Keeping Usual Bichon Health Issues At Bay

The Bichon Frise is, in general, a very good breed to have around. In fact, American Kennel Club goes so far as to use the words “cheerful”, “happy” and “merry” to describe the breed… And there are other reasons galore for wanting to adopt one.

However, before you bring one home (or even if you have just brought one home sans prior research), it is essential that you get acquainted with some of the heath issues that plague this breed…

Bichon Health Issues
Health issues in Bichon Frises

While the problems that normally affect Bichon Frises aren’t life threatening, they can be quite bothersome for you and painful for your little best friend. Here is a list of problems that are seen to affect certain Bichon Frise dogs:

  • Gingivitis or Tooth decay.
  • Tooth decay leads on to improper digestion which can precipitate diseases in the liver, kidney, bladder or other gastrointestinal issues like Diarrhoea, vomiting, gastritis.
  • Allergies can also be a problem, though they usually clear up on their own except in extreme cases.
  • They are also prone to knee problems –luxating patella or ligament tears.
  • In recent times, there has been observed a rise in metabolic disorders like diabetes.
  • Inherited conditions can include heart and kidney diseases.
  • In old age, bichons can develop cataracts in the eyes.
  • Also, another common affliction in old age, towards the end of the bichon’s lifespan can be cancer – lung or liver or hemangiosarcoma.

However, it has been seen that not all dogs seem to suffer from health issues. In fact, the Bichon Frise Club of America, Inc. website on health factors goes so far as to say that the Bichon is actually a healthy breed to have, provided you adopt your pup from a reliable and reputable breeder. This is because a reputable breeder will always try to breed ‘out’ the diseases from the bloodlines that they nurture.

On the other hand, even if the bichon pup you brought home is prone to these conditions, there are preventive measures you can take…

Taking care of your Bichon

That’s right; a bichon that is properly cared for and nurtured by its owner is less likely to develop these conditions. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Pay proper attention to grooming so that your bichon’s teeth are clean, strong and healthy.
  • Dental scaling should also be done once or twice a year.
  • Ensure that your Bichon is eating high quality diet-appropriate food.
  • Work out a bath schedule that will ensure that he stays both clean and healthy.
  • Take your Bichon to the vet for regular check-ups.
  • Go for only the core vaccines at the time of immunization. Additional vaccines should only be considered when the dog has any other condition.
  • Make sure your Bichon has a supply of fresh and clean water – drinking contaminated or dirty water is bad for the dog’s health.
  • Control your Bichon’s weight to avoid a host of health issues.
  • Also keep your Bichon well exercised to keep the knees healthy as well as to keep weight in check.

Finally, so far as you take adequate care of your Bichon and pay attention to its proper grooming, exercise and diet, most of these problems are least likely to develop. So keep your Bichon healthy and treat him with care and compassion, and you will have gained a contented and happy companion for life!

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