Breathing Problems in Bulldogs

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs

Breathing problems in bulldogs French bulldogs Puppies are very common and can critically impact your bulldog puppy’s living quality and life expectancy.

Bulldog Respiratory and Breathing Problems 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. Breathing problems are very common to all bulldogs, often they begin at a young age and get worse with time.
  2. Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is the most common cause of breathing problems in bulldogs.
  3. BOAS leads to aspiration pneumonia. Sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and hiatal hernia are some of the other breathing problems.
  4. Management includes weight control, a stress-free environment, a cool temperature, supplements, and surgical correction.
  5. Prevention & Care includes Dr. Kraemer’s Affordable Respiratory & Breathing Bundles 

Members of this bulldog community prefer prevention over RX

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs Ultimate Bundle

Bulldog Breathing Problems BRACHYCEPHALIC (BOAS)

Some of the most common respiratory and airway diseases in the breed are the ones associated with their flat face (brachycephalic).

This “pushed in” signature look of the common bulldog has an undesirable effect on the entire anatomy of your bulldog’s neck and head and its relation to the respective soft tissue and structures.

They are usually divided into primary brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and secondary BOAS


  • Elongated Soft Palate
  • Stenotic Nares
  • Evertated Laryngeal Saccules
  • Large Thicken Tongue
  • Thicken Nasal Turbinates


  • Laryngeal Paralysis
  • Prolapsed Swollen Tonsils
  • Hypoplastic Trachea

For some bulldogs, this can lead to serious medical problems that in most cases if not corrected will get worse over time.

To learn more about bulldog and Fr. bulldog brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome click HERE

Bulldog and French Bulldog Breathing Problems OTHER

  • Sinusitis
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Aspiration Pneumonia
  • Hital Hernia

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs French Bulldogs STENOTIC NARE:

A stenotic nose is one of the common breathing problems in the breed, especially in French bulldogs.

Stenotic means narrow, or just “pinched nose”, which restricts the amount of air that can flow into your bulldog nostrils. Left alone this problem will compound the other BOAS problems.

Stenotic Nares can be surgically corrected by removing a wedge of tissue from the nostrils to allow improved airflow.

Bulldog breathing problems

To learn more about bully stenotic nares click HERE

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs / ELONGATED SOFT PALATE:

Sadly, the natural anatomical boundaries of the soft palate are often altered as a direct aftermath of past and ongoing inbreeding selection to the “cute smooched face”.

The flat face forces the soft palate into the vacant laryngeal space obstructing space critical for respiration.

The obstructive tissue should be surgically shortened to improve airflow

Bulldog breathing problems elongated palate

To learn more about bully elongated soft plate click HERE

Bulldog Breathing Problems / EVERTED LARYNGEAL SACCULES

The laryngeal cartilaginous tissue evert, prolapse, and turn inwards due to the constant negative pressure, increased respiratory effort, and suction associated with BOAS.

The everted laryngeal saccules will further obstruct airway flow already compromised by the other structural abnormalities mentioned in this chapter (i.e. bulldog elongated soft palate, stenotic nares, hypoplastic trachea)

breathing problems in bulldog laryngeal saccules

To learn more about bulldog everted laryngeal saccules click HERE

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs  / ASPIRATION PNEUMONIA

Aspiration Pneumonia happens when the lower respiratory tract becomes inflamed due to inhalation of foreign material, gastric content (vomiting), and/or esophageal content (regurgitation). The aspirated material can critically damage your bulldog puppy’s lungs and surrounding tissue.

Unfortunately, the inhaled matter is usually laden with bacteria, therefor infection is likely to ensue.

Bulldog Breathing Airway disease Aspiration Pneumonia

Breathing respiratory airway disease aspiration pneumonia in bulldog

To learn more about bulldog aspiration pneumonia click HERE

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs / Hypoplastic Trachea:

The trachea or windpipe of a bulldog is smaller in diameter than in normal dogs, which causes restricted airflow.

Any abnormality in the upper airway or narrowing of your bulldog’s airways can cause increased airway resistance and also increase negative intra-airway pressure.

To learn more about bulldog hypoplastic trachea click HERE

Enlarged Tonsils In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs :

The problems associated with BCS  are likely to get worse over time manifested by increased inflammation, and fatigue of the tissues surrounding the larynx.

The breathing effort suction and negative pressure severely enlarge the tonsils until they prolapse out from their crypts, further obstructing airflow.

Tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) is recommended in those cases.

Bulldog breathing problem due to enlarged tonsils

Hiatal Hernia In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs:

Hiatal hernia is a protrusion of the abdominal esophagus or part of your bully stomach through the diaphragmatic esophageal hiatus.

The herniated parts can land in the chest cavity or part of the terminal esophagus.

The hiatus (tear, opening) could be congenital (born with) or acquired.

Hital hernia is more common in bulldogs than in most breeds.

Breathing Problems In Bulldogs / Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic Rhinitis is an inflammatory condition of the nasal sinuses (Sinusitis) manifested by nasal discharge, sneezing, snoring, open mouth breathing, at times bloody nasal discharge, and/or labored breathing.

It is often due to allergen exposure.

To learn more about bulldog allergic rhinitis click HERE

Sinusitis In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs:

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity mucosa lining.

Bulldog sinusitis can be caused by a range of conditions such as viral, bacterial, allergies, fungal, dental disease, and foreign body.

Your bulldog typically will sneeze and have clear, mucoid, blood, or purulent nasal discharge.

Your bulldog might also exhibit eating difficulties, bad breath, and bleeding gums.

To learn more about bulldog sinusitis click HERE

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*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer, a “MUST READ” manual for any current or future bully owner.