When we talk about taking care of animals, one of the things that we should concern is about the animal’s potential health issues. French Bulldogs are dogs which have some potential health issues. So, how about merle French bulldogs? What are potential health issues with merle French bulldogs?
Merle French Bulldog Health Issues
Genetic deformities is one of the most common health issues suffered by merle French bulldogs. Stunted limbs, blindness, or deafness are also able to be suffered by this dog because this dog has a unique genetic condition. Not only that, the other potential health issues which can be suffered by merle French bulldogs are allergies, heart murmurs, immune disorders, and his dysplasia.
Merle French bulldogs also have light-coloured eyes and it makes them prone to have eye abnormalities. Having one eye bigger than the other is one of the common problems where one eye is covered by cataracts, membrane, or coloboma.
On the Frenchie Journey site, the reasons why these health issues can come are explained. On that site, it is explained that the gene that is needed to be able to make the Merle pattern is the gene that causes significant risks such as sight, hearing, and blue eye defects. Merle French bulldogs are not pure breeds because there is no French Bulldog which has the Merle gene. So, crossing the breeds can result in a lot of complications.
On the Frenchie Journey site, furthermore it is explained that research shows that crossing a Merle and a Merle makes a 25% chance of Double Merle. These double merles have an 86% chance of being deaf, deformed, blind, or color dilution alopecia. Beside having these defects, they are also prone to have neurological defects, immune disorders and extensive allergies.
How about a blue merle French bulldog? This dog is known for having inflammation conditions with their skin and it can cause ruptures of the skin. Then, staph infections can happen where it will lead to death. It is also known that the blue merle French bulldog has the shortest lifespan.
Here are more details about eye defects on merle French Bulldogs according to the Frenchie Journey.
- Deformed Eyes
It is the condition of the development of small eyes where it is not coman and it can be in both eyes or in one eye. The cause of this health issue is that there are nictitating membranes which are still covering the eye socket or sockets.
- Missing Eye or Eyes (Anopthalmia)
This is the condition where the dog misses one or both eyes when they are born. Sometimes, the eyes are able to be formed, but they are very deep in the eye socket so that the nictitating membrane covers them.
- Wandering Eye
This is a case of Microphthalmia with some defects. This condition is helped with eye degeneration and as it develops, the lens becomes liquid.
- Starburst Pupil (Coloboma)
This condition is like an eye cleft and sometimes cataracts can happen in this condition. It is possible that this health issue is the deadliest. There are a lot of reports of deafness and blindness which are associated with Starburst Pupil.
On the Pup Traveller site, it is also explained that there was a study of some merle breeds and the findings were explained below.
- 2.7% of merles which have one M allele (M/m) were deaf in one ear.
- 0.9% of merles which have one M allele (M/m) were deaf in both ears.
- 10% of Double Merles (M/M) were deaf in one ear.
- 15% of Double Merles (M/M) were deaf in both ears.
The Lifespan of Merle French Bulldogs
When we talk about the health issues which can be suffered by merle French bulldogs, the question that probably wants to be asked is about their lifespan. According to the Pup Traveller site, Merle French Bulldogs can live for around 10 years on average. They can live for that long if they do not have any health issues or other problems.
However, as explained earlier, the genetic predisposition of merle French Bulldogs makes the dogs have risk of having vision and hearing deficiencies, particularly for double merles. Besides, there are also the other factors that can determine their lifespan such as exercise and diet.
Color Variations of Merles
According to the Frenchie Journey, there are other colors of merles depending on the dominant gene that ends up being diluted. There are three colors which are most sought for. Those are black, blue and lilac. These are categorized into rare French Bulldogs. Here is the explanation about each of the merle variations according to the Frenchie Journey site.
- Black Merle
When the dominant gene is black, then it will be the Black Merle French Bulldog.
- Lilac Merle
This color of French Bulldogs is the rarest so that it is difficult to find lilac merle French Bulldogs. Basically, the lilac color is a color combination of chocolate and blue base coat color. Then, the blue color is diluted where it permits the lilac color to appear. Lilac merle French Bulldogs also have light-colored eyes which can last the dog’s entire life and they are the color that possibly will have health complications.
- Blue Merle
Some people usually call the blue merle French Bulldog a blue-gene dog breed. However, it is important for you to note that actually they are black French Bulldogs that base color has been slightly diluted. So, it gives their hair a blue hue. Blue merle French bulldogs’ eyes are usually interesting.
Is Merle French Bulldog Purebred?
Merle French Bulldogs are not purebred because the merle gene that the dogs have does not naturally happen in this breed. As explained on the Pup Traveller site, merle French bulldogs are a result of selective breeding and they are created by breeding one French Bulldog with another dog which brings the merle gene such as a Chihuahua. The American Kennel Club also does not recognize the merle French Bulldog as a pure breed. According to the website of American Kennel Club (AKC), the colors of French Bulldogs which are recognized by this club are brindle and white, brindle, fawn, cream, white, fawn brindle & white, fawn and white, white and brindle, and white and fawn.