French Bulldogs (High Risk Brachycephalic Breed)
French bulldogs are amongst the most popular breeds of dogs and that popularity is growing. Frenchies originated from smaller or toy versions of the English bulldog with the addition of local Parisian terriers and ratters.
However Frenchies are also in the top three worst affected brachycephalic breeds for BOAS and have a significant number of other hereditary problems. Whilst Frenchies can have a life expectancy of 10-12 years many will die much younger due to hereditary conditions and a recent UK study has shown that the French Bulldog has a life expectancy at birth of only 4.5 years, this compares to the British Bulldog at 8 years.
French Bulldogs can also be highly excitable and readily suffer from Anxiety, including separation anxiety, which, with BOAS can quickly become a deadly combination even in moderately affected dogs during Transport.
BOAS is believed to exist in 80-90% of French Bulldogs and be clinically significant in over 50% of them. It is recommended that Frenchies are tested early for BOAS and where required have corrective surgery at around 8-10 months of age.
Health issues common to Frenchies are:
- Brachycephalic obstructed Airways Syndrome including:
- Stenotic nares
- Long soft palates (extending unnaturally into the larynx)
- Swollen laryngeal saccules (further occluding the windpipe)
- Swollen tonsils (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Thickened palates (restricting the room for these dogs to breathe)
- Hypertophic intranasal and caudal aberrant Turbinates
- Hypoplastic tracheas
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) (associated with a corkscrew tail)
- Environmental, such as Grass & Pollen
- Foods, Chicken (very common) but also other meats
- Eye Issues (A variety of issues and more susceptible to Eye injury)
- Skin fold Dermatitis and Skin Infections
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Heart Conditions
- Ear Infections and Deafness
- Brain Disorders (Associated with skull shape)
- Birthing Difficulties
As a transporter our priority is the safety of your dog while it is with us. Frenchies are at the top of the list of high risk dogs due to BOAS. But even for those with lower BOAS risk, in any situation where Frenchies become anxious or are stressed for any reason, including due to any other unrelated health issue even mild BOAS does cause more difficulty breathing which leads to low oxygenation and increased body temperature and will dangerously exacerbate every problem.
Additionally as Frenchies age or if they are overweight they tend to be less tolerant of heat and may have a range of chronic health issues.
We have no restrictions on the transport of puppies under 4 months of age but all Frenchies above that age will only be booked for transport with proof that your Pet is fit to travel and following completion of our “Brachycephalic Information & Consent Form – High Risk Breeds” and a conversation with our Customer Service consultants regarding the risks for your particular pet. We will make transport decisions as best we can based on the information provided by the owners but in many cases we will not be prepared to transport Frenchies on our more common express services.
Please visit our Brachycephalic Breed Policy page for full details
Our Premium services, while more expensive, are better suited to the transport of higher risk dogs as the driver always has less animals (Max 8 at a time) to care for, time for more frequent stops, and all animals are in the van where the driver can hear their breathing at all times and talk to them.