As breeders we all want to produce sound puppies and eliminate health problems or temperament issues and to improve conformation in our lines.
How many times have you heard people criticizing others for having bred a Frenchie with some undesirable conformational feature? And yet the people doing the criticizing might have bred dogs with terrible allergies, or bad temperaments, worst still with various congenital defects. Bear in mind that one does not just breed a topline, a bite, or fantastic head, but an entire animal. Assuming that there is no such thing as a “Perfect” French Bulldog, a breeder must make informed and sensible choices, and despite best intentions these choices sometimes turn out to have been the wrong ones. The trick is to learn from them and not repeat bad choices.
Many health problems in Frenchies are "constitutional", being unwanted side effects of the breed's basic short-faced, chondrodystrophic dwarf structure. Others are either polygenic or are developmental defects with no significant genetic component. These are the things that make breeding decisions difficult, and probably the wisest course in breeding is to avoid breeding animals who have or carry known genetic problems that are painful, disabling, lethal, or costly in vet bills; and only with considerable forethought and soul-searching. to breed dogs with less serious conditions but only to individuals who do not have those problems. We (the owners and breeders), the veterinary profession and the KC want healthier dogs and in breeds with some single-gene recessive diseases, DNA tests are available that will identify normal 'carriers' of the undesirable gene, allowing a breeder to screen potential breeding stock. But there is only one test for our Frenchies the DNA HC HSF4 test for Hereditary Cataracts. This is where the French Bulldog Health Scheme becomes a valuable tool, as one of the goals of the scheme is to enable breeders to make more informed choices in their selection of breeding stock from the results and knowledge obtained from the tests. The responsibility remains with the individual to test or not ,as participation in the scheme remains voluntary at the present time.
The majority of Frenchies currently live without any illness which is detrimental to their quality of life. We should aim to ensure to the best of our ability that every single Frenchie has the opportunity of a healthy life. We should be actively involved to promote Healthier French Bulldogs but the Scheme need yours support and participation to make a difference to the health of our breed. Penny Rankine-Parsons. KC Breed Health Co-ordinator.
How your French Bulldog can participate in the Health Scheme
The Scheme is open to everyone, you do not need to be a member of any French Bulldog Club to participate. It is administered by the FBCE Health Committee
All French Bulldogs must be K C Registered, Micro Chipped or have permanent tattoo identification and be over 12 months of age.
Please also refer to " French Bulldog Health Statement"
Bronze Level Certificate
Request a copy of the Health Report from Mr Trevis Tel: 01225 767336
or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You will need to have your dogs KC Registration number, microchip number, KC Registered name & D.o.b. to hand. Once you have received the form, book an appointment with your Vet. When the vet has examined your dog he should complete and sign the form. He retains 1 copy for his records and gives you the other 2 copies. This Breed Specific examination covers ears, eyes, heart, breathing, skin, basic conformation, temperament etc. To apply for your French Bulldog's Bronze Health Certificate, you must send the pink copy of the form to the French Bulldog Health Co-ordinator for verification (address below)
Silver Level Certificate
To claim your French Bulldog's Silver Health Certificate he/she must meet the following criteria -
To have obtained the Bronze Health Certificate:
DNA test HC HSF4 for Hereditary Cataracts (clear result)
Putnam Patella test score (grade 0 or 1 acceptable at present)
Cardiologist Heart Test (normal (grade 1 acceptable at present)
All these tests are non invasive and do not require your Frenchie to be sedated. They are inexpensive, easily available and achievable.
Gold Level Certificate
For your French Bulldog to be eligible for the Gold Certificate, he/she must meet the following criteria -
To have obtained the Bronze and Silver level certificates
BVA Hip Score
Spine X-ray and evaluation (Contact the KC Breed Health Co-ordinator on how to proceed)