How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

French bulldogs have sweet nature, but the breed has many chances for genetic deformations. The animals have long back, short nose, bat shaped ears and pushed in face. These features can cause breathing issues, eye problems and orthopedic deformations in the dogs. French Bulldogs have been reported to get joint problems in later age. Hemivertebrae is an orthopedic disease, which is inherited in many French dogs and it means the deformation of small bones in the backbone region of puppy into ‘hemi’ shape. This region affects the tail area of the dog. Multiple hermivertibrae can ultimately compress the spinal cord region and the puppy starts feeling pressure on its back.

There are several ways to overcome such issues. Mild pain can be handled with natural therapies, such as acupuncture. There is major surgery carried on for severest cases to reduce pain. French bullies are beautiful creatures and you will certainly get attached to your pet and take care of his health. There are X-ray examinations done on Frenchies and there are other diseases such as hip dysplasia and luxating patella are also common in the dogs.

French bulldogs have common eye diseases, such as retinal issues, eye lash problems, cornea deformations and a few dogs get cataract leading towards blindness. Some dogs have heart troubles also. Frenchies have allergies in skin due to their wrinkled skin. Most of the female bulldogs reproduce with c-section to avoid stressful conditions.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Some heath problems are inherited from parents, but treatment from the beginning can lead to better life for your dog. There are many other health issues created by environmental changes to these dogs. Keep the vaccination chart of dog regularly updated to keep them away from any diseases. Take care of the health of your French bulldog to avoid any hassles in the long run.

With those curious eyes, inquisitive ears, and endearing snuffles, what’s not to love about the French Bulldog?

Cousin to the huskier Bulldog, they were bred in England and made their way over to France as companions and fierce ratters. That bat-eared silhouette makes them instantly recognizable, and 15 million Instagram Frenchie posts prove their enduring popularity.

There’s a price, however, for all that cuteness. 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.

Why do French Bulldogs have breathing problems?

All those distinctive sniffles, snuffles, and snorts (as endearing as they may be) commonly occur in both the canine and feline flat-faced breeds. The shortened snout, which was encouraged during breeding selections to create the adorable smooshed face, resulted in some anatomical limitations. Unfortunately, as the breed’s skull shrunk the structures inside didn’t follow the same path.

Common problems of this include:

  • abnormally narrow nostrils that restrict air flow (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 the voice box blocking the trachea (everted laryngeal saccules)

Collectively these respiratory related problems shared by short-muzzled pets are called Brachycephalic (Short Head) Airway Syndrome. Not every dog presents with all the above. Just like their personalities, each Frenchie’s anatomy is unique, but seek to understand your pup’s makeup and have an open dialogue with your veterinarian.

How do you diagnose French Bulldog breathing problems?

Particular signs coincide with Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS). Symptoms can range from mild to severe, especially if multiple problems exist.

The symptoms to watch out for are both visual and auditory. For an easy point of reference, consider known human afflictions such as snorting, gagging, coughing, snoring, apnea, labored respiration, and vomiting. 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.

In short, dogs with cute, squished faces are mouth breathers.

In addition, because French Bulldogs are compact, they are more easily affected by high temperatures and problems associated with weight gain. A pet with varying degrees of BAS may collapse after exercise, gag on drool, vomit after eating or even pass out. Some French Bulldogs have large tongues and that can exacerbate the difficulties of a narrow airspace.

If you have any concerns or notice episodes getting worse and witness other issues such as collapsing and lethargy, 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 long, more energetic life.

How do you treat French Bulldog breathing problems?

Treatment depends entirely on the severity of the problems present. Watching your pup’s weight can help since an overweight Frenchie is more likely to present respiratory distress. These little guys are also not heat-tolerant, and the more restricted their airway the quicker they become distressed. Air conditioning, access to cool water, and avoiding high summer heat will go a long way to avoiding fainting episodes due to physical stress, heat stroke, and swollen air passages.

Other simple changes such as using a harness around the chest rather than a collar around the neck to avoid pressure on the windpipe can alleviate mild symptoms. Allergic reactions that cause overproduction of mucous or swelling in the throat may be eased by medications or dietary alterations.

