All dog breeds, including the Bichon Frise, are prone to develop certain medical conditions that every pet owner should watch out for. Like in humans, the foundations of good health care in Bichons are prevention and early detection.
While meticulous breeding methods and genetic testing has minimized the risk of inherited disease, it is still very important to get the medical history of the parent Bichons because, chances are, your pet may be susceptible to certain diseases which its parents have been afflicted with in the past. This would include infectious diseases and other conditions, such as skin, eye and ear diseases, epilepsy, hip and joint problems, and heart disease. Also, don’t forget that the aging process brings with it certain diseases as well, such as weakening of the bones and poor eyesight and hearing.
Bichon Frises have always been prone to skin infections caused by bites of fleas and ticks, or through irritation caused by dirt. To avoid the development of skin problems, brush its coat regularly and give it a bath at the most once a month.
Watch Out for Allergies
It is ironic that the Bichon Frise is considered an ideal pet for people suffering from hypersensitivity reactions (since they are light shedders) when the breed itself is notorious for allergy problems. Because of certain anatomical features – such as their large eyes, short tear ducts, and slightly protruding noses – the Bichon Frise is susceptible to allergens like molds, pollen and dust mites, which may lead to watery eyes, ear infections, runny noses, and breathing difficulties in severe cases. Some Bichons may develop food allergies, resulting in diarrhea and vomiting.
If your pet presents with allergy symptoms or other signs of disease, bring it to your vet immediately for a thorough check-up. Never attempt to treat your pet yourself. While at the vet, take the opportunity to avail of any vaccinations that your Bichon might need. Since veterinarian care can be pretty expensive, you can purchase health insurance for your pets. This will cover any medical expenses incurred for your dog’s treatment.
Bichon Frises are susceptible to dry skin, which may cause itchiness, scratching and even biting behaviors in your pet. While some pet owners advise the application of lotions like Jergens, always consult first with your vet. Most lotions in the market are formulated for thick human skin and not the thin, furry skins of dogs. Your vet is sure to know the best skin product to use on your pet. You can also make similar inquiries with the breeder you bought your dog from.
If you have not yet found a vet for your dog, make a list of veterinarian clinics in your local area and check out the services that they have to offer. It is advisable to go for a vet that provides home service in the event that you are afraid to move your Bichon if it gets very sick or seriously injured.