10 Common French Bulldog Health Issues and Treatments

10 Common French Bulldog Health Issues and Treatments

French Bulldogs are a beloved breed known for their charming personalities and distinctive appearance. However, potential owners should be aware that these adorable dogs are prone to a variety of health issues. This article explores the 10 most common health problems that French Bulldogs face and offers insights into their treatments.


  • French Bulldogs are prone to various health issues due to their genetic makeup and physical structure.
  • Common health issues include skin problems, respiratory issues, and joint disorders.
  • Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing these health problems effectively.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups can help in early detection and treatment of potential health issues.
  • Prospective owners should be prepared for the possibility of ongoing medical care and expenses.

1. Skin Problems

French Bulldogs, cherished for their distinctive skin and tail folds, unfortunately, face a higher risk of skin allergies. These allergies usually show up as skin issues, especially on their:

  • Paws
  • Bellies
  • Folds
  • And ears.

Skin Allergies

There are a number of French Bulldog health issues that can affect their skin. These are often due to their environment and/or their wrinkly skin. Here we list the most common ones:

Pyoderma (Bacterial Skin Infection)

Another common skin problem is bacterial skin infections. This occurs when your dog has a cut or scratch that becomes infected. Again, look out for itching, red skin, pus, and hair loss around the cut. It’s another health problem that comes from having skin folds.

Skin Fold Dermatitis

Due to French Bulldogs folded facial skin around their muzzle and nose, this can lead to dermatitis. It can also occur in other areas of their bodies that are folded, like armpits, necks, and crotches. Signs of this problem include itching, biting, and scratching of the area and redness and sores on the affected skin. Keeping skin folds dry and clean can prevent dermatitis from occurring.

Bulldog skin and coat dermatitis prevention care is best achieved when combining Dr. Kraemer’s supplements and topical bulldog therapeutics.

2. Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a prevalent health issue in French Bulldogs. It’s because of their flat faces and short noses – which come from how they were bred. And, this condition causes problems like small narrow nostrils, a long soft palate & a small windpipe, making it hard for these dogs to breathe.

Signs of BOAS

  • Snoring louder than your grandpa
  • Difficulty breathing, especially during exercise
  • Gagging or choking on food
  • Heat intolerance

Why It Happens

Humans created these breeds by selectively breeding dogs with shorter heads. But there are some additional traits (such as narrow nostrils and a small windpipe) that were accidentally bred into them that can make it very difficult for these dogs to breathe. The result is brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).

Treatment Options

French Bulldogs may experience red eyes due to limited tear dispersion and ventilation. Treatments include cleaning, reducing irritants, and veterinary care.

3. Skin Fold Dermatitis

French Bulldogs are known for their adorable wrinkles, but these cute folds can lead to a not-so-cute problem: Skin Fold Dermatitis. This condition often affects areas around their muzzle, nose, tail, and for female dogs, the vulva. These folds create a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast, leading to inflammation and infection.

Signs and Symptoms

Look out for signs like:

  • Constant scratching, biting, and itching around the wrinkled areas.
  • Red, sore skin and the appearance of sores.
  • Bad-smelling skin, sometimes with yellow or white stuff coming out.


Infections usually begin with dermatitis because of moisture and stuff stuck in the skin folds. If it gets worse, it can turn into a bacterial skin infection. Signs of this include hair loss around the folds, flaky skin, creamy discharge, and a strong yeasty smell.


Managing Skin Fold Dermatitis in dogs might include cleaning the affected areas with vet-approved solutions, using medicated wipes or creams, and giving oral antibiotics or antifungal medications. Keeping skin folds dry and clean can prevent dermatitis from occurring.

Regular grooming and hygiene are essential to keep your French Bulldog’s skin healthy and free from infections.

