All brachycephalic dogs have an elongated soft palate. However, this stretching cause discomfort and decreases the quality of life, promoting snoring, shortness of breath and fainting. When Stenosis of the airways occurs, the severity of dyspnea increases, as the air resistance caused by this narrowing reduces the passage of air. In general, the French bulldog with this problem can easily choke, vomit, difficulty swallowing, breathing noises, low tolerance to exercise and, occasionally, shortness of breath.
For this reason, Frenchie dog snores and has so-called “reverse sneezing”, a rapid and repeated inhalation forced through the nose, accompanied by choking and snoring sounds used to clean the mucus palate. The signs are accentuated mainly during stress, tiredness, increased physical activity and high temperatures. Because it is a congenital problem, the symptoms can manifest in the animal at a young age. Correction of the palate prolongation occurs surgically.
Stenosis of the nostrils
Stenosis of the nostrils is one of the factors that cause breathing problems in dogs. Depending on the case, surgical correction is possible.
The brachycephalic dog’s trachea may be narrower in places. For this reason, the anesthetic risk is higher than normal in these breeds. The anesthesia indicated for brachycephalic dogs is inhalation. This is because the anesthetic process can be stopped at any time by the anesthetist veterinarian, greatly reducing the risks.
For the Frenchie dog, the drastic reduction in nasal breathing means the loss of its main thermoregulatory organ, preventing it from releasing sufficient body heat. This can lead to an increase in internal body temperature, which in turn can induce collapse and death. Brachycephalic dogs are therefore the main candidates to suffer “heat-attacks”.
The flattening of the snout leads to eye protrusion. That is, the eyes are more at the surface, more exposed to being dry or suffering ulcerations. In severe cases, the eyelids are unable to close and lubricate the eyes. The most common eye problems in French Bulldogs are as follows:
- Corneal Ulcer: It occurs when the transparent surface of the eye, the cornea, is severely injured. Dogs with this disorder tend to blink their eyes repeatedly and keep one of them always closed.
- Cataract: French Bulldogs are predisposed to the development of juvenile cataracts. That is, they may present this condition early, at around 2/3 years of age.
- Cherry Eye: It is an abnormality that can happen in any dog, being, without a doubt, the ophthalmological problem that most affects French bulldogs.