Surgery is an option for French Bulldogs that have pinched nostrils, elongated palates, or swollen saccules. The outcomes depend on the number of issues present, the age of the animal, and the severity of the situation. Unfortunately, the nature of flat-faces means that such pets are also susceptible to problems with anesthesia. A veterinarian, therefore, will perform a full examination after diagnosis, take x-rays, and assess overall health before forming a plan for the patient.

Whether surgery is the route to go depends upon a lot of factors. In some cases, it can make a profound impact on comfort and longevity. Though prognosis will favor a young dog, older animals can still benefit from corrective procedures.

The Frankie Harness

If you’re looking for a walking harness for your Frenchie, check out the Frankie Harness.

What makes the Frankie walking harness great for French Bulldogs? Here are 6 reasons:

  • Stress Distribution. This harness distributes any pressure generated from the pulling of the leash across your Frenchie’s chest and shoulders, rather than on their neck and throat.
  • Breathable. The mesh polyester material makes this harness breathable so that your Frenchie doesn’t get too hot while they are wearing it.
  • Comfortable. The soft cushioned lining and mesh fabric are lightweight and extra comfortable for your pup.
  • Adjustable. If your Frenchie drops a few pounds (or puts on a few) the chest clip can be adjusted accordingly.
  • Unique. This harness is made just for Frenchies, so you can show off your love for the breed by strutting around with an iconic French Bulldog on your dog’s chest!
  • Affordable. We priced this harness at a fair and affordable price when compared to other harnesses on the market, so our Frenchie community don’t feel the squeeze.

Now you know the French Bulldog’s secret

It’s been suggested in studies that about half of the members of short-faced breeds present with BAS, however, there is no definitive way to predict it. Research conducted at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge suggests that nostril size was significant, and a yearly assessment of risk factors is good practice.

You have the knowledge to help your slobber-prone friend gather up all that oxygen a little easier. Listen for signs of distress, watch heat and weight, switch to a harness leash, and bring any concerns or thoughts to your vet.

After all, a Frenchie needs all the extra energy to jump on your lap and chew your shoes!

Will is the proud co-owner of Frankie, a Female Brindle French Bulldog, with his wife Michelle. We share our Frenchie experiences with the world to help health-conscious French Bulldog owners who want a happy, healthy, and long-living dog.

French bulldogs are famous for the friendly and affectionate personality that makes them easily fit into any type of environment. However, as with any dog breed, Frenchies also have character traits that may concern their owners in certain situations. Why do French Bulldogs scream is one of those questions that I often hear from their human parents. Frequent howling, whining, screaming, and barking may point out something more serious, so that’s why it’s important to observe the dog’s body language daily.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Why do French bulldogs scream? What could be the reasons?

As a French bulldog owner, you need to know that these pooches belong to companion breeds. It means that they are taught to spend time besides their owners. They are very dependable, so people who spend plenty of hours outside the home, shouldn’t consider owning a Frenchie for a pet.

Clingy behavior in French bulldogs

Another character trait that is common for all Frenchies is Velcro behavior. If an owner doesn’t teach his Frenchie to become undependable and spend time in the crate, there are high chances that the dog will start to suffer from separation anxiety. So, one of the reasons for a French bulldog’s screaming can be the lack of independence. Frenchies like to stay in the center of attention, and even though it looks cute at first, being your dog’s ‘babysitter’ 24/7 can really be exhausting.

Desire to interact

French bulldog scream because they belong to very talkative dogs. In other words, they adore interaction with all family members, especially with kids. They see kids as perfect playmates, so when you see your Frenchie screaming and howling in front of your kiddos, it’s a clear call to play. Your Frenchie might feel bored, so you need to provide them with mental stimulation. Whether it’s an interactive toy, chew toy, or some other item, your Frenchie can scream and cry due to this reason too.

Breathing problems in French bulldogs

Another reason for a French bulldog’s scream can be the issue with breathing. Unfortunately, Frenchies are prone to breathing problems because their muzzles are flat, but they have the same amount of tissue in their mouths just like other dogs with standard skulls. If you suspect breathing problems in your dog, our advice is to schedule a vet visit. A vet will relieve you whether your dog has the elongated palate that is often the main reason for heavy breathing. Aside from these facts, most French bulldogs live happily and healthy. The key to living with a healthy dog is to buy it from a reputable breeder who doesn’t deal with overproducing. French bulldogs shouldn’t be bought at low prices because it’s often a sign that they’ll suffer from different health issues. You may have paid a little in the beginning, but you will pay a lot in the future.

