchie may have, do you think a French Bulldog is the right breed for you?

        1 Response


        December 15, 2020

        I’m looking for a new little guy to bring joy in to me and my girlfriend home and be a part of are family

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