Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body temperature exceeds 107 degrees for more than a few minutes. Dogs, especially Frenchies are easily overheated in hot weather because their only significant way for releasing excess body heat is through panting. Short nosed breeds may overheat on a hot day even while resting in the shade. Insufficient water to drink may also predispose a dog to overheating. Dogs left in a car even on a relatively cool day may rapidly overheat because of the heat that gets trapped inside the car.
Identifying Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion
Emergency Heat Stroke Treatment Heat stroke is an emergency situation. If your dog shows signs of heat stroke, you must cool him down as rapidly as possible.
1) Do not try to force your dog to drink. He may regurgitate and possibly aspirated into his lungs.
Get the dog to the vet immediately. Heat stroke can be associated with swelling of the throat. This aggravates the problem. A cortisone injection by your veterinarian may be required to treat this. Normal dog temperature is around 101.5.
Flatulence and Snoring/Snorting: One of the unique part of having any of the Bulldogs is they are more likely to snore then other breeds due to their short nose. Many people grow to love the snorting and snoring that the Frenchies do. Bulldogs do pass more gas than other breeds because they take in more air as they eat or drink water. You can help reduce the amount of flatulence by feeding a good quality and highly digestible food, rather than the typical grocery store brands. High quality foods will also reward you with a healthier dog and longer and healthier life span as well. Dry food is better for them then canned food, and is less likely to cause gas as well.
Anesthesia: Frenchies cannot tolerate intravenous anesthesia and should have pure gas to put them under during surgical procedures. Isoflurane is the best gas for this use. Intravenous anesthesia can easily cause death. Safest is not to put Frenchies under anesthesia until at least 6 months of age.
Stenotic Nares: Stenotic Nares is very common in the brachycephalic breeds and is characterized by a narrowing of the nostrils. As the dog breathes, the collapses or restricts airflow causing the dog to mouth breath, especially when excited. In mild cases, surgery intervention is not required, but in other more serious cases, surgery is recommended to open up the nostrils and make breathing more easy. In many cases, unless the nares are causing obvious problems, surgery is not recommended, although many vets that are unfamiliar with the bulldog type breeds will still recommend it. Stenotic Nares can increase the snorting and snoring sounds as well.
Elongated Soft Palate: One of the most common forms of airway restriction in the brachycephalics is Elongated Soft Palate. The soft palate is an extension of the hard palate which forms the roof of their mouth. In an elongated soft palate, the soft palate will hang in front of the airway or fall into the larynx during inhalation. Dogs affected by this often breathe rather noisily, especially when excited. Vets may recommend surgery depending on the severity, but often the severity cannot be determined unless they put the dog under a general anaesthesia. If it does need surgical correction, the vet will usually correct the problem at the same time, rather than putting the dog under again.
Patellar Luxation: The patella, or kneecap, is part of the stifle joint (knee). In patellar luxation, the kneecap luxates, or pops out of place, either in a medial or lateral position. Bilateral involvement is most common, but unilateral is not uncommon. Animals can be affected by the time they are 8 weeks of age.
French Bulldog Spine: What is normal in the French Bulldog is not normal in other breeds. Almost every French Bulldog (as well as almost all Bulldogs, and most Boston Terriers and Pugs) has at least one deviation of their spine, also called a hemivertebrae as well as other spinal formations. In most cases, this rarely causes any problems in the French Bulldog and there is no need to get alarmed over the presence of a deviation or even multiple deviations unless the dog is showing obvious signs of a problem. Many vets that are not familiar with what is normal in the Bulldogs get overly concerned, and thus get the owner concerned as well over this very common anomaly in the brachycephalics.
French Bulldog Questions
Do Frenchies bark a lot? Frenchies are not typically excessive barkers like most small dogs.
Are Frenchies good watch dogs? Frenchies make good watch dogs and can become somewhat territorial and protective.
Are French Bulldogs good companion dogs? Huge clowns, they are fantastic companion dogs. They are fun, entertaining and loving. The French Bulldog is delightful, easy to groom and requires little exercise.
How do Frenchies take to Apartment living? Wonderfully. This is one reason the French Bulldog has been popular throughout the history of the breed. Frenchies like to be where you are and don't take up much space. It’s good to get in a good walk as much as possible for overall health and exercise. If your Frenchie only gets the occasional walk to the grass outside, it’s at least something.
Are French Bulldogs sociable? All dogs seem to do better with exposure to other aspects of life, other dogs, and people. The French Bulldog should never be a mean, aggressive or vicious animal. It is recommended, and a good idea to take your Frenchie visiting to various places. This helps your dog be a better dog and not possibly overreact out of fear of the unknown. It also builds confidence and character in your dog. It gives you and the dog an easier time when separated or when traveling together. Try to consider if your Frenchie is penned up all the time. He needs to be a part of your life.
Are French Bulldogs good with children? All young children need supervision especially around puppies. This is often for the puppies sake as well. French Bulldogs are very good around children as they love to play.
Are Frenchies good with cats? Like most dogs, but French Bulldogs get along well with cats.
Are French Bulldogs easy to Train? They can be very willing. They can also be very stubborn and hardheaded. If you make it a game they'll want to play all the time. Frenchies are incredibly food motivated which makes them easy to train.
Do Frenchies Snore? Yes, they can snore. Pretty good if also aggravated by breathing deficiencies.