How to prevent a French bulldog from screaming?

If you’ve determined that your dog doesn’t have underlying health problems, then you should find solutions to keep him entertained. Buying French bulldog toys can help a lot, especially if you need to leave your dog alone for a few hours a day.

Interactive toys serve to improve the dog’s intelligence by keeping him entertained and occupied for a long time. They usually feature places to put treats that are known as one of the best motivational tools.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Another solution includes teaching the Frenchie to spend time alone in his crate. A crate can be the French bulldog’s bed that will provide him with a feeling of safety.

The French bulldog is a popular small dog breed and is liked due to its cuddly and affectionate nature. They can easily adapt to a new environment and get along very well with children and other animals. For this reason, they are one of the best dogs for families. The only problem is that there are a lot of French Bulldog health problems. French Bulldog health issues have kept many a Frenchie owner up at night and in this article I’ll cover some of the top problems.

These dogs are likely to suffer from one or more health problems that are associated with this breed. Dogs between the ages of 2 to 3 years are prone to these health problems, and you may have to pay veterinary expenses for their treatment. Therefore, we will tell you in detail about the common health problems and how to keep your dog healthy.

History of French Bulldogs Health Problems

French Bulldogs mostly suffer from genetic health problems. Most pet owners are interested in keeping a French bulldog as their pet, but soon they realize that it’s not a cheap dog breed. It becomes impossible for the pet owners to pay all expenses of the treatment of these dogs.

However, there is one thing that may be surprising for you. Among the bully breeds, French bulldogs are the healthiest. Dogs that suffer from serious health problems add many expenses to the budget. Therefore, some owners end up giving their dog for adoption.

Reading the history of health problems in French bulldogs, one can think that most of the problems are genetic diseases. These can be controlled through selective breeding, considering the desirable characteristics in the resultant breed. Most of the time, these dogs are bred just for looks, but it can bring many problems such as hip dysplasia, breathing difficulties, and spinal disorder.

Moreover, always try to get your French bulldog from an experienced and highly reputable breeder.

Common Health Problems in French Bulldogs

Some health problems are common in most of the French bulldogs. Dogs between the ages range of 2 to 3 years are highly susceptible to these problems. So, let’s learn about these problems so that they can be prevented.

Vomiting or Throwing Up:

Vomiting is one of the common health problems in French bulldogs. Vomiting is an indication of some other health issue of your dog, such as gastroenteritis. Almost 2% of the French bulldogs are affected by it. It is caused by a virus and can cause vomiting or diarrhea. There are lot of reasons why your French Bulldog may be throwing up.

Sometimes, the dog is automatically cured, but you should take the vet’s help so that the issue does not become severe. There are some of the symptoms of gastroenteritis that you can notice. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea and vomiting

Skin Allergy Problem:

Canine atopic dermatitis is the term used for skin allergies in dogs. In French bulldogs, this is a genetic issue and is also caused due to certain environmental factors. Moreover, these dogs are also prone to food allergies, which can disturb their lives.

Food allergies and skin allergies are difficult to treat, and they need more time to be diagnosed through testing. If some food causes skin allergy, you have to adjust and evaluate your dog’s food.

Your dog will have flaky, dry skin patches on the body, lesions, sores, and hot spots. Moreover, you can find these most commonly on sides, face, legs, hind ends, and paws. One of the signs you can look for in your dog is that he will bite, scratch, or chew that area excessively affected by allergy.

Conjunctivitis in Dogs in French Bulldogs

Conjunctivitis is a severe eye problem that is also characterized as a pink eye. Almost 3% of all French bulldogs suffer from this disease, mostly due to bacteria. Allergies are foreign bodies that can lead your dog to conjunctivitis. Some of the most common symptoms of this health problem in French bulldogs are:

  • Pus or mucus discharge from the eyes
  • Redness or pink eyes in or around the eye area
  • Swelling around or in the eyes
  • Blinking or squinting excessively

Sometimes there are block ducts in the eyes, and the only treatment left is surgery in this case. However, it can also be caused due to cancer or tumors, but it is a rare case.

