In contrast to health problems with many other dog breeds, the list of common dog health problems for Bichons is fairly short. Because they are hearty and healthy little dogs, medical care is usually easy for this breed.
Of course you will consult with your veterinarian from time to time, but, your dog’s good health is largely dependent on how well you take care of him.
You will be responsible for everything from giving your dog a heart worm pill once a month to making sure he gets a regular checkup from time to time.
Some common dog health problems in Bichon Frises are preventable and others are inherited.
Purchase your new puppy from a reputable dog breeder, and you will avoid many genetic problems or weaknesses.
Choose a Healthy Puppy
Perhaps the most important part of picking a new puppy is choosing a dog that is healthy and has a strong immune system. That will be partly determined by your puppy’s ancestry and partly by his appearance.
Keep in mind that some medical conditions cannot be reversed, no matter what you do to improve your pet’s health. Congenital conditions are simply passed from one generation to another. A good breeder will breed only healthy dogs, with good blood lines.
However, aside from canine allergies, which are are one of the main Bichon Frise health issues, your new puppy or dog will probably be quite happy and healthy.
There are only a few common dog health problems to keep in mind when choosing your new Bichon Frise.
Most Common Dog Health Problems for Bichon Frises
So what are the most common dog health issues for Bichon Frises?
In addition, most Bichon Frise owners also deal with a few common dog health problems that owners of other breeds also see:
If you keep your dog’s teeth clean and give him dry dog food, you can minimize the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Gum disease and bad teeth can lead to more serious health problems like heart disease and kidney failure. You really don’t want your Bichon to lose her teeth!
Dental caries (cavities)
This is one you can do something about. If you brush your dog’s teeth and use good dental hygiene, you can avoid some teeth problems.
Upset Stomach and Vomiting
While it seems like it would be simple to keep your dog from eating things bad for her, the truth is that, most dogs will eat something nasty once in awhile. And then an upset stomach and vomiting (sometimes even diarrhea) will be the result. It’s not fun, but dogs can be sneaky little critters, and they love garbage and other nasty things…
Worms and fleas
Not a fun topic, worms and fleas can find your dog. Be aware of any changes in bowel movements or scratching and biting. Acting quickly can minimize this problem.
Serious Bichon Frise Health Problems
Of course, not all Bichons are perfectly healthy. Some have genetic issues while others become ill as they get older.
Bichon Frises sometimes develop these conditions:
If your Bichon pees frequently, has lots of bladder infections and starts to have “accidents” in the house, he might have bladder stones.
Patellar luxation, also known as dislocated knee, is another Bichon Frise health problem. This is an inherited trait that can be passed down from the dam(mother) and sire(father).
Dislocated knees are the result of weak ligaments that don’t hold the knee securely in its proper place. If this condition is not medically corrected, the ligaments will eventually become torn and your dog will have a lot of pain when walking.
Cushings Disease is a health problem that is usually the result of over use of steroids, used to treat Bichon dog allergies.
Symptoms of Cushings include constant thirst, constant panting, strange behavior, thinning of the hair, depression and even seizures. If your dog has Cushings Disease, she may also have canine diabetes.
Cataracts are the most common eye disease associated with Bichons. What are cataracts? The lens of the eye becomes cloudy, and it makes vision blurry.
If not removed surgically, cataracts will keep getting worse. Cataracts in dogs and humans eventually lead to blindness.
The tendency to get cataracts is inherited.
Canine Diabetes normally occurs in middle-aged or older Bichon Frises. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas doesn’t produce proper levels of insulin.
Your dog can have an inherited predisposition toward diabetes, but this is not always the case. Other factors that could lead to the development of diabetes are; an overweight dog, certain drugs or medications (such as steroids), and an inflammation of the pancreas.
Diabetes in Bichon Frises can be regulated with insulin shots and a change of the Bichon Frise diet.
Another Bichon Frise health problem is ear infections. The outer and inner ear canals are each prone to infection. These infections could be the result of ear mites, yeast, bacteria, an improper diet or not cleaning your dog’s ears routinely.
If you suspect that your Bichon has an ear infection, please visit your vet immediately. It is very important to treat ear infections as soon as possible so that they don’t worsen. If not detected and treated, ear infections can lead to deafness.
Conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease and cancer are usually only seen in older Bichon Frise dogs.
Bichons are Usually Healthy Dogs
Don’t let all of these Bichon health problems scare you. Out of all of the above mentioned conditions, only one, dog allergies, is found in most Bichon Frises. Most of the other conditions can be prevented, or treated by you and your veterinarian
When choosing a new Bichon, it is important to pick a healthy dog. And you certainly want to know that the breeder has taken care to consider any congenital issues or health problems in the parents .
However, in general, Bichon Frises are quite healthy, and you probably won’t have any major dog health issues to deal with. This breed has been spared most of the common dog health problems that plague many other pure dog breeds.
If you take good care of your cute little Bichon Frise dog, you should have many happy and healthy years together.
Long live the Bichon Frise!
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