Hypoplastic Trachea In Bulldogs And French Bulldogs

By: Dr. Roy Kraemer |
DVM, Bulldog Specialist Veterinarian

Bulldog hypoplastic trachea is a breathing and respiratory condition listed under the
brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).


Bulldog Airway Problems Included in BOAS

  • Stenotic Nares (Pinched nose)
  • Elongated Soft Palate
  • Everted Laryngeal Saccules
  • Irreversible Laryngeal Collapse
  • Blown-up, prolapsed Tonsils.
  • Large, thick tongue
  • Swollen nasal turbines

WARNING: Hypoplastic trachea will exasperate other BOAS conditions

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. It is a borrowing of the windpipe, an inborn condition unique to bulldogs
  2. Hypoplastic trachea is not the same as trachea collapse, a condition of small breeds
  3. If other BOAS are repaired early, hypoplastic trachea as a stand-alone is of little consequence.
  4. Management includes weight control, a stress-free environment, a cool temperature, and supplements
  5. Prevention & Care includes Dr. Kraemer’s Affordable Hypoplastic Trachea Bundles 

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Hypoplastic Trachea in Bulldogs / CAUSE:

CONGENITAL: Hypoplastic trachea is an abnormally small diameter of your bully windpipe, it’s a
congenital inborn condition.

Trachea Collapse vs. Hypoplastic Trachea

Hypoplastic trachea is common only to the brachycephalic breed and is not the same as
trachea collapse, a condition common to miniature breeds.

hypoplastic trachea in bulldogs

Hypoplastic Trachea in Bulldogs and French Bulldog DIAGNOSIS

  • Chest and neck radiographs
  • Other:
    • Blood work
    • Pulse Oximeter.
    • Blood Pressure
    • Blood Gas Analysis

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea PRESENTATION

  • Labored, Noisy Breathing
  • Snorting and Stridor
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Retching, Regurgitating, and vomiting
  • Pneumonitis, Aspiration pneumonia
  • Overheating
  • Hypoxia and Cyanosis
  • Sadden Collapse

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea PREVENTION

  1. BREEDING: Don’t breed dogs with known hypoplastic trachea and severe BOAS
  2. LEAN BODY WEIGHT: Weight Control
  3. EXERCISE: Avoid intense activity
  4. CLIMATE: Avoid Activity on a hot day
  5. FEEDING: raise the food bowl, use slow feeders
  6. SUPPLEMENTS: bully therapeutics


  • Bully StressLess Chews
  • Bully Immune Support
  • Bully HEMP Calm & Relax
  • Bully Probiotics and Digestive Enzymes

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Hypoplastic Trachea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT

MYTH vs. REALITY: Contra to what your vet might tell you, hypoplastic trachea in bulldogs as a standalone airway condition is a usully a nonfactor.


Most bulldogs with hypoplastic trachea and no other airway problems will live a relatively normal life, but if they have other existing BOAS problems like stenotic nares and elongated soft palate, the hypoplastic trachea will exasperate them. Most times, it only becomes a factor when presented together with other BOAS conditions,

It is critical to repair all the primary BOAS problems and do so early.

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea TREATMENT

ANTI-VOMITING & ANTI-NEUSEA: If your bully is retching, vomiting, or regurgitating, you can add anti-emetics like Cernia or Reglan

ANTI ACID & ANTI REFLUX: medication like Omeprazole and Pepsid-C

STEROIDS: (anti-inflammatory dosage): Short-term cortisone might help an acute episode.

TRANQULIZERS: like Acepromazine


Hypoplastic Trachea in Bulldogs DR. KRAEMER’S TIPS & WARNINGS

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea RADIOGRAPHS TIP:

Hypoplastic trachea is often diagnosed incidentally when chest radiographs are taken. It could look dramatic and scary; thus, your vet might give you a bad
prognosis or worse.

Remember, if other BOAS conditions are not presented or if they are repaired on time, the hypoplastic trachea impact on your bully’s life and life quality is
usually minimal.

Bulldog Hypoplastic Trachea FEEDING TIP

If your bully is retching, try to elevate the food bowl and use a slow feeder. See
the treatment section for anti-nausea and anti-reflux rx.


Brachycephalic breeds like bulldogs and French bulldogs typically suffer from

  • Smooshed, compressed face
  • Pinched nose
  • Swollen nasal tissue
  • Abnormal nasopharynx
  • Abnormal nasopharynx

All of which restrict and obstruct airflow and reduce oxygenation. As compensation, bulldogs must increase respiratory effort by producing higher airway negative pressure (suction). This section stresses the delicate pharyngeal and laryngeal tissue, the tongue, soft palate, and tonsils causing inflammation, swelling, tissue fatigue, prolapse, and collapse.

This chain of events gets worse day by day, further worsening the airway obstruction and ultimately leading to endstage irreversible damage and airway restriction. This in turn also increases vasovagal tone and intraabdominal pressure, which leads to retching, vomiting, and aspiration, commonly known as bulldog aspiration pneumonia.

Left untreated bulldog BOAS can tragically end in asphyxiation and death

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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