French bulldogs are known for the different colors of their coat. But it is not just their coats that attract our attention. French bulldog blue eyes are one of the most attractive and fascinating features.
While most Frenchies change eye color as they grow, some don’t. You might have wondered how do French bulldogs get blue eyes? Do they always remain blue? Are there any downsides to them having blue eyes?
This article will help you answer all of these questions.
Why Do French Bulldogs Have Blue Eyes?
French bulldogs come with attractive coats in lilac, Isabella, and blue. But lately, the attraction has become their blue eyes. There are several reasons for a blue eyed Frenchie.
Presence Of Certain Genes
The main or predominant reason is genes. The presence of M-Locus or S-locus genes usually causes blue eyed French bulldogs. Two types of dogs carry either gene.
Merle French Bulldogs – These bulldogs have the M-Locus genes.
Piebald Pooches – These carry the S-Locus genes.
Embark Veterinary analyzed the genetic profiles of over 6000 dogs and found a genetic mutation near the gene called ALX4. The study determined that dogs with this mutation have a higher chance of developing blue eyes.
Your French bulldog grey blue eyes might be the result of this genetic mutation.
Melanin In The Iris
Some Frenchies have blue eyes due to the presence of the pigment melanin. Melanin causes the ring around the iris to turn blue.
Melanin is a protein. It is secreted by cells called Melanocytes. These cells are light-sensitive, and being in the mother’s belly results in the puppies having no sunlight exposure. If a dog has blue eyes, it means there is melanin in its iris.
Melanin is something that you should look out for. Blue French bulldog puppies have a higher tendency to develop allergies and have sensitive skin. There also might be light pink coloring around their mouth and eyes. These skin areas should be protected with sunscreen.
Are Their Eyes Blue Forever
Just like humans, the eyes of some newborn French bulldogs are blue. The ring around the pupil is black, but the ring around the iris is blue. In newborn puppies, the eyes are blue due to the presence of a pigment called melanin.
Ideally, the puppy develops its permanent eye color between the age of 9-16 weeks. The colors that set in are usually brown, black, or a rare blue.
Heterochromia is the phenomenon of having two different colored eyes. This is common for a lot of different species of animals, even humans.
There are two types of heterochromia. These are acquired heterochromia and congenital heterochromia.
If your French bulldog grey blue eyes are due to acquired heterochromia, you should get it checked by a vet. There is a high chance your dog might have acquired an eye disease like cataracts or glaucoma. If the eye color is natural, then there is little to worry about.
Health Issues Surrounding Blue Eyed Frenchies
While the blue eyes of your Frenchie are stunningly beautiful, your pet might be at risk of developing significant health problems. Let’s discuss some of these.
Deafness Or Hearing Loss
Your beloved blue French bulldog might develop hearing loss. It is a common disorder developed by French bulldogs with blue eyes.
Hearing loss is linked with the M-locus and S-locus genes. The M-locus gene causes congenital deafness, while the piebald gene leads to lesser mature melanocytes in the ears. These are melanin-producing cells, and a loss of them can cause complete deafness.
The piebald gene also causes multicolored or spotted coats. Should your Frenchie have blue eyes due to the M-Locus gene or a spotted coat due to the S-Locus gene, they might be prone to deafness.
Deafness is a major health concern among dogs. Should your French bulldog blue suffer from deafness, you need to be extra careful about their care.
They are much more prone to be involved in traffic accidents. Since dogs rely on their hearing and smell predominantly, extra care needs to be taken if they develop hearing loss.
Get a dog ID and a special collar for deaf dogs to ensure their safety and keep everyone around them aware.
Blue eyes in dogs can lead to vision defects. If your dog has blue eyes, it might be carrying the Merle gene (M-locus), which is a dominant gene. This gene may lead to blindness or partial vision loss.
Having the M-Locus gene doesn’t guarantee vision loss. If both parents carry this gene and pass it on to the offspring, the likelihood of vision loss increases.
There are a few other vision conditions that might develop. These are –
Cherry eye – This is when your French bulldog blue eyes become red and look bloodshot. This might be a symptom of corneal ulcers or dry eye syndrome.
Juvenile cataract – This means your puppy’s or young dog’s eye lens has developed an opacity. This lens, normally, is transparent. With a cataract, the clarity of their vision is affected.
Entropion – This is when your dog’s eyelids roll inwards. This means the skin and hair on the surface of the eyelid rub against the cornea. This causes a lot of pain and can cause ulcers and perforations to form.
All vision defects in dogs need to be handled with extreme care. Dogs are likely to get scared and injure themselves more often. You will need to dog-proof your home, get a special collar, and let others in your surroundings know. Encourage walks and regular exercise.
It is recommended that you consult your vet about any of these health problems. They will surely guide you to the right steps to make your dog feel comfortable and safe.
If your Frenchie has blue eyes, it’s nothing to panic about. None of the health issues above is a hundred percent guaranteed. You should do things like the BAER test for hearing loss and get a professional to do health check-ups.
Adequate precautions and regular check-ups can ensure that your French bulldog blue eyes lead a comfortable and safe life if there is a health problem.