Health and Care

Health and Care
Being Owned
French Bulldog Kingdom

By Constance Parker
Testing Canines for genetic diseases since 1982

Allergy | Anesthesia | Anal sacsEarsExercise | Eyes | Food | Heartworm | Heat | Hips |  | Nose | Genetic | | Skin | Wrinkles


Dogs can have Allergies which are an abnormal immune reaction by the body to everyday substances. These substances, called allergens, can be pollen molds, house dust, hair, feathers, insects (fleas), food and chemicals. Special skin tests may be required to determine the type of dermatitis present. Proper diagnosis is important for proper treatment.

Allergies can occur at any age. In my opinion, Allergic problems tend to be inherited. The common signs of allergy are:  continuous licking and chewing of the foot, rubbing the face, trying to rub the ears (inflammation of the ear), and watery eyes.

The four major categories of allergy are flea allergy, airborne allergy, food allergy, and contact allergy.

See also Skin

General anesthesia in French Bulldogs

General anesthesia in French Bulldogs is best given under intubation : This will be updated when Constance gets the time.

The current trend in veterinary medicine is to replace halothane by isoflurane.

Advantages of isoflurane. over halothane include:
  • Slightly faster inductions and recoveries,
  • Lowered incidence of cardiac arrhythmia's,
  • Better maintenance of cardiac output,
  • No metabolism, with less potential for toxicity (such as halothane hepatitis).

Disadvantages of isoflurane over halothane:

  • Much more expensive,
  • More respiratory depression."

Anal sacs

The anal sacs are located on each side of the anus, just under the skin. They open to the outside by tiny passageways or ducts. Glands within the anal sacs produce a dark, foul smelling substance. The sacs normally empty as the animal has bowel movement. My vets states that the purpose is unknown and your dog could do well without them. Diseases of the anal sacs fall into 3 categories:

  1. Impaction : the fluid is abnormally thick and has to be removed manually;
  2. Infection : bacteria which may make a yellow or bloody pus;
  3. Abscessation :

You can tell if your dog may have anal sacs disease if he or she drags their anus on the floor), excessive licking under the tail, tenderness near tail and anus, and/or bloody or sticky drainage from the anal area. Scooting may also be caused by allergic itchiness, tapeworms or diarrhea.

Important points in treatment

  1. Treatment for anal sac disease may include the following:
    • squeezing the anal the sacs manually and expelling the contents,
    • having your vet flush the sacs and put antibiotics into them,
    • last but not least to have them surgically drained or remove the sacs.
  2. You should notify the doctor if any of the following occur:
    • your pet is stops eating,
    • your pet becomes depressed, listless or lethargic,
    • anus becomes swollen and there is drainage,
    • constantly licking anus,
    • vomiting.

Ear cleaning

A dog's ear canals are longer than ours and typically produce more wax. They tend to get infected more often, particularly in breeds with floppy and/or hairy ears.

To reduce the chance of ear infection beginning clean them on a regular basis with the cleansing agent prescribed by the vet.

Warning: Do not use Q-Tips in the canal as you may pack debris into the canal and damage the ear drum. Q-Tips may be used to clean the folds of the ear flap.

  1. A bit of prevention goes a long way towards keeping your pet's ears clean and healthy.


French Bulldogs need room for growing, particularly the hips and their articulations.

Avoid while the French Bulldog is young:  forced jumping exercises, stairs, jumping up on beds,  because vertical movements can give increased pressure on the surfaces of the cartilage of the articulations and consecutively hypersecretion of articular fluid and damage of the intra-articular cartilage. Swollen and painful articulations could follow, with deformation of the position of the legs. French Bulldogs may be considered as young, until they are around 18 months. 


I have CERF'ed the French Bulldog for nearly 10 years and have found some lines tend to have 2 puntae instead of the 4 they are suppose to have.  This can cause excessive tearing.  This is one good reason to CERF before breeding to make sure you do not double up on bad genes.  As far as the breed itself there have been a few cases of  PPM, one documented and 1 not on record.  This type of non-documentation only hurts the breed.  

