Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

“Dr. Kraemer I am worried about Bulldozer. His sleep has been anything but peaceful lately. His sleep is a symphony of loud snoring, occasional gasps for breath, and moments where he seems to pause, only to wake up with a start. It’s heartbreaking to witness, and it leaves me feeling helpless. Bulldozer restless sleep and the visible signs of struggling for breath have become all too common. I’m reaching out for advice because I want to ensure that he gets the quality rest he deserves. 🐾💤 #BulldogSleepApnea #FurryFriends #BulldozerTheBulldog”

Bulldog sleep apnea disorder

Sleep apnea is rare in most canine breeds except for the flat-faced ones, such as

Sleep Apnea Health Concerns in Bulldogs

A typical canine requires 12–14 hours of sleep, including naps during the day.
Sleep is essential for your bulldog’s mental and physical health, just as it is for ours.

Sleep deprivation and poor-quality sleep have immediate and long-term negative effects on the immune and hormonal systems of your bulldog.


Because chronic sleep apnea reduces your bulldog’s quality of life and life expectancy, it should be addressed as soon as possible.


Bulldog Sleep Apnea 5 X MUST KNOW

  1. Sleep apnea is rare in most canine breeds but common in bulldogs
  2. It is mostly associated with the breed brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS)
  3. Loud snoring, poor blood oxygenation, chocking, and sudden awaking are common
  4. Care includes weight management and the timely repair of BOAS.
  5. Prevention and Care includes Dr. Kraemer’s Sleep Apnea Bundles 

Members of this bulldog community prefer prevention over RX

bulldog Sleep Apnea Ultimate Bundle

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

In the smooched-face breeds, the apnea is usually associated with brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). Therefore, bulldog sleep apnea is often the obstructive (OSA) type.

OSA is believed to worsen during REM sleep (rapid eye movement), which is the dreaming phase.

Oxygen blood saturation appears to be lower than normal in those dogs.

Pulse Oximeter Bulldog Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs/Presentation:

  • Snoring: load
  • Breathing: Frequent gasps with breathing pause
  • Choking: during sleep
  • Restless: restless sleeping
  • Waking up: sudden waking
  • Behavioral: irritable, depressed, tired, stressed
  • Sickness and Illness: respiratory  and heart disease, as well as high blood pressure (hypertension)

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs/CAUSE:

  • Obesity
  • BOAS
    • Elongated Soft Palate
    • Pinched Stenotic Nose
    • Hypoplastic Trachea
    • Everted Laryngeal Saccules
    • Prolapsed, Swollen Tonsil
    • End Stage: Atrophied Laryngeal Collapse
  • Swollen Nasal Turbinate
  • Obstructing Aberrant Nasal Turbinate’s (CAT)
  • Laryngeal Obstruction
  • Oropharyngeal Narrowing
  • Parapharyngeal Tumors
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
  • Allergies

#1: The flat-face brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is the biggest contributor to sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs / Diagnosis:

  • Home-made Video: Real-time video taken by owner
  • Visual Exam
    • Oral Exam:
    • Visual Laryngeal Exam
    • Visual Pharyngeal Exam

WARNING: proper exam can only be done under anesthesia and sufficent illumination

  • Imaging:
    • Radiographs
    • Dental Radiographs
    • Rhinoscopy
    • MRI
    • CT

Bulldog Sleep Apnea / PREVENTION & CARE:

  1. Weight Loss: for overweight pets
  2. BOAS surgical Repair
  3. Allergy Control: antihistamines
  4. Anti-inflammatory: short-term steroid to reduce laryngeal swelling
  5. Anti-Anxiety: reduce stress
  6. AC: air conditioning in a hot area
  7. EPA air purifier
  8. Neck position: prep the head to help stretch the neck.


You can try placing an inflated donut-shaped cone to keep the neck stretched while asleep.

You can also tape to it a pulse electromagnetic loop (tPEMT) to help with inflammation.

You can place a pillow under the chin. It will help extend the bully’s short neck and airways and reduce obstructive soft tissue.

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Donut Buster Collor

Bulldog Sleep Apnea Therapeutic Bully Supplements

It would help if you always considered trying non-RX therapeutics

Immune Boosting for Sleep Apnea

  • Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Immune Support

Improved Digestion for Bulldog Sleep Apnea

Reduce inflammation for Sleep Apnea

  • Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Fish Oil EFA

Calm and Relaxation for Bulldog Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs / ONDANSETRON:

Ondansetron (Zofran) is a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist usually prescribed for vomiting and nausea

Serotonin helps maintain upper airway patency and normal respiration and reduces the impact of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Ondansetron can help keep serotonin levels high during sleep and, improving airflow and reducing obstructive apnea.

“Welcome to our prevention over RX bulldog community.”

Sleep Apnea in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs store

*This guide was compiled courtesy of Dr. Kraemer and is a “must-read” manual for any current or future bully owner