Health Issues More Commonly Seen in the Bouvier des Flandres

Health Issues More Commonly Seen in the Bouvier des Flandres

Health & Safety

These lovely shaggy dogs make wonderful family pets because they boast such calm and gentle natures. However, if there are any strangers about, the Bouvier des Flandres will soon let you know about it which makes them great watchdogs too. Like many other pure breeds, they are more predisposed to certain hereditary health issues as well as a few acquired ones which are worth knowing about.

The reason it's good to know about a health condition, is that it allows you to recognise any symptoms earlier rather than later and the sooner a condition is treated, the better the prognosis tends to be. Below is a list of the health disorders more commonly associated with the breed.

Hip Dysplasia

A condition that affects many pure breeds including the Bouvier des Flandres, hip dysplasia is caused when a hip joint develops abnormally and this typically occurs when a dog' s bones are still growing. Dogs tend to be consistently lame and if the condition is very severe, arthritis tends to set in. The result is a dog has even less movement in their joints.

You should seek veterinary attention if you have any concerns about your dog because if the condition is correctly diagnosed, the quicker your dog would be made to feel more comfortable and the better the outcome tends to be.

Elbow Dysplasia – OCD of the elbow

This is a common disorder that affects the breed and is where elbow joints don't form correctly. Dogs tend to be consistently lame on their front legs because it's a painful condition. Treatment should be started early to alleviate a dog's discomfort. Although the cause of Elbow Dysplasia is unknown, the good news is it can be managed on an ongoing basis.


Glaucoma is an extremely painful eye condition where excessive pressure is seen to build up in a dog's eye. It's an hereditary disorder that typically starts to develop when dogs are around 2 years old and if left untreated the eye can be severely damaged, in a worst case scenario it can lead to blindness.

However, glaucoma only affects one eye at a time and not both. Immediate veterinary care is essential to alleviate a dog's discomfort and preventative measures should be put in place so a dog's other eye is not affected and if it is, to control the extent of the damage.


Cataracts are frequently seen in older dogs where eyes turn cloudy. The condition sometimes cause blindness although if not too severe, a cataract may not affect a dog's eyesight too much. It is an hereditary condition, but cataracts can also develop when dogs suffer from diabetes.

Hypothyroidism – a thyroid disorder

The Bouvier des Flandres tends to suffer from hypothyroidism which if left untreated can seriously affect their quality of life. On top of this, hypothyroidism may lead to other health issues including epilepsy as well as a few skin issues too.


This is a form of cancer that attacks a dog's lymphoid system and is one of the cancers that most commonly affects dogs. It can affect dogs at any age, but it is more usually diagnosed in dogs between the ages of six and nine. The cancer may be present throughout their body which includes lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract as well as in their bone marrow. Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer and how soon the condition was first diagnosed.

Ovarian Cysts

The Bouvier des Flandres also has a tendency to develop ovarian cysts, of which there are three sorts. However, the more common one is ovarian carcinomas. Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer and how quickly a correct diagnosis is made.

Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS)

This is a common hereditary disorder seen in the breed and is a complex disorder that puppies inherit from either or both their parents. Unfortunately, nobody really knows why the condition affects some puppies and all too often there are no symptoms present and then a puppy suddenly dies unexpectedly. If diagnosed early enough, puppies can be given certain medication which effectively helps prolong their lives.

High Pain Threshold

These lovely dogs are also known to have a pretty high pain threshold which often means an injury may go unnoticed which can make it quite hard for an injury or health issue to be treated due to the fact it was not caught early enough. As a rule of thumb, the sooner an injury or health disorder is correctly diagnosed the better the outcome tends to be.


Although it may seem the Bouvier des Flandres as a breed tends to suffer from a whole host of health disorders, not all of these lovely dogs will develop any of the conditions listed above during the course of their lives. However, knowing that a dog is more predisposed to a disorder helps you recognise the signs that something may be wrong. As previously mentioned, the sooner a health condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome tends to be for the dog.

Newsletter icon
Get free tips and resources delivered directly to your inbox.


Pets for StudWanted Pets

Accessories & services


Knowledge Hub


Support & Safety Portal
All Pets for Sale