More Dungeons & Doggies! Thank you all for the warm response so far! I’m definitely going to look into putting together a little zine/book (and maybe prints?) of these if can. In the meantime: The wizard, the monk, the thief, the wizard’s apprentice ✨🐶✨
I know you have a lot of these lined up, but would you please be willing to do a post on the Bichon Frise?
The Bichon Frise is a small fluffy dog that’s not as popular as the maltese x shih tzu mixes, but I still see a fair few of these dogs and their crosses in practice.
Before I go too far, these posts are about the breed from a veterinary viewpoint as
seen in clinical practice, i.e. the problems we are faced with. It’s not
the be-all and end-all of the breed and is not to make a judgement
about whether the breed is right for you. If you are asking for an
opinion about these animals in a veterinary setting, that is what you
will get. It’s not going to be all sunshine and cupcakes, and is not
intended as a personal insult against your favorite breed. This is
general advice for what is common, often with a scientific consensus but
sometimes based on personal experiences, and is not a guarantee of what
your dog is going to encounter in their life.
Certainly the most frequent reason for me to see a Bichon Frise in the clinic is for an ear infection. Floppy, hairy ears are more likely to trap moisture and predispose to infection. While many of these dogs may have little issue with their ears through their life, once they get an ear infection it can be more challenging to get rid of it.
I also see these dogs regularly for dental disease, and for most of them even regular chewing of bones hasn’t helped them keep their teeth. Daily brushing by the owners does help, but not every owner achieves this and many of these dogs have needed more than one dental cleaning in their lifetimes.
Allergies and Atopy also seem to be very, very common. It’s especially common to see these otherwise perfectly white dogs with their feet stained brown from licking them constantly. Owners vary in how much they are willing to treat this.
Cushing’s Syndrome (Hyperadrenocorticism) seems to be a bit more common that average in this breed too. It can be harder to notice because this breed typically doesn’’t go bald on the body, at least not until very late in the disease progression, due to their particular coat. The for on the body may seem thinner and more brittle though.
The Cushing’s Syndrome may possibly be linked to liver disease, which many of these dogs seem to get to some degree in their old age. It also wouldn’t be unexpected to see some type of liver shunt in young bichons, particularly any that are poorly grown or runty.
I’ve seen a few very impressive bladder stones cut out of this breed, and they were quite large so the dogs must have been carrying them for a while.
And luxating patellas are relatively common, though not as much as in tiny breeds we end up doing surgery on these dogs relatively frequently.
Those coats definitely take some maintenance though, and it should not come as a surprise to any potential owners that these dogs require grooming.