Hypothermia and Frostbite in French Bulldogs

If you think it's cold out, your Frenchie definitely does. Be sure to know the signs of hypothermia to stay safe this winter!

~2 minute read
last updated November 05, 2019

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What is Hypothermia in French Bulldogs

Hypothermia is a medical emergency that occurs when your dog’s body is losing heat faster than it can produce heat.

It is defined as a temperature under 100°F in dogs, as a dog’s normal body temperature is between 101°F - 102.5°F.

Sustained hypothermia can be fatal, and I cannot stress the importance of early treatment if you suspect your Frenchie might be suffering from hypothermia.

Due to their smooshed faces and short coats, Frenchies are more susceptible to hypothermia than most other breeds, and it’s important that you know the signs of hypothermia if you live in a cold area. They just aren’t the best at regulating their body temperatures. Even if your friends with other dogs aren’t worried at all or it never affected your dogs in the past, it’s something you should keep in mind.

Look out for these signs of hypothermia

Of course, symptoms vary depending on the severity of hypothermia.

Mild symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Shivering
  • Lack of mental alertness

Severe symptoms

Go to a veterinarian immediately if you notice these severe symptoms of hypothermia

  • Muscle stiffness
  • Low blood pressure
  • A stupor-like state
  • Shallow, slow breathing
  • Fixed and dilated pupils
  • Inaudible heartbeat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coma

If you notice any of these symptoms after your Frenchie has been out in the cold, take them to the vet immediately! Hypothermia can be fatal if ignored.

Common causes of Hypothermia in French Bulldogs

According to PetMD, the most common causes of hypothermia are:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures for a long period of time
  • Wet fur and skin
  • Submersion in cold water for an extended period of time

Frostbite in French Bulldogs

If you’re walking your Frenchie in extremely cold climates (below 32°F), you’ll also need to be mindful of the risks of frostbite.

When your dog is exposed to such extreme temperatures, their blood vessels will start to narrow in an attempt to preserve the core body temperature.

This is a protective mechanism, however, prolonged exposure to the cold can result in blood flow (ears, paws, and tail).

Look out for these signs of frostbite

  • Discoloration of the affected skin (pale, gray, or bluish)
  • Coldness / brittleness of an affected area
  • Pain when touching area
  • Swelling
  • Blisters or skin ulcers
  • Areas of blackened or dead skin

Stay warm!
Stay warm!

It’s important to note that the clinical signs of frostbite may take several days to appear! If you suspect your Frenchie may have frostbite, I recommend taking them to a vet ASAP.


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