American Bulldogs generally live from 10 to 16 years, and tend to be strong, physically active, and often healthy. Some health problems in American bulldogs are often found within certain genetic lines, and are not common to the entire breed, while others, such as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), Ichthyosis, disorders of the kidney and thyroid, ACL tears, hip dysplasia, cherry eye, elbow dysplasia, entropion, ectropion, and bone cancer are more common to the general population of American Bulldogs. There are DNA tests available to help breeders screen breeding animals for NCL (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis) and Ichthyosis. It is highly recommended to spend time to research your breeder information, including your American Bulldog's family history. A Penn Hip (Pennsylvania Hip Improvement project) or OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) screening is recommended for all potential breeding animals. Some breeds of American Bulldog are prone to allergies. Symptoms like a runny nose or a rash are examples of signs of allergies. Some vets recommend dog owners to give 25 mg of Benadryl per day; in most cases it helps.
A UK breed survey report on 71 dog deaths put the average lifespan of French Bulldogs at 8 to 10 years, while the UK breed club suggests an average of 12 to 14 years. The AKC lists that the French Bulldog breed has a lifespan of 11 to 13 years.
As a result of the compacted airway and the bulk of the French bulldog, they have an inability to effectively regulate their body temperature. While a regular canine may suffer to some degree from the heat, to a Frenchie it may be lethal. It is imperative that they be protected from temperature extremes at all times, and that they always have access to fresh water and shade. As they are a brachycephalic breed (see Brachycephalic syndrome), French Bulldogs are banned by several commercial airlines due to the numbers that have died while in the air. This is because dogs with snub noses find it difficult to breathe when they are hot and stressed out. The cargo space in an aircraft can rise as high as 30 °C (86 °F) when waiting on the runway.
Patellar luxation is the dislocation (slipping) of the patella (kneecap). In dogs, the patella is a small bone that shields the front of the stifle joint in its hind legs. This bone is held in place by ligaments. As the knee joint is moved, the patella slides in a groove in the femur. The kneecap may dislocate toward the inside (medial) or outside (lateral) of the leg. This condition may be the result of injury or congenital deformities (present at birth). Patellar luxation can affect either or both legs. Testing is available to predict the presence of patellar luxation in a dog.
Birth and reproduction
French bulldogs frequently require artificial insemination, and caesarean section to give birth, with over 80% of litters delivered this way. As well, many French bulldog stud dogs are incapable of naturally breeding. This is because French Bulldogs have very slim hips, making the male unable to mount the female to reproduce naturally. Typically, breeders must undertake artificial insemination of female dogs. Female French bulldogs can also suffer from erratic or 'silent' heats, which may be a side effect of thyroid disease or impaired thyroid function.
Back and Spine
French bulldogs can also suffer from an assortment of back, disk and spinal diseases and disorders, most of which are probably related to the fact that they were selectively chosen from the dwarf examples of the bulldog breed. This condition is also referred to as chondrodysplasia. French bulldogs are prone to having congenitalhemivertebrae (also called “butterfly vertebrae”),which will show on an x-ray.More advanced technologies such as myelograms, CT scans, or MRIs are used to detect spinal cord compression. Some breeders feel that only dogs that have been x-rayed and checked for spinal anomalies should be bred.
Frenchies can be susceptible to allergies, especially food allergies. Avoid any dog food containing corn or corn products (wolves never attack a corn field to eat corn on the cob). Many Frenchies are allergic to any food that contains any grain or grain product. Chicken can be a high allergen for some Frenchies, not all. Raw food diets are recommended to help reduce the incidence of itchy skin. Some Frenchies thrive on boiled ground turkey with boiled mashed sweet potatoes or yams, and safflower oil as the fat, plus a canine vitamin and mineral supplement. Source ingredients that are preservative free and human grade. With proper diet they should not be flatulent.
French bulldogs have a tendency towards eye issues. Cherry eye, or an everted third eyelid, has been known to occur, although it is more common in English Bulldogsand Pugs. Glaucoma, retinal fold dysplasia, corneal ulcers and juvenile cataracts are also conditions which have been known to afflict French bulldogs. Screening of prospective breeding candidates through the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF) can help eliminate instances of these diseases in offspring. The skin foldsunder the eyes of the French bulldog should be cleaned regularly and kept dry. Tear stains are common on lighter-colored dogs.