Heavy Breathing in French Bulldogs

Breathing is among the common health problems in French bulldogs, and it is due to their barely visible nostrils. They do not get enough amount of air, so it becomes hard for them to breathe. This condition is also known as brachycephalic airway syndrome.

If your dog is unable to get enough oxygen, he will not be able to cool himself. This means that these dogs cannot do a lot of physical activity, and they cannot cope with hot weather conditions. Sometimes, the situation can be dire, and if your dog is deprived of oxygen, he may pass out.

The following are the signs that you can notice in your dog.

  • Snoring
  • Open-mouth breathing
  • Regurgitation
  • Wheezing

Hip Dysplasia in French Bulldogs – a Prime French Bulldog Health Issue

This is a common health problem in many dog breeds and is also found in French bulldogs. Hip joint works as a ball and socket. In dogs, hip dysplasia is a health problem in which the ball and socket do not develop or fit properly. The thigh bone does not work correctly or comfortably in the hip joint.

It’s a long-term disease in dogs characterized by arthritis, lameness, and symptoms of pain. This is also one of the genetic diseases; therefore, you must check the breed history before getting your French bulldog.

How to Find Healthy French Bulldog Dog As a pet?

It is essential to do your proper research about these dogs if you plan to get a French bulldog. These dogs are prone to many health problems; however, try to find a healthy French bulldog. For this, you need to pay special attention to selective breeding.

French bulldogs are mostly bred because of their looks, but it brings many health problems for them, making their lives difficult. Therefore, make sure that the breeding is done so that they have the least number of diseases. It is also essential to check the breed histories of parents so that your dog won’t have to suffer from any genetic health issue.

Another essential thing to keep in mind before buying a French bulldog is getting it from an experienced and well-known breeder.

Conclusion – French Bulldog Health Problems

French bulldogs are popular dogs and known for their affection towards families and their cuddly dispositions. These dogs serve as the best family dogs, but there are many health problems in French bulldogs that you have to deal with. They usually get these diseases at an early age. Some of the most common conditions include hip dysplasia, vomiting, conjunctivitis, etc.

It is essential to pay attention to their breeding so that the number of diseases can be reduced. Also, make sure that you check their parents’ breed histories to avoid any genetic health problem.

Click on this link for more on French Bulldog health.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

French Bulldogs are sweet, spunky dogs known for their playful nature and adorable “bat” ears. They are considered willing to please but highly stubborn. This breed is suited for many households and is a favorite dog breed of seniors.

Despite their quirks, French Bulldogs have experienced a massive surge in popularity in recent years, likely due to their compact size, amiable disposition, and clownish personality.

Like all dog breeds, French Bulldogs are more predisposed to certain health problems. Today, we’re going to break down some of the most common French Bulldog health problems so that you can take the best care of your pup!

Brachycephalic Syndrome in French Bulldogs

All French Bulldogs have brachycephalic airway syndrome, which occurs when a dog has a shortened skull, which gives French Bulldogs that cute “squished” nose. While adorable looking, brachycephalic syndrome can take a toll on your dog’s respiratory and gastrointestinal health.

Dogs with a mild case of brachycephalic syndrome will experience noisier breathing, such as snorts and snoring. More severe cases can include symptoms like coughing, vomiting, tiring quickly during exercise, and even fainting after exercise. (1)

There are a few ways you can help your French Bulldog with their brachycephalic syndrome.

If your dog is overweight, this can put additional stress on their breathing. Work with your veterinarian to help your dog safely lose weight.

Other options include anti-inflammatory drugs and surgery to improve airflow through your dogs’ nostrils. Surgery is typically only used when brachycephalic syndrome is severe. (1)

Back Problems in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are particularly prone to back problems, like intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD occurs when the cushion between your pup’s vertebra ruptures or moves, which causes the disc to put uncomfortable pressure on their spinal cord.

