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10 Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise (Bichon Frise Old Age Problems)

10 Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise

Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise? Bichons are a designer breed of White Powder Puff Dogs. Some of the major Heath Problems that we have encountered in Many Years of Breeding are:

  • Hot Spots – Most of Our Dogs had this as we began Breeding
  • Teeth ProblemsOnce Our Dogs were 8+ They were Plagued with this
  • Ear InfectionsWe had Maybe 4 Dogs get Ear Mites
  • Hip DysplasiaNone of Our Dogs actually Had This / although it is a weakness in the breed
  • Epilepsy – we had one puppy that developed this after we gave it its, second set of Shots
  • Liver Shunts – We had two puppies that were born with this. They did not survive.

Bichon Frise Old Age Problems

We had 3 Acres of Property at One Time we had 9 females and One Male with many, many puppies all year long. We gave them access to our house through a duppy door, and we’re all part of the family. All Bitches gave birth in our daughter’s bedroom. (Bichon Frise Old Age Problems)

Common Health Problems Bichons

Darlene also Babysitted children at the time and we had one big happy family. Bichons loved the children. Children loved the Bichons . Bichon Frise Old Age Problems

The Bichon Frise is one of the cute, affectionate dog breeds and is easy to handle. These are considered the favorite companions of French and Italian nobility and were bred to be human companions. These are healthy dogs with an average lifespan of about 14-16 years. Unlike other breeds, the list of health issues is short for Bichons . These are hearty and healthy little dogs and are easy to breed. Here are a few common disorders that occur in the Bichon Frise.

One of the very common killers of the Bichon Frise is old age and cancer.

Several inherited health problems are also life-threatening for this breed from their birth. It is important to have knowledge about the early symptoms, to treat your pet as soon as the signs appear.

Bichon Breed Information

Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise / Hip Dysplasia:

This is a genetic disorder that occurs and disturbs the hip joint. The hip joint is actually a ball and socket joint and this disorder results when the ball doesn’t fit inside the socket. As a result, the weakness occurs that limits the mobility of your pet and also causes severe pain. The common symptoms related to hip dysplasia are exercise intolerance, unwillingness to climb the heights, and painful sensations during getting up or lying down. The risk of hip dysplasia is strongly influenced by parents. Breeders are recommended to check the dogs and avoid the one with weak hips for breeding.

Hip Dysplasia


Bichons are highly prone to risks of epilepsy and this can cause seizures, which vary with severity and duration. The duration of seizures is two to five minutes and is preceded by vacant staring and mild twitching of muscles. The dog usually becomes unconscious and their body gets rigid during the seizure. They may twitch their limbs during the seizure and foam may appear in the mouth.   Depending upon the severity and duration of seizures and the time span between the next seizures are the factors considered by the veterinarian to prescribe any anti-seizure drug. Normally the drugs prescribed for seizures are either Phenobarbitone or Epiphen. Early diagnosis leads to a happy and healthy life of your dog. These drugs can only control the seizures but cannot cure them completely so, it’s important to have a check on the symptoms and visit the vet as soon as you notice any unusual symptoms.

10 Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise (Bichon Frise Old Age Problems) 1

Liver Shunt:

Incorrectly positioned artery results in a liver shunt. The function of the liver during the development of the fetus in utero is partially handled by the mother. As the fetus grows, the main artery is supposed to close off. If an artery fails to close and instead of passing through the organ, it passes around the organ, the liver shunt occurs and results in renal failure. The symptoms include lack of growth, low energy, and intelligence level as well as increased thirst. The Bichon Frise is more prone to a liver shunt and is at high risk.

Bichon with Liver Shunt

Crowded Teeth:

Similar to the other small breeds, Bichons are at high risk of teeth crowding. This breed has evolved to be small and hasn’t yet evolved to have fewer or smaller teethes. The symptoms of this disorder include reluctance to eat due to severe pain; bad breath caused by the trapped bacteria and inflamed gums. The best way to detect this problem is to examine your pet and check their mouth for any decayed teeth or swelling or the other gum to be situated side by side to the same gum.

Cushing’s Disease:

Bichons are highly prone to Cushing’s disease which is a serious yet entirely treatable metabolic disorder. The endocrine system secretes different hormones in the body and one of the hormones is cortisol. Normal levels of cortisol help to respond to stress and modulate the immune system but as we know excess of everything is bad. The higher amounts of cortisol in the body are much damaging. The condition of having over secretion of cortisol in the body is referred as hyperadrenocorticism or Cushing’s disease and is one of the main endocrine disorders that affect dogs.  This disorder usually appears in middle-aged to older dogs but taking high levels of steroids in medication for a longer duration can also cause the same symptoms as in Cushing’s disease.

