French Bulldog Breathing Problems

If you are thinking of adopting a French Bulldog, you should be aware of breed-related breathing problems.

The set of their eyes and reduced muzzle size give them a more human-like appearance, but the face of the French Bulldog has not evolved naturally. It was designed by deliberately breeding together dogs with smaller muzzles. This has caused the breed to experience some very serious health problems.

French Bulldog breathing problems can range from moderate to severe. The Frenchie is a loud, heavy breather and most of them are snorers. Many pet parents may become concerned when they hear their French Bulldog breathing heavily, and this may or may not be normal. It could be due to the physical makeup of the dog’s airway, or it could be a sign of brachycephalic airway syndrome. This is a condition that is common for French Bulldogs and other dogs with short airways and scrunched faces. The problem can range from mild to serious, with the most serious cases requiring surgery.

Overview of French Bulldog Breathing Problems

Flat-faced dogs are referred to as “brachycephalic,” and this condition is linked to a variety of French Bulldog health issues, including breathing problems. These dogs have short facial bones but the same amount of facial tissue as a dog with a normal muzzle length. So, there is more tissue inside the dog’s mouth than the muzzle has space for, potentially blocking the airway and requiring surgery to avoid respiratory distress.

Brachycephalic dogs have narrow nostrils as well, which makes it harder for them to breathe and get enough air. If your dog can’t oxygenate themselves, they cannot effectively cool down, which may result in overheating. That means French bulldogs can’t run very far or cope with the hot weather.

Brachycephalic Syndrome is an upper airway abnormality commonly seen in flat-faced dogs. The condition can include narrowed nostrils (stenotic nares) and an elongated soft palate. As a result, the dog suffers from breathing problems and symptoms that include exercise intolerance, noisy breathing, snoring, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

All brachycephalic dogs have compromised airways to some degree and many of them suffer severe symptoms. Speak to your veterinarian if your dog is experiencing any symptoms of Brachycephalic Syndrome. There are both surgical and medical treatments to help manage the condition.

If a French bulldog requires surgery, it may be very difficult for your veterinarian to intubate your dog because of their physical attributes.

How to Avoid Breathing Issues in French Bulldogs

Managing mild cases of heavy breathing can be done by keeping your dog at a normal weight and ensuring they don’t overexercise. Also, make sure to keep your dog cool on hot days and avoid stress.

Your veterinarian may also recommend medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or corticosteroids. Oxygen therapy can also be used for short-term treatment of respiratory distress.

French bulldog breathing problems can worsen when you do not take the necessary precautions.

Don’t Overexercise Your Dog

Too much exercise can cause breathing difficulties. Stick to a short 10 to 15-minute walk each day. Be aware of your dog’s symptoms. If you notice that your dog is having trouble keeping up or seems fatigued, pick them up and carry them home.

The exercise needs of an adult Frenchie and a puppy are quite different. With a puppy, strenuous walks are unnecessary – and they could be harmful. As a rule, walk your French Bulldog puppy about two minutes for every month of age. So, a three-month-old puppy would walk for about six minutes. During the walk, monitor your puppy for signs of fatigue and end the walk if they seem too tired to continue.

Keep Your Bulldog Out of the Heat

French Bulldogs are prone to overheating and breathing issues that are directly related to the structure of their faces. Brachycephalic dogs are prone to heatstroke because they cannot take in enough oxygen to keep them cool and refreshed. They also have trouble regulating their body temperature effectively.

So, don’t make your French Bulldog physically exert themselves too much. Go for walks in the morning and evening and avoid the hot temperatures during the day. Keep your French Bulldog comfortable by providing a cool, air-conditioned environment.

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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