4. Heatstroke

Signs and Symptoms

Heatstroke in French Bulldogs is no joke! If your furry friend has a body temperature of 106°F (42°C) or higher, is experiencing a lack of balance or disorientation, or worse, has seizures or collapses, you need to act fast. Signs of heatstroke also include heavy panting, excessive drooling, and gums that are blue or really red. Severe symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, or convulsions. So if you see these signs, cool down your Frenchie right away.


French Bulldogs are more prone to heatstroke due to their flat faces, which make it difficult for them to pant and cool themselves down in hot weather. Overheating can also be caused by over-exercising or being in extreme temperatures. It’s imperative to keep them out of the heat and ensure they don’t overexert themselves.


If your Frenchie shows signs of heatstroke, put cool water on their head and neck and get help from a vet fast. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Move your dog to a cooler area immediately.
  2. Apply cool (not cold) water to their body, especially the head and neck.
  3. Offer small amounts of water to drink.
  4. Get to a vet as quickly as possible.


Preventing heatstroke is always better than treating it. Here are some tips:

Remember, French Bulldogs are more likely to experience heatstroke and overheating, so it’s crucial to keep them out of extreme temperatures and avoid over-exercising.

5. Pyoderma

What is Pyoderma?

Pyoderma is a bacterial skin infection that is quite common in French Bulldogs. It usually occurs when a cut or scratch in their skin folds gets infected. Signs to look for are:

  • Itching
  • Red skin
  • Hair loss
  • Crusty or pus-filled spots

Treatment Options

Prompt treatment with topical or oral antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian is usually very effective. To keep pyoderma away, clean and dry your Frenchie’s skin folds often. Use safe products for pets. Being proactive in skincare routines can significantly reduce the risk of pyoderma in French Bulldogs.

Prevention Tips

  1. Regularly clean your French Bulldog’s skin folds.
  2. Keep the skin folds dry.
  3. Use pet-safe cleaning products.
  4. Monitor for any signs of infection.

Keeping your Frenchie’s skin folds clean and dry is the best way to prevent pyoderma. A little effort goes a long way in ensuring your furry friend stays happy and healthy!

6. Eye Problems

French Bulldogs, due to their flat faces, sadly have a lot of eye problems. Their eyes stick out more – which can lead to issues like corneal ulcers, dry eye, cherry eye, conjunctivitis & cataracts.

7. Ear Infections

French Bulldogs and ear infections go together like peanut butter and jelly—except way less fun. Their big ears and flat faces mean they have narrow ear canals, making it easy for dirt and moisture to get trapped. This creates a perfect playground for yeast and bacteria, causing ear infections known as otitis externa.

Signs of Ear Infections

  • Scratching their head a lot and shaking it.
  • Redness or sores inside the ears.
  • Bad smell and yellow or black stuff coming out of the ears.
  • Ear canals that look crusty or thick.

Treatment Options

To treat ear infections, vets usually prescribe medicines like antibiotics and antifungals. Chronic infections can alter the skin lining the ear canals, further narrowing them and exacerbating the issue. In severe cases, ear infections in French Bulldogs must be treated with surgery. This procedure changes the shape of the ear to reduce the risk of recurrent infections.

Prevention Tips

Regular cleaning is key to preventing ear infections. Expert tips for cleaning French Bulldog ears include using gentle solutions and ensuring the ears are thoroughly dried after baths or swimming. Coconut oil can also be used for its soothing properties. Additionally, consider ear protection in water to keep those pesky infections at bay.

Remember: A little prevention goes a long way in keeping your Frenchie’s ears healthy and infection-free!

8. Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a genetic problem often seen in French Bulldogs. It happens when the hip joint doesn’t form right. This means the ball and socket of the hip don’t fit well together, causing the joint to wear down, rub & grind. It usually leads to arthritis and joint disease – which can cause a lot of pain.

Signs and Symptoms

Look out for signs like:

  • Limping or favoring one leg
  • Difficulty getting up or lying down
  • Decreased activity or reluctance to run, jump, or climb stairs
  • Swaying gait or “bunny hopping”


Diagnosing hip dysplasia typically involves a physical examination and imaging tests like X-rays. Your vet will look for abnormal joint formation and signs of arthritis.

