When it comes to French Bulldogs, one important aspect that breeders and owners need to be aware of is Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). DM is a progressive spinal cord disease that affects the nerves responsible for coordinating movement in the hind limbs. This condition can lead to weakness, difficulty walking, and loss of coordination in affected dogs. Untreated, DM can significantly impact a French Bulldog’s quality of life and mobility.

Degenerative Myelopathy is a hereditary condition that primarily affects certain dog breeds, including French Bulldogs. It is caused by a mutation in the SOD1 gene, which leads to the degeneration of the spinal cord. While it is a debilitating condition, there is hope for managing the symptoms and improving the affected dog’s comfort. Physical therapy, exercise, and the use of mobility aids such as harnesses or carts can help French Bulldogs with DM maintain their mobility and enjoy a good quality of life. It is essential for breeders to prioritize genetic testing and responsible breeding practices to reduce the risk of passing on this condition.

what is dm in french bulldogs?

Understanding Degenerative Myelopathy in French Bulldogs

Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) is a progressive neurological disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs. While it can impact various breeds, it is particularly prevalent in certain breeds such as the French Bulldog. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of what DM is, its symptoms, causes, and treatment options specifically related to French Bulldogs. Understanding DM will help owners identify the condition early and seek appropriate care to enhance their pet’s quality of life.

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What is Degenerative Myelopathy?

Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive, incurable disease that affects the spinal cord, leading to a loss of coordination and function in dogs. It primarily impacts the hind legs and eventually progresses to the front legs, causing paralysis. The condition is similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease in humans.

In dogs, degenerative myelopathy is caused by the degeneration of the myelin sheath, which is the protective covering around the nerve fibers in the spinal cord. As the myelin sheath degenerates, the nerve fibers are unable to transmit signals effectively, leading to progressive weakness and eventual paralysis.

Symptoms of DM in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs affected by degenerative myelopathy may exhibit various symptoms, including:

  • Difficulty walking or running
  • Dragging of the hind legs
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakened muscles
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Paralysis

It is essential to note that the symptoms of DM may initially appear in older dogs, usually between the ages of 8 to 14 years old. However, the onset and progression of the disease can vary between individuals.

Causes of DM in French Bulldogs

The exact cause of degenerative myelopathy in French Bulldogs and other dogs is still unknown. However, the disease is thought to have a genetic component. Researchers have identified a mutation in the SOD1 gene that is associated with degenerative myelopathy in various dog breeds, including French Bulldogs. This genetic mutation disrupts normal cellular function and leads to the degeneration of the spinal cord.

It is important to note that not all French Bulldogs with the genetic mutation will develop degenerative myelopathy. Other factors, such as age and environmental influences, may also contribute to the development and progression of the disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment of DM in French Bulldogs

Diagnosing degenerative myelopathy in French Bulldogs involves a combination of physical examinations, neurological assessments, and diagnostic tests. Your veterinarian may perform tests such as X-rays, MRI scans, or a myelogram to evaluate the condition of your dog’s spinal cord.

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Currently, there is no known cure for degenerative myelopathy in dogs. Treatment options focus on managing the symptoms and slowing down the disease’s progression. Veterinarians may recommend a combination of medications, physical therapy, and supportive care to improve your French Bulldog’s quality of life.

Caring for a French Bulldog with DM

If your French Bulldog is diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy, it is important to provide them with specialized care and support. Here are some tips for caring for a French Bulldog with DM:

  • Create a safe and accessible environment by removing obstacles and providing ramps or supportive devices.
  • Support your dog with mobility aids such as harnesses or carts to help them walk.
  • Implement a balanced diet that supports your dog’s overall health and weight management.
  • Engage in regular low-impact exercise to maintain muscle strength.
  • Consult with your veterinarian for pain management options and medications.
  • Provide your French Bulldog with regular veterinary check-ups to monitor their condition.


Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive neurologic disease that affects French Bulldogs and other dog breeds. While there is currently no cure, understanding the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment options allows owners to provide suitable care and support for their beloved pets. By taking proactive measures and working closely with your veterinarian, you can help to enhance the quality of life for a French Bulldog with degenerative myelopathy.


1. “Degenerative Myelopathy.” American Kennel Club, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/french-bulldog/

2. “Degenerative Myelopathy.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-university-hospital-animals/clinics-services/diagnostic-laboratories/blood-pet-tbird-patient-services/degenerative-myelopathy

3. “Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Genetic Test.” Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, https://www.ofa.org/diseases/dna-tested-diseases/degenerative-myelopathy-dm

Key Takeaways – Qu’est-ce que DM chez les bouledogues français ?

  • DM (Démodécie) est une maladie de peau chez les bouledogues français.
  • C’est causé par un acarien appelé Demodex canis.
  • Les symptômes de la DM comprennent la perte de poils, des démangeaisons et des infections de la peau.
  • Le traitement de la DM implique généralement des médicaments, des produits topiques et des mesures d’hygiène.
  • La prévention de la DM chez les bouledogues français peut être réalisée par un élevage responsable et une bonne hygiène.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer some common questions related to DM in French Bulldogs.

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1. What is DM in French Bulldogs?

DM stands for Degenerative Myelopathy, which is a progressive, degenerative disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs. In French Bulldogs, DM can cause a loss of coordination, weakness in the hind limbs, and difficulty in walking.

This disease typically starts with the hind limbs and can gradually progress to the front limbs, leading to paralysis. It is important for French Bulldog owners to be aware of the symptoms and seek veterinary care if they suspect DM in their dogs.

2. How is DM diagnosed in French Bulldogs?

To diagnose DM in French Bulldogs, veterinarians usually perform a combination of physical examinations, neurological evaluations, and diagnostic tests. These may include blood tests, X-rays, and MRI scans to rule out other possible causes and confirm the presence of DM.

It is important to note that DM is primarily diagnosed through ruling out other possible conditions, as there is currently no definitive test to diagnose it.

3. Can DM in French Bulldogs be treated?

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for DM in French Bulldogs. The disease is progressive in nature, and treatment mainly focuses on managing the symptoms and slowing down the disease progression.

Veterinarians may recommend physical therapy, exercise programs, and assistive devices to improve mobility and quality of life for French Bulldogs with DM. Medications and supplements can also be prescribed to help manage pain and support overall health.

4. Are all French Bulldogs at risk of developing DM?

No, not all French Bulldogs are at risk of developing DM. The disease is known to have a genetic component, and certain genetic mutations are associated with an increased risk. It is important for breeders to perform genetic testing and selective breeding to reduce the risk of DM in French Bulldogs.

However, it is still possible for French Bulldogs without known risk factors to develop DM, as the disease can have multifactorial causes.

5. How can French Bulldog owners manage DM in their dogs?

French Bulldog owners can manage DM in their dogs by ensuring they provide a safe and supportive environment. This may involve using assistive devices such as ramps or wheelchairs to help with mobility, providing a balanced diet, and maintaining regular veterinary check-ups.

It is also important to keep the dog’s living area clean, well-maintained, and free from obstacles that may pose a risk to their safety. Lastly, giving them plenty of love, attention, and engaging in activities to stimulate their mind and body can help improve their overall wellbeing.

what is dm in french bulldogs? 2
Source: wsimg.com

To put it simply, DM in French Bulldogs is a genetic disease that affects their nervous system.

DM stands for Degenerative Myelopathy, and it can lead to progressive weakness and paralysis in the hind legs.

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