What breathing problems? Sometimes you may find a Frenchie that is noisy or has labored breathing. They may have a longer tongue or excessive soft palate that is obstructing their airway. Smaller nose openings can exaggerate their already noisy characteristics.
What about feeding? Use consideration when feeding a French Bulldog. Be aware of artificial preservatives and excessive protein and fillers. Some dogs may have allergic reactions to certain commercial foods. Read the label and know what suits your dogs needs best. Consult your veterinarian if your dog experiences food allergies.A healthy Frenchie is not overweight and it can be damaging to their physical structure shortening their lifespan.
Note: Wheat and chicken products are known to be flatulent producing in some French Bulldogs. Corn products and fillers that are an additional source of protein may increase your dogs energy levels and cause hives (skin rashes or irritations).
Potty training? This is a combined effort. Some dogs are harder than others. Doggy doors are wonderful for quick training or you might start by crate training. Develop a routine after they eat, before bed and first thing in the morning, and be consistent. Remember a puppy's little bladder may not be under control as quickly as we'd like so be positive. It’s a good idea to take outside every couple hours to give a chance to go potty.
Do Frenchies shed? Yes, but are single coated and shed less compared to other breeds.
Are Frenchies easy to breed? No, French Bulldogs don't breed naturally and are usually assisted by a veterinarian or reproduction specialist.
Your New French Bulldog Puppy
Wire or enclosed crate 200 size or medium size This doubles as your puppies home or bed and a place to be safe. It is not unfair since dogs are den animals, they will become accustomed to the crate. This is also a good way to transport your Frenchie to and from places safely. To get your puppy use to the crate, leave the door open and place the crate in a family room. This way the puppy can feel more comfortable trying out his new home.
X-pen (exercise pen) This is about a 4 X 4 wire pen that folds up and can be adjusted to varying sizes. It is recommended to get at least a 24 to 30 inch height. Very handy when traveling and cordoning off area you don't want your Frenchie to go. This is also helpful when introducing a new pet into your home. The crate inside the pen becomes a bed like a protective home with a small yard. *It is not recommended to leave your puppy loose and unattended when not at home.
Potty pads To assist with potty training keep on one side of X-pen and doggy bed on the other.
Food and Water Bowls Most recommend stainless steal bowls that will last, are safe, and do not retain odors or bacteria and can go in the dishwasher.
A Cozy Bed Have a nice comfy bed for snuggling and keeping warm. A good bed so your Frenchie can't get to the stuffing. Make sure either the cover or entire bed can be put in the washing machine.
Chew toys All babies especially when teething and even the adults will chew. Puppies will chew anything and everything so be careful. It is very important they have enough chew toys to keep them busy. Get new chew toys from time to time to keep their interest. *Note: It has often been recommended to not give your dogs rawhide chew bones or toys. Don’t give your puppy anything they can swallow whole and choak on. Frenchies will chew small rawhide until it is soft and then swallow them whole making them choke.
Benadryl Allergy (over the counter) Often is recommended by vets for minor allergic reactions. Benadryl will relax your dog and can make them drowsy. Please consult your vet in advance and for dosage information.
Bag Balm (utter cream) Recommended moisturizer for noses, other areas and minor skin irritations.
Wash rag and mild antibacterial soap Wash your French Bulldog's face and folds regularly.
Toe nail clipping It is always a good idea to keep in the habit of using a dremel on your dogs toe nails. Get them used to the sound and use lot's of treats and they will be anxiously lining up for you to trim their nails. When you start hearing the sound of "clip-itty-clip" it's time to trim them down a bit. If you don't do this on a regular basis you will have quite a wrestling match on your hands when you do decide to do it.
Bathing your Frenchie Frenchies are easy to bathe just toss them in the sink or tub, wash, rinse, towel dry and away they go. Use a mild dog formulated shampoo or vet recommended allergy shampoo. Conditioner is often helpful for rough, dry coats. Frequently check your Frenchies ears and try and keep them flushed and cleaned regularly. Make this a part of your routine after bathing your Frenchie and always use cotton. Try a feed store, pet store or vet for antiseptic ear wash.
Know your dog's schedule for shots and keep them current Different areas of the country have different concerns for protecting against viruses not common in other regions. If your puppy was shipped they may not have been inoculated for potential parasites or diseases in your area. Be careful of Rabies shot reactions. Some Frenchies react adversely to LEPTO.
Keep your dog wormed regularly and if concerned get a fecal examination performed by your vet. Rice like or white parasites, fleas, or worms once they get out of control can be very devastating to your dog(s). Common symptoms of exposure are skinny, pot-belly and slowed growth. They have difficulty putting on weight and coats are flaky, dry and dull. Do not let worms get a hold of your dog they can spread like an epidemic to other pets. Curing one pet does not cure the epidemic and may require all your pets to be examined.
*Make sure to keep your Frenchie out of the heat and the extreme cold. Do not leave your Frenchie or any dog in a car with the windows rolled up, unattended. Dog parks are fun, but keep in mind Frenchies can be fearless and get into trouble with strange or larger dogs. They also have a tendency of going with just about anybody. Take caution when exercising with your Frenchie and don’t let them overheat. Avoid the heat of the day or too long or vigorous exercise. If your Frenchie starts to over heat, hose them down with cool water, use wet towels and calm them down. If you're planning a long walk take periodic breaks.