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21 genetic diseases inherited by the French bulldog. Are they always in pain?

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Some people think that French bulldogs are always in pain. Some experts believe that there should be a ban on breeding French Bulldog and pugs in Australia because they say they live a life of pain. Many of them face breathing and walking problems. It is unethical, they say to breed dogs to suffer. One French bulldog owner Maureen Elvy spent $200,000 on medical bills for her French Bulldog.


Frenchie. Image in the public domain.

My research indicates that they can inherit 21 genetically linked health problems and the list is below.

  1. Allergies
  2. Hip Dysplasia
  3. Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)
  4. Deafness
  5. Cherry Eye
  6. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
  7. Stenotic Nares
  8. Tracheal Collapse
  9. Heat Stress
  10. Elongated Soft Palate
  11. Laryngeal Collapse
  12. Hemivertebrae
  13. Intervertebral Disc Disease
  14. Degenerative Myelopathy
  15. Patellar Luxation
  16. Entropion
  17. Distichiasis
  18. Cataracts
  19. Von Willebrand’s Disease
  20. Cleft Palate
  21. Thyroid issues

Hip dysplasia in French bulldogs can cause hip pain and sensitivity. This appears to be a major reason why some experts believe that this dog breed is in pain a lot of the time. The symptoms of intervertebral disc disease include pain and weakness in the hind legs to the point where the dog cries out in pain. A dog with patellar luxation will feel pain when the joint is dislocated. The symptoms of entropion in French bulldogs, when left untreated, can cause the hairs on the surface of the eyelid to run against the cornea which causes pain, corneal erosions and corneal ulcers.


The symptoms of distichiasis include eye inflammation, eye discharge and eye pain. It also includes corneal ulcers and excessive cheering, blinking and sprinting.

On the basis of the above, it is clear to me that the French Bulldog’s inherited illnesses provide a lot of scope to cause pain to this dog. It does not mean that they are always in pain but it certainly means that they have a very good chance of being in pain to varying degrees a lot of the time especially if these diseases are left untreated for which there is a decent possibility.

Personally, I do not think that any breeder should breed a cat or dog that perpetuates inherited diseases. It is selective breeding a.k.a. artificial selection which brings to the fore recessive genes which are deleterious to the health of these dogs and cats. It is down to the breeders to prevent these sorts of chronic illnesses being inherited in offspring.

Health problems of flat-faced dogs

The Australian Veterinary Association wants dogs with a muzzle length less than one third of its skull length to be outlawed in terms of breeding and in competitions because of the suffering that this causes the animal. Sydney veterinarian Sam Kovach supports the modification and adjustment of breed standards for dogs including the Frenchie. He doesn’t want to see them at his veterinary clinic so much. He says that he wants “gentle artificial selection methods” in order to create a “healthier breed in a few generations time”. It will take time if there is an adjustment to the breed standard in order to allow the changes to come through. I fully endorse the changes suggested.

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