One look at the Bichon Frise and anyone will fall in love with it. This animal has an appearance of a stuffed toy, makes a wonderful pet for the entire family and for dog shows all around the world. These dogs are one of the best companions for kids because of their small size. They tend to be full of life, entertaining and energetic. They are very social and easily adapt to surroundings, people and even other animals.
These dogs are very playful by nature and serve as excellent watch dogs. The average life span of the Bichon Frise is anywhere between 12 to 13 years or sometimes even longer. Overall Bichons are a healthy and long living breed but some of them do suffer from various health complications as they grow older.
Bichon Frise Health Issues
Different types of health allergies are by far the most common cause of various health problems in the Bichon Frise. Majority of these health problems are not that serious if prevented at an early stage. However, it's necessary that owners should keep a track of unusual behavior and take the dog immediately to the vet if you notice constant barking, scratching and licking.
Eye and Ear Problems
As they grow old, the Bichon Frise can suffer from various eye and ear problems which include cataract of the eyes and ear infections. Old Bichon Frise dogs are prone to cataract. This eye disorder can cause problems with clear viewing and can be corrected by surgery.
If not taken proper care of, this cute dog can suffer from legg-perthes which is a very common orthopedic disorder in Bichons. This hip disorder is very common in young puppies and it causes deformity of the femur bone when the puppy is just 6 to 8 months old. Dogs who suffer from this condition face difficulty in walking and experience strong or mild pain in the hip or leg area. In some cases the pain becomes so severe that the puppy cannot walk at all and it tries to hop like a rabbit to cover the walking distance. There are also high chances that the extreme severity in the leg can decrease its size. Surgery is effective but preventing this condition right from the start is the right solution.
Dental problems are a part and parcel of Bichon Frise life. They are highly susceptible to various gum diseases and tooth decay. These dental issues serve as an entering medium for different bacteria inside the body. Once inside, these bacteria can cause a string of various health complications which could affect the various organs of the dog's body in a very negative way. Hence, it's necessary to clean the dog's teeth at least once a month and take them for a professional oral check up once in six months.
Normally a Bichon is a 'allergy free' dog but the breed is prone to certain kind of allergies. These allergies are also a leading cause of death in these dogs. The most common type of allergies associated with this breed are food allergies, sensitivity to flea bites and inhalation of pollutants from the atmosphere. It's highly impossible to prevent all kinds of allergies, but there are some kinds which can be prevented. All the owner has to do is feed healthy natural food to the dog, get it vaccinated and take to the vet for a health check up after regular intervals.
White Shaker Disease
The white shaker disease is very common in small white dogs. This health condition impacts the head and the body of the dog. The dog actually suffers from shakes while they are sleeping or walking. These shakes can incapacitate the dog, cause rapid eye movements and sleep tremors. The exact cause is still unknown but medications are prescribed to relax the dog which helps in most cases.
Not only humans, but the Bichon Frise is also prone to suffer from diabetes. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas stops making insulin or makes less amount of insulin. The dog cannot control its blood sugar levels without insulin injections. If the Bichon Frise doesn't receive insulin injections on a regular basis, the dog will fall into a coma and die. The exact cause of diabetes in Bichons is still unknown and the various symptoms are sudden weight loss, excess drinking and urination, increased appetite and poor vision.
Some other Bichon Frise health problems include Cushing's disease, patellar luxation, bladder and kidney stones and epilepsy. Don't get scared looking at these diseases, there's a high chance that your Bichon Frise might never get it. These are dog diseases that this breed is prone to, if not taken proper care from the start.