Curious eyes, inquisitive ears, and endearing snuffles, these are some of the terms you can use to describe some parts of the Frenchie, and of course, some of the things that make us love them.
From time immemorial, the French Bulldog is a sojourner who traveled from England to France, and now this cute little pet is so popular across the globe that it has garnered over 15 million Instagram posts from Frenchie Lovers.
However, some of the reasons why we love Frenchie might also be the same things that pose certain challenges for them. For instance, you might often hear the distinctive signs of the breed’s respiratory issues and not understand the cause or what can be done to ease symptoms. This in most cases might be a sign of breathing problems.
Why do French Bulldogs have breathing problems?
Breathing problems are common among canine and feline flat-faced breeds because they bring about some anatomical limitations, such as:
- Abnormally narrow nostrils that restrict airflow (stenotic nares)
- The soft, back roof of the mouth is too long and obstructs the airway (elongated soft palate)
- A restrictive windpipe (hypoplastic trachea)
- Sacs along with the voice box blocking the trachea (everted laryngeal saccules)
In general, these breathing problems are referred to as Brachycephalic (Short Head) Airway Syndrome, common among all dogs of this breed.
It is, however, noteworthy that it is not every dog that is faced with all the above challenges at the same time. Just like their personalities, each Frenchie’s anatomy is unique. What you should pay more attention to is understanding your pup’s makeup. You also need to have an open dialogue with your veterinarian, who can help you to diagnose any of such breathing problem and know the extent of the anatomical limitations in your puppy.
How do you diagnose French Bulldog breathing problems?
There are some signs or symptoms which are unique to Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS). They may range from mild to severe, especially if multiple problems exist. Remember that not all Frenchies have these multiple problems.
Sometimes, the symptoms are certain physical manifestations that you can easily observe, other times they may be just auditory. Compare this to some human experiences such as snorting, gagging, coughing, snoring, apnea labored respiration and vomiting. In the same way, a dog with a very noisy, raspy and rapid respiration rate will make distinct sounds. For animals with narrow nostrils, for example, it’s easier to inhale through the mouth rather than the nose. So, you find more often with there mouths open, while they breathe.
As a matter of fact, all dogs with cute, squished faces are mouth breathers, i.e., they breathe through their mouths almost all the time.
Breathing problems in French Bulldog may be more pronounced more than you may find it in other similar breeds because they are easily affected by extreme temperatures and they are very susceptible to obesity.
If you have any concerns or notice some abnormal episodes with your Frenchie breathing, consult with your vet right away. Noisy breathing is common, but not normal. Treatment plans are available to help your furry friend breathe easier and live a longer, more energetic life.