If you notice that your Frenchie is suddenly unable to walk, relieve themselves, or is hesitant or unwilling to go up stairs or jump, they may be experiencing IVDD. It’s strongly recommended that you immediately take your pup to the veterinarian as severe IVDD can lead to lifelong paralysis without medical intervention. (2)

To help your Frenchie avoid IVDD, lift them off and on furniture or provide them with a ramp so that they can avoid stressing their back. If your Frenchie is playing with children, be sure to monitor their play. Overly rough play can lead to back problems.

Ear Infections in French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs have charming, large bat ears that so many of us love. Unfortunately, the shape and size of their bat ears lend themselves to ear infections.

Common signs of ear infections include:

● Excessive ear scratching
● Odor
● Redness or swelling of the ear
● Itchiness
● Pain (your dog may yelp after their ear is touched)
● Discharge
● Crustiness in the ear

Ear infections are typically caused by yeast or bacteria making their way into your dog’s ear. If you notice that your Frenchie is experiencing common signs of an ear infection, contact your veterinarian. Most ear infections can be treated with anti-inflammatory medication and an oral antibiotic that will heal the infection within a week or two. (3)

Cherry Eye and Other Eye Disorders

French Bulldogs have large, beautiful eyes that, unfortunately, make them more prone to eye issues.

Cherry eye occurs when the third eyelid gland pops out. In healthy dogs, their third eyelid provides extra protection. A dog with cherry eye will appear to have a red, inflamed covering over part of their eye. This mass may appear constantly or periodically. Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome, like French Bulldogs, are thought to have a weaker attachment which allows the third eyelid gland to more easily detach and pop out of place.

Fortunately, the prognosis for cherry eye is typically favorable. The sooner treatment is given, the better the expected outcome. Most veterinarians will perform surgery to replace the third eyelid gland. In most cases, a dog will be back to functioning normally within a few weeks. Without treatment, a dog can experience dry eye due to the lack of tear production. Dry eye can lead to impaired vision if untreated. (4)

French Bulldogs are also more prone to other eye problems, like conjunctivitis and glaucoma. So if you have a French Bulldog, it’s vital that you keep an extra close eye on their eyes and maintain regular eye care. If you notice sudden redness or wateriness, reach out to your veterinarian about your next steps.

Pet Insurance for French Bulldogs

French Bulldogs are darling, affectionate dogs who deserve the very best care.

Some diseases and health issues, like brachycephalic syndrome, may not be preventable. However, many illnesses or health issues can be prevented or minimized with regular veterinary care. Your veterinarian is a valuable resource in helping you give your Frenchie a healthy foundation.

Routine physical exams and bloodwork allow your vet to screen your French Bulldog for early signs of disease, which can significantly help your pup’s prognosis should any health problems be discovered.

Pet insurance provides you with peace of mind knowing that your French Bulldog is covered should they need veterinary treatment for accidents and illnesses. Let SPOT pet insurance provide you with a safety net!

French bulldogs are famous for the friendly and affectionate personality that makes them easily fit into any type of environment. However, as with any dog breed, Frenchies also have character traits that may concern their owners in certain situations. Why do French Bulldogs scream is one of those questions that I often hear from their human parents. Frequent howling, whining, screaming, and barking may point out something more serious, so that’s why it’s important to observe the dog’s body language daily.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Why do French bulldogs scream? What could be the reasons?

As a French bulldog owner, you need to know that these pooches belong to companion breeds. It means that they are taught to spend time besides their owners. They are very dependable, so people who spend plenty of hours outside the home, shouldn’t consider owning a Frenchie for a pet.

Clingy behavior in French bulldogs

Another character trait that is common for all Frenchies is Velcro behavior. If an owner doesn’t teach his Frenchie to become undependable and spend time in the crate, there are high chances that the dog will start to suffer from separation anxiety. So, one of the reasons for a French bulldog’s screaming can be the lack of independence. Frenchies like to stay in the center of attention, and even though it looks cute at first, being your dog’s ‘babysitter’ 24/7 can really be exhausting.

Desire to interact

French bulldog scream because they belong to very talkative dogs. In other words, they adore interaction with all family members, especially with kids. They see kids as perfect playmates, so when you see your Frenchie screaming and howling in front of your kiddos, it’s a clear call to play. Your Frenchie might feel bored, so you need to provide them with mental stimulation. Whether it’s an interactive toy, chew toy, or some other item, your Frenchie can scream and cry due to this reason too.

