THE FRENCH BULLDOG – STATEMENT OF THE HEALTH OF THE BREED
Descended originally from the Toy Bulldog the French Bulldog (or ‘Frenchie’) made the return journey across to England in the late 19th century to become the popular companion that it is today. This small, sturdy, compact dog is intelligent and has a clown-like attitude to life; loves to play and is a true companion dog, thriving on human company and having a strong desire to please and be part of the family.
With a life span of around 12 – 14 years on average, this is a generally healthy breed. However there are conditions that can affect it, and these include respiratory disorders such as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (upper respiratory problems affecting the nose, mouth, and throat), prominent eyes, and screw , or tight tails and a lack of tail.. It is strongly recommended that Dogs that show any sign of suffering from BOAS should not be bred from and dogs that have received treatment for BOAS and can now breathe should not be bred from. BOAS is an inherited condition and it may be passed on to any puppies that are breed.This, means you may be responsible for producing pets that are likely to need significant costly veterinary treatment during their lifetime. The breed is working with the Cambridge Veterinary BOAS team to address these health concerns.
We want to encourage breeders to health test; to educate breeders and owners in the need to avoid exaggeration of construction; and to continue to improve the overall health of the breed
In all areas of health and welfare the breed has been consistently proactive, in 2008/9 we lobbied the Kennel Club for changes to the breed standard; in 2010 we set up health schemes and have been developing a breed health database that will to be of long term value to the breed.
One of the major initiatives developed and set up by the breed's parent club, The French Bulldog Club of England, is the multi-level French Bulldog Health Scheme, which is open to all Frenchie owners, with no pre-requisite of membership of any club. Since 2012 we are pleased to welcome the support of the newly formed Pennine & Scottish French Bulldog Association who will be organising health clinics at their own events.
The initial Bronze level tests can be carried out by any local vet, making it widely accessible. The scheme covers the following:
Bronze Level: A thorough veterinary health check including a BOAS respiration test (at rest and after exercise), and grading of nostrils. The results of the health check are recorded on a three part form – one kept by the vet, one by the owner and the third sent to the breed club to form part of the Health Database.
Silver Level: In addition ‘Bronze’ health check, the next level includes a series of non-invasive tests:
DNA test HC HSF4 to test for Hereditary Cataracts (clear result required)
DNA test for Degenerative Myelopahy
To have obtained the Bronze and Silver level certificates
Repeat BOAS test for breathing
Cardiologist Heart Test (normal )
Spine X-ray and evaluation
Results of all these tests are recorded by the breed club for the breed database and holders of certificates are included on the website both as recognition but also as a resource for breeders.
The majority of this very popular breed currently lives without any illness detrimental to their quality of life. This should be the standard and the aim for every single Frenchie to have the opportunity of a healthy, happy and long life.