How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away

ASK DR. KRAEMERCategory: Bulldog AnesthesiaHow and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away
Dr. Kraemer Staff asked 2 years ago

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.

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 would 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/timeline of events I can share with you and medical records. 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 lead 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. Kraemer Staff answered 2 years ago

Answer for How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away

Answer for How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away, dear KC my sincere condolence. 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

Unfortunately, reviewing the records is unlikely to yield much. The record is a subjective recall of the event by the record keeper, it is not an independent video that monitors and records every step of the event. Paradoxically, it is very likely that the cause of the incident is missing from the record. Often the doctor and his/her surgical team are not experienced with the breed idiosyncratic medical problems, customized anesthetic protocol, monitoring requirements, recovery, and extubating special needs, thus they might not be aware of an ensuing problem, or/and the true cause & effect.

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

Why Did My Bulldog Died 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 must be a factor in the discussion and part of the risk-reward assessment.

An example would be a nonpainful slow to metastasis tumor. If it’s more likely that your bulldog will pass away due to old age rather than the tumor, it might make little sense to choose the surgical risk and associated complications. A Nonsurgical medical palliative therapy might be a better choice in that case.

Answer for How and Why Did My French Bulldog Died DIAGNOSTIC PREPARATIONS

I require a pre-op blood screen and ECG. In some cases such as bulldog elongated palate, I also require radiographs.

A senior bulldog should have an extended blood panel that includes thyroid levels, a urine analysis, and blood pressure. 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,  and other laryngeal issues.

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


I designed a comprehensive bulldog customized anesthetic protocol for the brachycephalic breeds (Eng Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Pugs, Boston T, etc). Many vets are not aware of the breed’s special needs and anesthetic safety requirements. It is programmed to 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 

  • BULLDOG PRE-OP HEALTH SCREEN: inadequate screening (exam, labs, ECG, imaging) of the bulldog patient.
  • BULLDOG BCS: inadequate screening for bulldog brachycephalic airway syndrome (most commonly bulldog elongated soft palate)
  • BULLDOG ANESTHETIC PROTOCOL: lack of knowledge of  the bulldog breed pre-op & induction ideal drug preparation and anesthetic idiosyncratic needs
  • BULLDOG ANESTHETIC MONITORING: inadequate monitoring of the bulldog patient during all the anesthetic phases.
  • BULLDOG EXTUBATION: premature extubation of the bulldog patient.
  • BULLDOG ASPIRATION PNEUMONIA: incidental inhalation of foreign material due to BCAS, inadequate anesthetic protocol, premature extubation, etc.

Bulldog Anesthetic Death MOST COMMON CAUSE:

I believe the most common cause of both English bulldog and French Bulldog anesthetic related death is EARLY EXTUBATION exasperated by unrecognized thus untreated bulldog BCAS (most commonly bulldog elongated soft palate)

Answer for How and Why Did My French Bulldog Pass Away SUMMARY:


English Bulldogs and French bulldogs are a high anesthetic risk thus complications are more likely.


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

Why my French Bulldog Died Under Anesthesia
Bulldog Senior Preventive Therapeutic Advance Bundle


In my practice, I often see the worse cases, bulldogs and French bulldogs at 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.

Unfortunately, I receive emails requests and calls like yours on a weekly basis. My answer might not ease your pain, at times the cause of death can be determined by a necropsy, other times there might not be a clear-cut answer. I hope that by sharing with us this unfortunate event, others can benefit.

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

How and Why Did My English Bulldog Pass Away FINAL THOUGHTS:


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

PREVNTION, WELLNESS & KNOWLEDGE helps to minimize most risks assoicated with the bulldog breed and maximize rewards

My Sincere Sympathy and Sadness.
Dr. Kraemer

“An Ounce Of PREVENTION Is Worth A Pound Of CURE”

Answer for How and Why Did My Bulldog Pass Away

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