Breathing problems in French bulldogs

Another reason for a French bulldog’s scream can be the issue with breathing. Unfortunately, Frenchies are prone to breathing problems because their muzzles are flat, but they have the same amount of tissue in their mouths just like other dogs with standard skulls. If you suspect breathing problems in your dog, our advice is to schedule a vet visit. A vet will relieve you whether your dog has the elongated palate that is often the main reason for heavy breathing. Aside from these facts, most French bulldogs live happily and healthy. The key to living with a healthy dog is to buy it from a reputable breeder who doesn’t deal with overproducing. French bulldogs shouldn’t be bought at low prices because it’s often a sign that they’ll suffer from different health issues. You may have paid a little in the beginning, but you will pay a lot in the future.

How to prevent a French bulldog from screaming?

If you’ve determined that your dog doesn’t have underlying health problems, then you should find solutions to keep him entertained. Buying French bulldog toys can help a lot, especially if you need to leave your dog alone for a few hours a day.

Interactive toys serve to improve the dog’s intelligence by keeping him entertained and occupied for a long time. They usually feature places to put treats that are known as one of the best motivational tools.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

Another solution includes teaching the Frenchie to spend time alone in his crate. A crate can be the French bulldog’s bed that will provide him with a feeling of safety.

In their quest to make the “perfect” bulldog, many irresponsible breeders are ignoring health issues, such as chronic respiratory disorders.

The French bulldog has exploded in popularity in the United States and the United Kingdom in recent years, and for understandable reasons: It’s a handy size, easy to groom, and people find its personality and looks adorable.

The breed has leapt from 11th in American Kennel Club registrations in 2013 to fourth in 2017. But the trend isn’t good news to those you’d think might welcome it.

“In my opinion it’s horrible, because those figures are not produced by responsible breeders,” says Virginia Rowland, president of the French Bull Dog Club of America.

That’s because, in their quest to make the “perfect” bulldog, many irresponsible breeders are ignoring the health issues that plague the breed—such as chronic eye, skin, digestive, and particularly, respiratory disorders.

A big part of the problem is that breeds like French bulldogs, pugs, and English bulldogs are what’s called brachycephalic—bred to have that cute, short muzzle. In extreme cases, these dogs can get so dangerously overheated and short of breath that they need surgery to open their nostrils and shorten their soft palate. (See “Dogs’ Brains Reorganized by Breeding.”)

Research done in the UK and published in 2016 found that almost half of French bulldogs have significant breathing problems, with over 66 percent showing stenotic nares, or excessively tight nostrils.

“He Was Slowly Suffocating”

Heather Hanna was already well versed in French bulldog health issues when she purchased her third “Frenchie,” named Arnie, in 2015.

“I knew before picking him up from his breeder’s house that he had some sort of health problems and was having trouble keeping on weight, but I had no idea the extent of it all,” says Hanna, who lives in Wyoming.

Arnie couldn’t even lie down to sleep due to difficulties breathing. After six months of research and consultations with vets, Hanna decided to take Arnie to Germany for advanced surgery to treat his constricted airways. (See “Dogs Are Even More Like Us Than We Thought.”)

“I didn’t know if the surgeries would work, but it was either make the trip or euthanasia, Arnie’s quality of life was that bad,” she says. “He was slowly suffocating to death before my eyes.”

After Arnie was home, Hanna realized that her other French bulldog, Milly, was suffering from the same acute respiratory issues. Milly was one of the first dogs to have the advanced airway procedure done in the U.S., but it wasn’t enough: She also went to Germany for additional surgery.

Careful Breeding

Compare today’s brachychephalic dogs with decades-old photos, and it’s clear that snouts have gotten shorter. Dog show standards probably drove that trend, but things may be changing.

“Judges more and more and becoming more educated and more cognizant that the really tight nostrils are not a good thing,” says Jerold Bell, a veterinary geneticist at Tufts University in Massachusetts.

“Five years ago, when I would show a picture of a French bulldog with really tight nostrils, the answer judges would give back to me is, ‘What’s the rest of the dog look like?'”

Rowland, who serves as a judge for French bulldog shows, says she would “not reward a dog that has any kind of breathing issue.”