I was really shocked to see the numbers  of Retinal Folds in the French Bulldog breed.  Depending on the type of fold your dog has in his or her eye could cause blindness.  Geographical Folds are all over the eye and can eventually cause blindess.

CERF'ing the French Bulldog is the only way to make sure we rid the breed of these problems.


A French Bulldog should be fed a quality brand of dry or all natural meat diet.  It is up to you as the owner, breeder to decide what type of diet you will feed.  What is good for one may be awful for another.

Genetic disease predisposition

Luxating Patella,  hip dysplasia, Hemivertibrae, transitional vertebrae are just a few things that plague our breed.   Cataracts seem to plague the French Bulldog I was told once by a very well respected breeder, but we seem to be moving away from that.  Being a Brady Cephalic breed, we have to stay cooled because of that short face.  The French Bulldog, does not do well as a yard dog, they will quickly over heat and have a heat stroke or drop dead.


Heartworm disease is a deadly disease caused by the parasite Dirofilaria Immitis.  The symptoms of Heartworm disease are weakness, fatigue, chronic cough, loss of appetite and weight loss.

Fortunately, Heartworm disease is preventable with a once a month or daily medication. This treatment kills the immature parasite before they become adults and cause heart damage.

Never give Heartworm medication without a test. It will be fatal to your French Bulldog.


French Bulldogs are very sensitive to overheating. Never leave them alone in a car. Avoid exercise during the hot summer period. If your dog shows signs of overheating, wipe him with wet, fresh towels, fan him and give him some fresh water.


In general, most of the French Bulldogs have ok hips. Bitches, X-rayed in order to see how many puppies, show small opening of the pelvic ring, which means that there is not room enough for the pups to come out. Some bitches sometimes have problems because of their pelvic ligaments being more rigid and less relaxed than in young bitches.

Hip Dysplasia denotes an abnormal development of the hip joint(s).   Most osteo-arthritis of the hip can be traced to some form of hip dysplasia. Vascular changes in the bony structures of the hip at least, but whether the causes of these changes are pre-natal or post-natal is not clear.

In general, it is thought that hip dysplasia is hereditary in the dog, although opinions vary (due to a recessive factor or due to a dominant factor with irregular penentrance.) Comparing the spread of hip dysplasia in many breeds, the French Bulldogs doing quite well. With careful breeding and hoping that the breed will not become a fashion breed, the French Bulldog has a healthy future.


From time to time you can put a little vaseline on the nose of your French Bulldog in order to avoid it from becoming dry.   The nose of any breed of dog may be cool and or wet, but you want to be aware of the warm dry nose, this may mean that your pet is not well and you should take temp and then call the vet.



Demodex canis is a host specific (i. e. only affecting dogs) mite, situated in the hairfolicles and sebum glands. This mite develops in 20 to 35 days from egg, over larva and nympha stadia until its adult form. Many dogs are latent carriers, without showing symptoms. Immunological deficiency can make individuals more susceptible. Although demodex can infect dogs of all ages, but is mostly seen in young dogs under 9 months of age.

Diagnosis is made by a deep skin scratch under the microscope. Eggs, larvae, nymphae or adult forms prove the problem of Demodicosis.

There are of two kinds:

  • local Demodicosis: with lesions on the head and legs.
    generalized form: with (head, legs, and body, and often illness.)

Your vet will determine the treatment for your dog .


Sometimes tear stains might develop in the folds of the skin on the face. First determine if the cause of tearing is normal (see Eyes). Clean the wrinkles with hydrogen peroxide (10 vol.) to prevent infection (be careful not to touch the eyes). You should seek the advice of a Veterinarian when in doubt.

One should always seek the advice of a Veterinarian when having questions about their French Bulldog or any breed.  Never assume something will work for your dog just because it did on the dog down the street etc.......

Constance Parker

God Bless America, United We Stand