The symptoms vary from dog to dog and may appear in order disorders too. To know whether your dog has Cushing’s syndrome or not is to perform different diagnostic tests and consider the symptoms along with the results of these tests. The common symptoms include polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyuria (increased urination), frequent urination during the night, increased panting and hunger, obesity, loss of hairs as well as energy, muscle weakness, infertility, thinning and darkening of the skin, bruising and appearance of scaly white patches on the skin. To diagnose this problem, it is important to consider the complete health history of the dog and to examine it physically. Basic tests like CBC, blood chemistry profile, fecal, and urine examination are recommended.

Based on the examination if your vet suspects for the Cushing’s disease, it is necessary to diagnose the condition. The first test is urine cortisol: creatinine ratio and if the results are high the next test is performed. Commonly the next test performed is low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (LDDST). For this test the dog’s blood sample is taken and a small amount of dexamethasone is administrated by injection. Cortisol levels are measured after four to eight hours of administration of dexamethasone. Unfortunately, no one diagnostic test id definitive for Cushing’s disease so a vet might need to run ACTH stimulation test and perform an abdominal ultrasound to determine whether the dog have this disease or not.


One of the very common orthopedic disorders in Bichons is Leg-Perthes and your dog might suffer if not taken proper care of.  It is very common in young pups and causes the deformity of the femur. Such dogs face difficulty in walking and face severe pain in the hip and leg area. If the pain becomes severe the pups cannot walk and tries to hop like a rabbit. Surgery is effective, but prevention and care from start is the best solution to avoid this problem.

10 Common Health Problems in Bichon Frise (Bichon Frise Old Age Problems) 2


Normally Bichon is an allergy-free dog, but there are certain types of allergies to which these dogs are prone. These allergies might lead to the death of your dog. Common types of allergies are related to food, sensitivity to flea bites, and inhalation of pollutants from the atmosphere. It is impossible to prevent all the allergy types, but a few can be prevented. Regular checkups, vaccination, and healthy natural food along with the care of the pet are highly recommended to avoid such allergies.


Not only humans but the Bichons are also prone to diabetes. The condition appears when the endocrine gland “felts of the pancreas” stop making the insulin, or the body does not respond to the insulin produced. In such condition’s dogs are unable to control their blood sugar level as the insulin is responsible to break down the sugars in the blood and control the sugar level. Insulin injections are administrated in such conditions and if the dog does not receive the injection at regular intervals, they might die. The various symptoms include sudden weight loss, excess urination, increased appetite, and poor vision.

Diabetes in Dogs

Eye and Ear problems:

As the Bichons grow, they might suffer from various infections, including eye and ear infections, which includes cataract in the eyes and ear infections. Old Bichons are more prone to cataracts which disturbs their vision and needs to be treated by surgery.

Patellar Luxation:

This disorder usually appears when the kneecap (patella) is dislocated from the normal position in the groove of thigh bone femur. When dislocated, it can only be returned to the normal position once the quadriceps muscles in the hind legs of the animal relax and lengthen. For this reason, the dogs suffering from this condition will hold up their legs for a few minutes. The dislocated kneecap is one of the knee joint abnormalities and is common in miniature breeds like Bichon Frise. The symptoms depend upon the severity and persistence of the condition as well as the amount of arthritis involved. The dog with a dislocated kneecap has prolonged abnormal hindlimb movement, avoids skipping and sudden lameness. Once the kneecap is out of position the dog feels pain now when the kneecap slides out of the thigh bone’s ridges. It is caused by genetic malformation or trauma.

For diagnosis, top-view (craniocaudal) and side view (mediolateral) X-rays of the stifle joint, hip, and hock are usually used to detect bending and twisting of the thigh bone and larger bone. An increase in mononuclear cells is observed for the analysis of synovial fluid (lubricating fluid of the joints). The vet needs to perform an examination by touch to feel for kneecap freedom. Medical treatments are very few effective and surgery is recommended treatment for severe cases. Surgery corrects both affected structures as well as the movement of the kneecap itself and in 90% cases frees the dog from dysfunction.

Other Common Problems: (Bichon Frise Old Age Problems)

The breed exhibits various non-genetic conditions with sufficient frequency to warrant your attention. Bichons are at higher risks of cataracts ( our dogs got them after 12th birthdays) and gingivitis. The former is more common in old dogs that succumb to old age before the cataract results in total blindness while the other one is a painful inflammatory gum disease that can be avoided or minimized with diligent preventative care including regular tooth-brushing and gum care.