Calvin Dykes, the French Bull Dog Club of America’s chairperson for health and genetics, notes that the club has required health tests for member breeders that have improved the French bulldog breed. In 2009, 24 percent of French bulldogs tested in the U.S. carried a gene responsible for juvenile hereditary cataracts; in 2017, the rate is less than 2 percent, thanks to the use of DNA testing to make breeding decisions. (See your dog pictures submitted to National Geographic.)

“I have no less than a thousand dollars in health tests [done] on a female before I breed her,” Dykes notes.

Start of a Movement

However, both of Hanna’s dogs came from show breeders; she’d been advised to go that route after her first French bulldog, Tudors Grace, died young.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that many have demanded more than the good intentions of judges and breeders. In the UK such a movement started in 2008 with the BBC documentary, “Pedigree Dogs Exposed,” and its 2012 sequel.

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Upper respiratory infections in dogs can affect the bronchi, trachea, throat, and nasal cavities and are common, especially in dogs with compromised immune systems. Most dogs will have at least one upper respiratory infection in their lifetime.

These infections are often caused by bacteria and viruses that are quite contagious, which is why outbreaks are often seen in shelters, kennels, or places where a lot of dogs are together in a close space. Upper respiratory infections are usually difficult to treat in dogs, and relapses happen often.

The symptoms are typically similar to those of the common cold in humans, like sore throats, runny noses, coughs, etc. If you see the signs of an upper respiratory infection in your dog, then it is important to get to the veterinarian right away to begin treatment quickly and avoid complications.

Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for upper respiratory infections in dogs.

Symptoms Of Upper Respiratory Infection In Dogs

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

Symptoms of upper respiratory infections in dogs can vary somewhat depending on the cause of the infection. Usually these are similar to what humans experience when they have a cold.

If you see the following symptoms in your dog, then get to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Eye discharge
  • Fever
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing, snorting, and wheezing
  • Gagging or retching
  • Dry nose
  • Drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Ulcers of the mouth or nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy
  • Exercise intolerance

Causes Of Upper Respiratory Infection In Dogs

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)

There are several bacterial and viral causes of upper respiratory infections in dogs, and puppies, senior dogs, and dogs with compromised immune systems are more at risk.

Bordetella bronchiseptica is the most common bacteria that causes upper respiratory infections in dogs. This bacteria is related to Bordetella pertussis, which causes whooping cough in humans.

It can spread between dogs through coughing, clothing, or shared water bowls. It can lead to further secondary infections of E. coli, staph, and strep if untreated, and puppies may develop bronchopneumonia.

Upper respiratory infections in dogs can also be caused by viruses such as distemper, adenovirus, and influenza, among others. Parainfluenza is the most common viral cause of upper respiratory infections in dogs. Any of these viruses can cause severe damage to the respiratory system and lead to upper airway disease.

In addition, sometimes parasites can cause upper respiratory infections in dogs. For example, pneumonyssoides caninum, more commonly known as the canine nasal mite, can cause a number of symptoms and leave dogs open to secondary infection. However, canine nasal mite infection is rare in North America.

Lung flukes, which live in pulmonary cysts in the lungs, may also cause upper respiratory infection symptoms, though they are very rare and transmitted by eating crayfish.

Treatments For Upper Respiratory Infection In Dogs

How to treat breathing problems in french bulldogs

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Treatment for upper respiratory infection in dogs often begins with prevention. Many diseases that cause upper respiratory infection can be vaccinated against. Additionally, vaccinations may even help in reducing the symptoms for diseases that have no vaccination.

For example, dogs vaccinated against Bordetella have less severe symptoms when exposed to influenza. Some respiratory infections last between five to ten days and require no treatment, other than hydration and nourishment.

If an upper respiratory infection does occur, then antibiotics are often prescribed to help fight the disease. Doxycycline is a common drug that fights off Bordetella, for instance. Azithromycin might be used instead if doxycycline fails, as it is more powerful.

Veterinarians may also prescribe nose drops, rest, and lots of water to help dogs recover. In extreme cases, intravenous fluids and nutritional supplements may be provided.

During the infection, dogs should stay away from other animals to avoid spreading the disease.

Has your dog ever had an upper respiratory infection? How did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!