Treatment Options

There are quite a few treatment options for hip dysplasia in dogs, ranging from lifestyle modifications to surgery. If your dog’s hip dysplasia is not severe, non-invasive treatments like physical therapy, joint supplements, and weight management can be very effective. In more severe cases, surgical options such as hip replacement may be considered.

French Bulldog health issues like hip dysplasia can be managed effectively with the right approach. Always consult your vet for the best course of action.


While you can’t change your dog’s genetics, you can take steps to minimize the risk of hip dysplasia. Keep your Frenchie at a healthy weight, provide regular exercise, and consider joint supplements as they age.

9. Patella Luxation

Patella luxation happens when the kneecap moves out of its normal place in the knee joint of French Bulldogs. And this is a genetic issue that causes the kneecap to slip – leading to signs like:

  • Sometimes skipping a step
  • Weird hindlimb movements
  • Or sudden weakness.


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. You may spot your dog hopping as its kneecap slips out and then returning to normal movement when it pops back in.


Physiotherapy and hydrotherapy can aid recovery. Occasionally, implanted pins and wire may need removal if they cause irritation or infection. In severe cases, surgery might be required to correct the issue.


While you can’t change genetics, you can prioritize cleanliness for a healthy Frenchie. Regular vet check-ups and maintaining a healthy weight can also help manage the condition.

10. Intervertebral Disc Disease

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a big health problem for French Bulldogs. It’s because of their genes and short, stout legs. IVDD happens when the discs in their spine push out or break – hurting the spinal cord. This can cause pain, nerve damage & sometimes paralysis. Signs in Frenchies include:


So there you have it, folks! French Bulldogs, with their adorable snorts and charming personalities, come with their own set of health challenges. From skin problems to hip dysplasia, these little furballs require a bit more TLC than your average pup. But don’t let that deter you! With the right care, regular vet check-ups, and a sprinkle of love, your Frenchie can lead a happy and healthy life. Remember, a healthy Frenchie is a happy Frenchie, and who can resist those bat-like ears and that squishy face? Stay vigilant, stay informed, and most importantly, enjoy every moment with your four-legged friend!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are French Bulldogs more susceptible to health problems?

French Bulldogs are more susceptible to health problems due to their genetic makeup and physical characteristics, such as their brachycephalic (short-nosed) structure, which makes them prone to respiratory issues.

What are the common skin problems in French Bulldogs?

Common skin problems in French Bulldogs include allergies, dermatitis, and pyoderma. These issues often require medical treatment and ongoing care.

How can Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome be treated in French Bulldogs?

Treatment for Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) may include weight management, avoiding overheating, and in severe cases, surgical intervention to improve airflow.

What is Skin Fold Dermatitis and how is it treated?

Skin Fold Dermatitis is an infection that occurs in the folds of a French Bulldog’s skin. Treatment typically involves keeping the folds clean and dry, and in some cases, applying medicated creams or antibiotics.

What should I do if my French Bulldog suffers from heatstroke?

If your French Bulldog suffers from heatstroke, move them to a cooler area immediately, offer water, and use cool (not cold) water to lower their body temperature. Seek veterinary care as soon as possible.

How can I prevent ear infections in my French Bulldog?

To prevent ear infections, regularly clean your French Bulldog’s ears with a vet-approved ear cleaner and keep them dry. Avoid exposing their ears to water during baths and swimming.

What are the symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in French Bulldogs?

Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia in French Bulldogs include difficulty rising, reluctance to run or jump, and noticeable discomfort or limping. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to managing this condition.

Can Intervertebral Disc Disease be cured in French Bulldogs?

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) cannot be cured, but it can be managed with medications, physical therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. Early detection and treatment are essential for a better outcome.

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