Top 10 Bichon Designer Breeds / Parents /Size / Video

Designer MixParentsSizeVideo
MaltichonBichon / MalteseHeight / 8-11 inches
Weight / 8 - 13 lbs
Bichpoo Bichon / PoodleHeight / 9 - 14 inches
Weight / 6 - 9 lbs
Shichon Bichon / Shih TzuHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 10 - 15lbs
Yorkie BichonBichon / YorkieHeight / 9 - 12 inches
Weight / 6 - 8 lbs
Bichon Yorkie
Chi Chon Bichon / ChihuahuaHeight / 8 - 10 Inches
Weight / 6 - 10 Lbs
Chi Chon
KashonBichon / Cairn TerrierHeight / 9 - 15 Inches
Weight / 10 -18 Lbs
Goldichon Bichon / Golden RetrieverHeight/15 - 20 inches
Weight /20-40 Lbs
ChonzerBichon / Miniature SchnauzerHeight /10-16 inches
Weight / 25-35 lbs
Glechon Bichon / Beagle Height /15-16 inches
Weight / 15-35 lbs
Corgi Bichon / CorgiHeight /11-13 inches
Weight / 31-37 lbs
List of the Designer Breeds from the Bichon Frise
Name - Link for Research
Parents - Breeds of Dogs
Size Height / Weight
Video - Video of the Bichon Designer Breed

Chart of Bichon Birthing Accessories

Breeder BoxDo Not used Wired Dog cage
HeaterWe use space heater for whole Room
scaleTo Weigh Puppies make sure they are Gaining Weight
Clean towelsChande during Birthing to clean up
Protected SpaceKeep Mother away from other Dogs to avoid Distress
Draft ProtectionDrafts can chill and kill a Puppy
Squash protectionMothers can accidently squash a puppy
clean bedding to replace after birth - will be wet
SeclusionNeeds her Privacy - she can get Hyper
Rubber GlovesKeep things Clean and from Blood
Scisorrs & ThreadFor Cutting Cord
List of Needed Items to Have Prepared For Puppy Birth

Puppy Birthing Complications

If UnsureTake to Vet If Time allows
Keep Mother IsolatedIf Other dogs around she could get defensive and accidently Hurt Puppies
Puppy Accidentally CrushedMake sure Not Giving Birth in Dog cage - puppies can work themselves through mesh and get Damaged
Not BreathingGently Give it Mouth to mouth
Not breathingMassage Puppy trying to gently force fluid from his lungs
Puppy StuckGently Pull
Puppy BreechHelp Guide legs out
Puppy ColdRaise Enviorment to 85 degrees
Puppy ColdChange Wet Bedding
Puppy ColdWarm Puppy up put on Your body till body heat warms him
Puppy ColdNo drafts - No metal Floor Pan on Cage
Puppy not going on NippleHelp Guide him to nipple till he gets hand of it
Puppy not feedingTry Small baby Bottle
let him suck - do not force him - can drown him with milk going in lungs
Puppy not feedingUse puppy Milk Supplement
Puppy Not feeding check for Cleft Palate
Puppy Not FeedingTake to Vet - he can show you Catheter Feeding
Puppy Not GrowingMake sure Mother has plenty Food Water
Puppy Not GrowingYou can check on scale
Labor stops or is prolonged over 24 hours Take to vet - C section can save litter and Mother if needed
Mother does not Remove MembraneYou will Need to Manually remove it
Mother does not chew through Umbilical CordYou will need to cut it 1/2 " away from puppies body tier with thread
Here is a List of Puppy Birth Complications you might Encounter
And Recommended Steps

Expense Table for Owning Bichons Frise

Average Cost of AKC PuppyPuppy ShotsFoodGrooming 4 / per yearCage / Accessories / Bowls / Brushes / Leash / CollarAKC - Registration
Within 6 Months of Purchase
Micro ChipYearly Meds
Heart Worm
Dog LicenseTotal InvestmentPuppies Possible / Year
$ 450 - No Breeding Rights$ 120$ 10 / Wk
High Quality Food
$ 45 ea / $180 YrCage - $50
Rest - 50
$ 35$ 45 - One Time Cost
By Vet
Heart Worm Meds - $60 / Yr
Worming - $ 30 / YR
$ 35 / Yr$ 1575 / Dog1-6 Puppies
Average 3
$ 750 - $ 950
Puppy with AKC Papers and No Restrictions
Total Investment
This Table just shows you the Expenses in Keeping a Bichon That we have found in Owning a Bichon

Breeds Descended from Water Dogs

Name of BreedCountry of Origin
American Water SpanielUnited States
Cantabrian Water DogSpain
English Water SpanielEngland
Irish water SpanielIreland
Lagotto RomagnoioItaly
Portuguese Water DogPortugal
Pudelpointer Germany
Spanish water DogSpain
Tweed water SpanielEngland
This a list of Breeds that have Descended from Medival times Water Dogs- used by Hunters

Bichon Frise Resource Links

Bichon Frise Club of AmericaUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise AKCUnited StatesLink
Bichon Frise United Kennel ClubUKLink
Resources for Bichon Frise Owners and Breeders

Check out Corgi Price guide