How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away?

How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away, Dr. Kramer, Let me first say, I wish I would have found you sooner. Your page is so informative and truly shows your experience with Bulldogs.

anesthesia safety in bulldogs

I truly wish my baby could have been under your care.


My healthy, senior, English Bulldog passed away after a procedure and I do not know how or why. She wasn’t just a “dog,” to me, she was my world. She was my baby. I will never get her back, that I painfully know, but one thing I hope I can get is closure, at the very least.


I do not know how she passed or why. I am traumatized and haunted daily from her passing and it’s been 6 months. I really want closure. I have reached out to your office via phone and I attempted via email on a few occasions, hoping to schedule an appointment with you and/or request a medical record review, that I was willing to pay for, but your staff advised me that was not something you do, that you are too busy and pointed me to your forum.


I will fight for my baby every day I have left because she deserves it. I will not lose hope. She will always remain my light. So although I have been told “No,” on many occasions by your staff, I come here with hope, that you will be willing to help me.


I truly feel within my heart that you can help me get closer to the closure I need to heal from this tragedy. Your knowledge, experience, love, and care for Bulldogs I have never seen before in my about 13 years of caring for my Bulldog. It’s very hard to explain the timeline of events that lead to my baby’s passing in a forum post, but I do have a hand-typed, personal statement or timeline of events I can share with you and medical records.

How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away After Anesthesia?

I would be willing to pay for your services. I would be willing to “schedule an appointment” with you to secure your time.


The information is very sensitive to me and at first, I was hesitant to allow this to be shared in a forum, but if you are willing to help me, in reviewing my statement of events that led to my baby’s passing and her medical records, I would gladly allow this to be shared in your forum if this means it can potentially save another Bulldog’s life.

I look forward to hearing back.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 2 years ago

Answer for How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away

Dear KC, my sincere condolences Thank you for sharing this unfortunate tragedy with our community. I appreciate your kind words. Rest assured, your personal information is never disclosed.

How and Why Did My English Bulldog Pass Away? RECORD REVIEW

Regrettably, examining the records is unlikely to provide substantial insight. The record represents a subjective recollection of the event by the record keeper, lacking the objectivity of an independent video that comprehensively captures every aspect of the occurrence.

Paradoxically, it is highly probable that the root cause of the incident is absent from the record.

Frequently, doctors and their surgical teams may lack familiarity with breed-specific medical nuances, customized anesthetic protocols, monitoring needs, and the intricacies of recovery and extubation for special needs. As a result, they may not be cognizant of potential issues or the true cause-and-effect relationship.


 ” What the eye doesn’t SEE and the mind doesn’t KNOW, doesn’t EXIST

Why Did My Bulldog Die? RISK/REWARD


You should have a serious discussion with your vet about the surgical benefits and follow that with a risk-reward assessment.


The age of your English bulldog or French bulldog is a crucial factor to consider and should be integrated into the discussion and risk-reward assessment.

For instance, in the case of a non-painful tumor with slow metastasis, if the likelihood of your bulldog passing away due to old age is higher than the tumor posing an immediate threat, opting for surgical intervention with its associated risks and complications might be less sensible.

In such scenarios, choosing nonsurgical medical palliative therapy could be a more fitting alternative.

How and Why Did My French Bulldog Die? DIAGNOSTIC PREPARATIONS

I require a pre-op blood screen and ECG.

In some cases, such as bulldogs with elongated palates, I also require radiographs.

A senior bulldog should have an extended blood panel that includes

  • thyroid levels
  • heartworm
  • urine analysis
  • blood pressure.

pre-op ECG test on French Bulldog Puppy

Depending on the surgical procedure, there are times that we will also recommend additional testing, such as pre-op

  • Ultrasound
  • Cytology
  • Contrast
  • CT,
  • MRI
  • etc.

Answer for How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away BRACHYCEPHALIC SYNDROME

I always screen for stenotic nares, elongated soft palate,  laryngeal issues, and other brachycephalic syndrome (BOAS) airway conditions.


WARNING: Bulldog elongated soft palate must be repaired before or at the same time as the elective surgery

How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away? ANESTHETIC PROTOCOLS & MEDICAL TEAM:

I designed a comprehensive customized bulldog anesthetic protocol for the brachycephalic breeds

Many vets are not aware of the breed’s special needs and anesthetic safety requirements. It is programmed into an Excel sheet to reduce human error.

The medical team should be familiar with the bulldog breed and trained with all the anesthetic and recovery aspects.

Answer for How and Why Did My English Bulldog Pass Away? CAUSE:

I suspect that most English bulldogs and French bulldog anesthetic death are MULTIFACTORIAL 


inadequate screening (exam, labs, ECG, imaging) of the bulldog patient.


inadequate screening for bulldog brachycephalic airway syndrome (most commonly bulldog elongated soft palate)


lack of knowledge of  the bulldog breed pre-op and induction ideal drug preparation and anesthetic idiosyncratic needs


Inadequate monitoring of the bulldog patient during all the anesthetic phases


Premature extubation of the bulldog patient.


Incidental inhalation of foreign material due to BCAS, inadequate anesthetic protocol, premature extubating, etc.

Bulldog Anesthetic Death MOST COMMON CAUSE:

I believe the most common cause of both English bulldog and French Bulldog anesthetic deaths is

  • ELONGATED SOFT PALATE: untreated bulldog BOAS

Answer for How and Why Did My French Bulldog Pass Away?  COMMON RISKS:

From the limited information provided, I can’t give you a definitive answer. At times, an autopsy exam can help, but here is a short list of some of the most common tragic reasons:


English bulldogs and French bulldogs have a high anesthetic risk, so complications are more likely.


Most times, older bulldogs are at higher risk than younger bulldogs.

Senior Bulldog Bundles - Ultimate

In my practice, I often see the worst cases—bulldogs and French bulldogs of all ages—that other veterinarians will refuse to touch, or rather refer to me.

My team and I always discuss with the owners the inherent risks, the surgical merits, the pre-surgical screening test, and planning for potential complications.

Regretfully, I get calls and emails similar to yours every week. My response might not make your suffering go away; sometimes an autopsy can determine the cause of death; other times, there might not be a definitive answer. By sharing this sad event with us, I hope that it will help others.

Your Q and my A could help save the life of other bulldogs, which hopefully serve as a memorial to your beloved pet.

English Bulldog Pass Away FINAL THOUGHTS:


My Vet4Bulldog mission is to empower bulldog owners by teaching prevention and wellness. With prevention, we can avoid many of the risks and complications associated with English bulldog and French bulldog anesthesia, as well as many other common medical problems.

PREVENTION, WELLNESS & KNOWLEDGE help to minimize most risks associated with the bulldog breed and maximize rewards

My sincere sympathy and sadness

Dr. Kraemer


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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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