French Bulldogs are among the most popular dog breeds in the world, but they often suffer from a variety of health issues.
Many of these problems cause a host of symptoms, including diarrhea. Loose, watery stools are an indication of something wrong in the stomach or gastrointestinal tract. The excess water that liquefies the stool is the colon’s attempt to flush out an irritant.
Your Frenchie’s diarrhea may contain parasites, blood, or other substances. This problem is distressing because of the frequency and reoccurring pattern in some cases. It’s also time-consuming and frustrating to clean up this kind of poop, especially in carpeted areas.
What are the symptoms of French Bulldog diarrhea?
Symptoms of your Frenchie’s diarrhea really depend on whether it’s food related or due to a health condition. Common symptoms include loose, watery stools and frequent occurrences of defecation.
Your Frenchie may have difficulty pooping, stomach pain, and occasions of excessive farting. Other signs include changes in the amount of stool, a fever, and decreased appetite.
Diarrhea can be a sign of a more serious illness, so you should watch your pet carefully when they’re experiencing bouts of diarrhea. Pay a visit to your vet if any of the following symptoms are present in addition to diarrhea:
- bloody or black stool
- very foul smelling stool
- bloated stomach
- worms in the stool
- diarrhea that lasts for more than 48 hours
- pus from the nose, eyes, or genitals
Why does my French Bulldog have diarrhea?
There are so many different causes of diarrhea in Frenchies. It may be something that causes stomach upset like stale food, inedible objects, or poisonous substances. Common issues that produce runny poop include changes in diet or parasites.
Underlying conditions or diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can also cause diarrhea. This condition results from inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract, and it affects the intestine’s job of absorbing nutrients from digested food. IBD can go unnoticed for years until more serious symptoms appear. Inflammation of the small intestine (enteritis) and colon (colitis) are examples of IBD.
Frenchies can experience diarrhea from certain auto-immune diseases too, pancreatic disease, Addison’s disease, or a tick-borne disease called ehrlichiosis.
Chronic allergies to certain food products like dairy or wheat are very common in French Bulldogs and can be a cause of diarrhea. Cleaning products are another culprit. Diarrhea can even be a symptom of potentially deadly viral infections like distemper and parvo. Or kidney or liver problems can also produce loose and watery stools.
So as you can see… there is no “one reason” your Frenchie may be experiencing digestive issues.
How do I treat French Bulldog diarrhea?
Most cases of diarrhea can be treated with a change in diet or medication. Your Frenchie may have eaten something to trigger diarrhea. You can watch for other symptoms and withhold food for about a day. In the meantime, be sure to provide plenty of water and encourage frequent drinks.
You can also provide chicken broth, beef broth or Pedialyte as well. A small portion of boiled chicken breast and white rice is a good substitute meal while your Frenchie is recovering.
Seek medical attention if diarrhea doesn’t clear up in a few days or if other symptoms appear. If the suspected cause is a food allergy, your doctor can prescribe a special diet. Other foods can be gradually reintroduced over time. Health conditions like IBD and various diseases, infections, and parasites will require treatment and/or medication from your veterinarian.
Frenchie ownership requires time and patience. There are a variety of health conditions that can affect Frenchies. Pet insurance can help to defray the cost of medical bills, but certain conditions may not be covered.
Feed your pet a balanced, nutritious diet and visit your vet as often as necessary to maintain your Frenchie’s health. This should be about once a year for healthy adult dogs. Try to consistently observe your pet’s behavior and appearance for any changes and store any dangerous substances or cleaning materials out of reach.
Frenchies can be a handful, but they’re great companion dogs with an average lifespan of 10-12 years. Their health problems are manageable with a good vet and proper care.
Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.