Tralinka French Bulldogs

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DNA and Health Screening

How a dog looks is one part of the puzzle of producing the perfect French Bulldog. The parts that you can’t see, though, are just as important. This includes their DNA, the building blocks that make up all life. There are a variety of genetic diseases that have been identified within the French Bulldog, although there are only four that are really of importance. Diseases such as DM (Degenerative Myelopathy) and follicular Dysplasia (alopecia) do not express in the French Bulldog, so these tests are slowly being phased out and aren’t even included in the testing regime anymore. We do a full genetic breed profile for all of our dogs, and will breed every litter of puppies in a way that DOES NOT produce any disease they can be tested for. At present, all our dogs are clear for all four of the major conditions. Namely Canine Multifocal Retinopathy, Cone-Rod Dystrophy, Hereditary Cataract, and Canine Hyperuricosuria.



Joints, bones, and muscles also form important parts of every dog. For the French Bulldog particular care should always be taken with their spine health. Being a bulldog, with a “roach” back and a twisted tail, the spines of a French Bulldog will never look like those of other breeds. It’s normal for some of their vertebrae to be oddly shaped, narrower than they should be, or even slightly “V” shaped rather than square. Both of these will be marked as a “1” or a “2” on a spinal score. Both of these are stable spinal bones, and having several of each on a dog is perfectly fine. What we all want to avoid is seeing multiples of “3”s on a spinal score. These are butterfly vertebrae, and they can be quite unstable, exposing the spinal chord to potential damage, especially if the dog has a fall or accident. Hip and elbow scoring is also gaining in popularity in Frenchies. Elbow scoring is probably the least useful, since elbows have never been a major issue for the breed. Hip scoring is of value, but also nowhere near as important as spinal scoring. Heavy breeds, large breeds and giant dogs all have extreme pressure placed on their joints and perfect hips are essential to their soundness. Frenchies, on the other hand, are small and light on their feet. They can “get away with” a much worse hip, without showing lameness, than a heavier breed. It’s still important that we, as breeders, know that we are breeding with good bones and joints, but for a Frenchie a hip score of less than 20 would be perfectly acceptable and is unlikely to cause any lameness.