Why You Need Good Pet Insurance When It Comes to French Bulldogs
What do the Beckhams, Hugh Jackman, and Lady Gaga have in common?
They all own French bulldogs.
The rise in pup-ularity of the French bulldog (affectionately known as the ‘Frenchie’) is stratospheric, with a 3,104% increase in ownership in the past decade [source]. Indeed, the Kennel Club predict that by late 2018 the Frenchie will overtake the Labrador as the nation’s favourite breed.
It’s not hard to understand the attraction of these bat-eared, squidgy faced, cuddle bugs. Coupled with their paws-ome reputation as family dogs they would appear the perfect pet… But there’s trouble in paradise.
Unfortunately, the very looks that make the French bulldog so appealing, predisposes them to certain health problems. To make sure your best buddy can get the treatment he deserves then pet insurance for French bulldogs is a must.
Let’s take a dog’s eye view of why you might be thankful to have the best pet insurance in place if your French bulldog gets ill.
Conditions and Costs of Common Medical Treatment for French Bulldogs
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
Heatstroke in hot weather
Specialist consultation - £200
Corrective surgery £1,500 – 3,000
Sore red eyes
Shutting one eye
One eye, £600- 1,200
Both eyes, £1,000 -2,000
Repeated bladder infections
Urinary blockage (an emergency)
Surgery to remove stones
Cost of investigation £300- 1,000
Emergency surgery £1,500 – 2,500
Repeated bladder infections
Long term medication
Diagnostic investigation £300-500
Yearly meds £400
Pain and lameness
Pain relief through to Hip replacement
Pain relief £120 / year
Hip replacement £4,000 – 4,5000
‘Skipping’ steps on the affected legs
Pain relief through to corrective surgery
Surgery £650 – 1,500
Now do you understand why you need a good pet insurance policy?
BOAS – Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome
Don’t be intimidated by the long words. In a nutshell BOAS means the dog has breathing difficulties because of a flat face.
The trouble being that Mother Nature intended dogs to have long noses (like wolves or German shepherds). When we breed for a shorter nose, the bones and soft tissue don’t shrink back at the same rate. What has happened with the Frenchie, pug, and Boxer, is that the bony nose flattened nicely but soft tissue structures remain the same size. This is likened to trying to fit a pint into a teacup – it just doesn’t go.
Typical stumbling blocks include:
- The soft palate: The shelf of tissue at the back of the throat is too long. It hangs like a curtain over the entrance to the windpipe. When the dog breathes in sharply, suction pulls the soft palate into the windpipe and blocks it, causing choking.
- Large tongue: Frenchie’s have a tongue that’s proportionately too long for their mouth, leading to crowding at the back of the throat.
- Enlarged tonsils: The constant turbulence at the back of the throat causes the tonsils to enlarge…and further narrow the airway
- Narrow nostrils: Making it difficult to breathe through the nose.
So what’s to be done?
Mild cases can cope in cooler weather (just watch out for that snoring though!). Severe cases are prone to collapse when exerted and corrective surgery is necessary.
- Trimming back the soft palate
- Removing the tonsils
- Widening the nostrils
This condition is so common and the demand for surgery so high that the RVC at Potters Bar now have a special unit specifically for dogs with BOAS. But with corrective surgery costing thousands of pounds, ensure your pet insurance policy covers this condition.
You gotta love those wrinkles!
But wrinkles mean extra skin and those adorable rolls can push the eyelid out of position so the lashes rub on the surface of the cornea. This is like living with grit constantly in your eye and extremely irritating and uncomfortable.
Surgical correction is the best course of action and in skilled hands is highly successful. When you have pet insurance for French bulldogs you can choose whether your pet pal is referred to a specialist surgeon who uses the latest techniques and equipment for the best possible outcome.
French bulldogs are unique…and so is their metabolism.
The Frenchie’s body chemistry can combine with the minerals in his diet and the result is hard mineral deposits or ‘bladder stones’ forming in his urine. If a stone travels out of the bladder it can get stuck in the urethra, much like putting a cork in a bottle.
A urinary blockage is a life-threatening emergency and the costs of major surgery out of hours spiral accordingly.
The French bulldog is prone to an inflammatory condition of the bowel which causes serious ulcers in the gut wall. In the worst cases this can be life-threatening, and so it’s important to manage the condition.
This is done through a combination of diet and medication. However, the tests to diagnose ulcerative colitis include ultrasound exams, endoscopy, and biopsies, which can be expensive. Then there is the ongoing cost of monthly meds, so all in all French bulldog insurance is a wise precaution.
Poor hip anatomy is inherited from the pup’s parents. Blocky hips clunk in the sockets when the Frenchie walks, causing inflammation, pain, and premature arthritis.
Mild cases can be managed with pain relief medication, but the most severely affected are so disabled as to make hip replacement necessary. Thankfully, hip replacement surgery is a common procedure at specialist clinics, but you guessed it…this life transforming operation comes at a cost.
An insurance policy that covers this condition in French bulldogs can literally keep your fur-friend on their paws, should they turn out to have dodgy hips.
Whether you realize it or not, we’ve all seen dogs with luxating patellas or ‘wobbly kneecaps’. These are the little dogs that skip on a back leg, hopping for a few steps before trotting on as normal.
When the kneecap slips out of place it mechanically locks the knee joint, meaning the dog can’t bend the leg. At best this is an inconvenience, but it can cause discomfort, and that kneecap rubbing back and forth can cause early arthritis.
Sophisticated modern techniques allow for the remodelling of the knee joint so the kneecap sits where it should and stays put. But orthopaedic surgery is never cheap.
Good Pet Insurance for French Bulldogs is Essential
Your Frenchie is a much-loved family member and you need to be realistic about how you would cope should they become unwell. It is an unhappy truth that many of the breed-specific problems need surgical correction, and by a specialist surgeon at that.
If you don’t want to spend the dog’s paw-ket money for years to come on vet’s bills, then give serious consideration to pet insurance…right now…whilst they are well. Then, once you’ve done that, go give that gorgeous hunk of Frenchie a big squeeze from us!
To get the most out of pet insurance for French bulldogs check out our No Nonsense Guide to Finding the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs. This essential reading will clue you in on how to get the best value for money, whilst still protecting your pet.