bouvier des flandres breed information

common health issues

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.
Megaesophagus is a dilation of the esophagus due to the loss of normal muscular contraction. The condition is often see shortly after weaning, when puppies begin to regurgitate food and may fail to thrive. Regurgitation may lead to pneumonia if stomach contents are regurgitated and inhaled. This condition cannot be cured, but may be managed with controlled feedings.
Cataracts describes the transparency of the lens in the eye.While cataracts are a common finding in older dogs, many breeds, including Cavaliers, have a genetic predisposition to juvenile cataracts, i.e., occurring in young animals. Hereditary cataracts can occur as early as six months of age and progress to complete loss of vision by two years old. The good news is that most affected lenses can be treated surgically. Cost of treatment: $1,500 to $3,000 per lens.
With inherited laryngeal paralysis (often shortened to lar-par), signs are usually apparent before six months of age and present as difficulty (or increased noise) while breathing, especially during exercise or in hot/humid weather. While lar-par can present as an emergency respiratory situation, most dogs are able to be successfully treated through surgical intervention. Uncomplicated diagnosis and surgery: $1,500 to $5,000
Glaucoma is characterized by an elevation of pressure inside the eye. High pressure in the eye causes extreme discomfort and may lead to an enlarged, bulging eye and result in blindness. Treatment for glaucoma consists of life-long medical therapy, and often requires surgical removal of the affected eye. Long term prognosis for vision in the affected eye is poor.
GDV (or bloat) describes a condition whereby a dog's stomach becomes dilated with air and then, while dilated, twists over on itself, effectively sealing the stomach. The most common sign of bloat is a firm, distended stomach, especially if it seems to occur rapidly. GDV is one of the true life-threatening emergencies in dogs and many cases require emergency surgery.

Historically, the Bouvier des Flandres was a cattle driver in southwestern Flanders and on the plains of Northern France. In fact, the breed’s French name translates to “cow herder of Flanders”.

The “breeders” of these dogs were farmers and cattle ranchers who had no interest in pedigree; therefore there was no standard for the Bouvier regarding size, weight or color. It was not until 1912 that a standard was developed, and the Bouvier flourished until World War I, when it all but died out. Thankfully, the breed was brought back from the brink and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1929.

The Bouvier is a large, compact, powerful dog, and he sports both a mustache and beard, giving his rough coat a distinguished appearance. This breed is fearless and makes a good guard for his family, alerting them to the approach of strangers. Their independent streaks require a strong leader, so this breed may not be the best choice for an inexperienced dog owner.

Historically, Bouviers are used to working all day, so they require plenty of daily exercise. Grooming is easy, though their rough coats require little more than a weekly brushing.

Although loyal companions, Bouviers are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health and your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Bouvier des Flandres are prone to include eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma; breathing problems such as laryngeal paralysis; joint problems such as hip dysplasia; and digestive issues such as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV or bloat) and megaesophagus.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Bouvier has the misfortune of inheriting more than a hairy face, you’re protected.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)