Arthritic pain and arthritis in French Bulldogs comes about when one or more joints become inflamed. Painful and inflamed joints are also referred to as degenerative joint disease or Osteoarthritis.
Arthritis in bulldogs (French, American, and English) tends to be a degenerative and progressive disease that worsens with time. The condition targets the smooth articular cartilage present in the pet’s joints.
The cartilage is responsible for protecting and covering the bones present in the Bulldogs’ joints. It also makes it possible for the joints to bend and move without the dog experiencing any pain. When the cartilage becomes worn out or injured, it causes the exposed parts to rub against each other.
Your Frenchie starts to experience pain, and the exposed parts also become inflamed. At this point, the dog’s desire to exercise and move starts to decrease.
Do French Bulldogs Get Arthritis?
Yes, French Bulldogs do get arthritis.
There are instances when the bulldog’s kneecap, also referred to as the Patella may start to slip out of its natural location. The condition is known as patellar luxation – this is a very common cause of arthritis in later life for Frenchies.
You may notice that your dog will be running alongside you but will then suddenly pick up one of its hind legs and start to hop or skip for the next few steps.
They will then kick the leg sideways to try and return the kneecap to its primary state. After this, the French Bulldog will be fine and will continue to run alongside you as if nothing had happened.
In situations where the problem is seen only to involve a single leg, it is described as being mild. This means that it will not require much in terms of treatment. In this instance, all that is needed is some arthritis medication. For severe cases, surgery may be recommended to help realign the kneecap. It is the surest way to ensure that it will not pop out again in the future.
What Are the Symptoms of French Bulldog Arthritis?
Symptoms of arthritis in French Bulldogs include:
- Disinterest in exercising
- Sleeping more than normal
- Reluctance or hesitation to climb furniture or stairs
- Trouble rising after lying down for a while
- Unusual posture when running or walking
- Weight gain
- Swollen joints
- Loss of appetite
- Lameness in the limbs – one or more
What causes French Bulldog arthritis?
French Bulldog arthritis comes in three main forms. They include:
This is a type of arthritis that is likely to come around with age. It can, however, also be caused by a condition such as hip dysplasia or joint injury. In younger dogs, the condition can be caused by a cruciate ligament.
Placing too much stress on the joints, e.g., by performing a strenuous exercise or by jumping over hoops and obstacles may also cause this type of arthritis.
2. Immune-Mediated Arthritis
This form of arthritis occurs when the antibodies responsible for ensuring the dog’s safety get redirected to the connective tissues. This causes the cartilage and the joints to become damaged. In some cases, it may cause the joint to become inflamed.
3. Infectious Arthritis
This is caused by Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and a host of other infectious conditions. It can also be caused by bacteria that finds its way into the body through an open wound.
How Do You Manage French Bulldog Arthritis?
The management of French Bulldog arthritis ought to start with a good diagnosis. Your vet will need to use blood work, analysis of the fluids present in the joints, and x-rays to make a diagnosis.
X-rays are used to monitor the progression of this condition. Vets also use them to adjust the treatment to ensure that your dog will not feel any pain.
- Steroids such as Dexamethasone and Prednisone help to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. However, the two are only recommended for short term use.
- Rimadyl is a popular painkiller used to help manage joint pain. Many dogs can tolerate its use; though regular liver tests are necessary to make sure that the liver is not getting damaged.
- Placing the dog on a ketogenic diet may make an impact in reducing the pain levels. Some vets believe that the diet is more effective than certain prescription medicines.
- Getting overweight dogs to slim down helps to get rid of the pressure present on the joints.
Whenever your French Bulldog is in pain, you will want to do everything you can to make them feel better. Plenty of support, affection, and a stress-free environment will go a long way in helping relieve the pain that comes with arthritis.