The cute little French Bulldog (also called the Frenchie) is experiencing a huge jump in popularity. According to the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular US dog breeds, the French Bulldog rose from number 11 in 2003 all the way up to 4th most popular breed in 2017.
But if you’re considering getting a French Bulldog as your next pet, you might want to check out this in-depth study of the health disorders found in the UK French Bulldog population. The authors of the study report that the Frenchie is now the 2nd most commonly registered pedigree in the UK, but they warn that this breed suffers from some serious health conditions, many of them genetic.
The study found that 72.4% of Frenchies in the UK had at least one officially recorded health disorder. The most common health problems of French Bulldogs are:
- Ear infections 14%
- Diarrhea 7.5%
- Conjunctivitis (eye inflammation) 3.2%
- Skin problems 17.9%
In addition to these problems, which can occur in many dogs, the French Bulldog as a breed is predisposed to several serious inherited health issues:
- Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
- Dystocia (difficult birth)
- Corneal ulceration
- Patellar luxation
- Spinal diseases, including intervertebral disc disorder (IVDD) and hemivertebrae (malformed spine)
These health problems are significant enough earn the French Bulldog a “warning” from the UK Kennel Club’s Breed Watch program.
The authors of the study warn that a surge in a breed’s popularity can result in an increase in a breed’s health problems. This is because disreputable breeding operations (such as puppy mills) are eager to cash in on a status breed’s desirability…at the expense of health.
If you are interested in a French Bulldog or other popular breed, experts recommend that you fully understand the possible health problems your dog is at risk of inheriting (and their associated financial costs) and be sure to choose a reputable breeder who performs genetic health testing on their breeding stock.
Click HERE for a guide to choosing a healthy purebred puppy from a responsible breeder.