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Questions About English and French Bulldogs Answered by Dr. KraemerCategory: Bulldog OrthopedicsFrench Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness
BrendaCullen asked 1 year ago

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness Dear Dr. Kraemer, our 6-month-old bulldog, Albert, has always been “floppy”, we had assumed it was just part of being a puppy and needing to gain strength.  However, as Albert has grown (he’s almost 50 lbs) he doesn’t maneuver well.

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness VET COMMENT Albert cannot go up steps because his lower body appears too weak to lift his upper body, he does a lot of lying around and moves with his upper body to see things.  Our vet said it may just be that he’s still growing and getting used to his body but this doesn’t seem normal.

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness LONG TAIL: Albert does have an unusually long tail which I’m wondering if may have something to do with his spine development. I ordered a pet DNA/health kit to see if that will tell us anything.

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness BREEDER: His breeder claims he’s purebred but he’s got a very small head and his legs back legs look like they belong to a much smaller breed.  Is there anything we can do?

French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness STAMINA He just learned how to go downstairs last week and we walk him occasionally but he gets tired quickly.  He plays with his French bulldog “sister” often but mostly from sitting/lying down position.

I’d love to get an idea from you of what we may do to help him?  He’s the sweetest dog and we love him so much.

Sincerely, Brenda

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Dr. R.J. Kraemer answered 1 year ago

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness, dear Brenda, I love Albert’s photo, very cool

At that age (6m old) Albert should already be in full strength, energized as a 5y old kid.

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness CONCERN:

If he can’t go up and/or down the stairs due to lower body weakness there is clearly a problem.

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness VET & BREEDER:

I can’t comment on your veterinarian lack of concerns since I am not the one conducting the exam, but the breeder has a conflict of interest, so I understand your skepticism.

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness STAMINA:

The lack of stamina is an additional concern. You should get a second opinion.

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness DIAGNOSIS R/O:

Diagnostically, I would be concern about: Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness

  1. BULLDOG ORTHOPEDICS: orthopedic problems such as bulldog and French bulldog medial patella luxation (MPL) and possibly bulldog ACL and Hip dysplasia. Others would be OCD and Panosteitis to name a few.
  2. BULLDOG NEUROLOGICAL: Neurological problems such as various types of bulldog and French bulldog vertebral malformations and bulldog IVDD (intravertebral disc disease) and Myasthenia gravis (MG)
  3. BULLDOG CARDIOVASCULAR: Tissue perfusion (oxygen delivery to tissue), such as congenital heart disease
  4. BULLDOG ENDOCRINE: such as atypical hypoadrenal (Addison disease), hypoglycemia, etc

Answer for French Bulldog Puppy Lower Body Weakness and Floppiness DIAGNOSIS TESTINGS:

I would start with

  • IMAGING/RADIOGRAPHS: radiographs of your bulldog hips, knees, and vertebral column
  • LAB TESTS: CBC, Chemestires, Urine Analysis, ACTH stimulation test, Fecal Test
  • CARDIOLOGY: proper cardiovascular exam (ECG, Blood Pressure, Chest radiographs, and an Echocardiogram)

The DNA testing would not be my diagnostic priority, though it might settle the breed purity concerns

Keep me posted
Dr. Kraemer Vet4Bulldog

“An Ounce of PREVENTION is Worth a Pound of CURE”

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