Merle French Bulldogs can live for 10 to 14 years.
This is the same lifespan expected for other Frenchies. While the merle variety has a similar lifespan, they are prone to developing diseases that other French Bulldogs may not have.
These unique health issues associated with the merle gene are why merle Frenchies are considered bad or undesirable. Let’s take a closer look at these merle-associated diseases and other health issues that affect merle French Bulldogs.
The merle gene affects the development and functionality of the French Bulldog’s eyes. In very severe cases, it could result in total blindness in either one or both of the eyes.
The merle gene also affects the development of the structures in the ear responsible for perceiving and transmitting the auditory stimuli. As with the blindness, deafness in merle Frenchies often happens to double merle Frenchies.
Color Dilution Alopecia
Color dilution alopecia is common in blue merle French Bulldogs that have a dilution gene in addition to the merle gene mutation. The combination of these genes result in weaker fur strands prone to breakage or shedding from the root resulting in alopecia.
In addition to the blindness, merle French Bulldogs are likely to develop eye defects. These include unusually small eyes, missing eyes, or abnormal pupils that are sensitive to light.
Skin irritation in merle French Bulldogs often occurs in areas with skin folds as a result of either friction or moisture accumulation. If not addressed, the irritation could result in eruptions that later get infected.
Brachycephalic Obstructive Syndrome
The flat face on a French bulldog may make the dog cute but this comes at a cost to their health. The brachycephalic structure makes it very difficult for the dogs to breathe, which is what is referred to as brachycephalic obstructive syndrome among other consequences.