Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and
French Bulldogs

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs is only one manifestation of a bulldog airway syndrome that falls under the “flat face”   (brachycephalic airway syndrome), or in short, BAS vernacular. Other BAS common manifestations include Elongated Soft Palate, Everted Laryngeal Saccules, hypoplastic trachea, and other secondary airflow obstructive conditions, such as swollen prolapsed tonsils and laryngeal cartilages atrophy (i.e. laryngeal collapse).

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs Wedge cut

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MUST KNOW:

Many bulldog owners are unaware of this condition, how impactful it is, or could be, to their bulldog’s health and quality of life. Unfortunately, even some veterinarians underplay the significance of it, thus, it is not surprising that many of you are hesitant and skeptical when considering the merits of repairing it.

I am confident that after reading this article you will be at ease and motivated to get it done.


Poiseuille law states that any small increase of your bulldog’s nose opening (the nostril lumen radius) will increase airflow by the 4th power. This drastic airflow improvement is critical, especially for smaller patients with smaller airways like French Bulldogs.

Increasing nares radius size will raise airflow by the power of 4

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs POST-OP APPEARANCE:

There are bully owners who worry about post-op unflattering cosmetic changes. Rest assured that when done by an experienced surgeon, the good looks of your handsome/beautiful bulldog will not be affected. While you should expect an unappealing, crusty, inflamed nose for a few days post-op, it’s all short-term and will be gone and healed within a few weeks. After that post-op healing period, the only difference that you and others will notice is your bulldog’s improved breathing.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE:

Stenotic Nares in bulldogs and French Bulldogs surgery repair

The cause of bulldog pinched nose disorder is the compressed face/nose that leads to malformation, cartilage atrophy, and inward collapse. The pinched narrow nostrils impact the amount of air that can flow into and through the nostrils.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PRESENTATION:

Bulldog puppies with stenotic nares will typically exhibit snorting, gasping, noisy breathing (i.e. STERTOR) during inspiration. Most will snort when excited and snore when relaxed or asleep. Severely affected bulldogs will exhibit more pronounced airway noise and tire easily with exercise. They might retch, regurgitate, vomit, and at times, faint.

Many bulldogs and French bulldogs with stenotic nares exhibit apnea and stertor (snorting) while asleep.

Stenotic Nares is common in English bulldog puppies and VERY common in French bulldogs puppies.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs POTENTIAL HARMFUL OUTCOME:

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs wedge resection

  4. HEAT STROKE: Increases the chances for hyperthermia and heat stroke
  5. AIRWAY CRISIS: Increases the chance for obstructive airway crisis
  6. HEART FAILURE: Increases the chances for hypoxia, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure
  7. PNEUMONIA: Increases the chances for retching, regurgitating, reflux, and vomiting, all of which can lead to aspiration pneumonia
  8. LARYNGEAL SACCULES & EDEMA: Increases the chance for everted laryngeal saccules, prolapsed tonsil, and laryngeal edema
  9. LARYNGEAL COLLAPSE: Increases the chances for laryngeal cartilages atrophy and irreversible laryngeal collapse
  10. PULMONARY EDEMA: Increases the chances for pulmonary edema due to critical reduction of intrathoracic pressure.
  11. DEATH: Increases the chance for sudden death.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS:

The diagnosis of stenotic nares is usually made during the physical exam via a visual inspection.

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs MAINTENANCE:

  • WEIGHT CONTROL: Weight control is instrumental in proper bulldog care and more so for those suffering from BAS problems.
  • Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French BulldogsCONTROLLED ACTIVITY: Avoid strenuous exercise until the condition is repaired.
  • CLIMATE CONTROL: Avoid hot or humid conditions.
  • STRESS & ANXIETY: Reduce anxiety with calmness and a stress-free environment.

Bulldog stenotic nares is a major contributor to airway resistance, thus, correcting your bully pinched nose will greatly reduce airway pressure.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT:

  • ANTI INFLAMMATORY RX: such as cortisone for short-term relief of airway inflammation, swelling, edema, and respiratory distress.
  • TRANQULIZER RX: tranquilizers to help calm your bulldog.
  • COOLING: BAS cases, like those bulldogs suffering from stenotic nares, often overheat. Keep them cool with a fan and/or AC.
  • OXYGEN: At times, BAS patients become hypoxic and cyanotic, a condition that requires oxygen therapy (cage flow masks).
  • SUPPLEMENTS:  If you can’t afford surgery, or have to delay the surgical treatment, you should provide a calm & cool environment with proper ventilation, restrict activity, and provide supplements that can help reduce anxiety and inflammation like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Calm & StressLessV4B Bully Fish Oil Immune-Joint-Skin Chews.

NOTE: It’s important to note, however, that medical management of this condition does not correct the underlying anatomical abnormalities, but merely lessens the symptoms.

  • SURGERY: Bulldog Stenotic Nares can, and should, be surgically corrected in order to allow improved airflow through the nostrils.

SURGERY is required for most of the BAS anatomic abnormalities that interfere with the patient’s breathing  

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE of THUMB:

There is an abundance of research and strong clinical evidence that suggests stenotic nares is likely to lead to a long list of bully medical problems associated with the “Brachycephalic Syndrome”. Thus, left untreated for a long period of time, bulldog stenotic nares can lead to serious health problems, diminished quality of life, and shorter life expectancy.Stenotic Nares in bulldogs and French Bulldogs puppy

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS:

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #1 TIMING: Early correction of stenotic nares will significantly improve airway function and should prevent the development of everted laryngeal saccules and other BAS secondary problems.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #2 BULLDOG VET: Seek a bulldog veterinarian that is familiar with the BAS problems, bully anesthesia, and stenotic nares, as well as other BAS conditions requiring surgical repair.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #3 ELECTIVE SURGERIES: To avoid tragic post-op complications of elective procedures such as spay & neuter, have the BAS problems repaired at the same time or prior to those electives.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #4 COOLING: Keep your stenotic nares bully cool and well-ventilated. In addition to AC, moving cool air over your dog with a fan or open window (car) is inexpensive and effective.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #5 OXYGEN:  At times, supplementation with oxygen is necessary.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #6 ELONGATED SOFT PALATE: Bulldogs with stenotic nares often suffer from other brachiocephalic syndrome conditions, such as elongated soft palate. It is critical to evaluate the palate and repair it when your bully is induced for his/her stenotic nares repair.Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs before and after

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #7 RADIOGRAPHS:  A chest radiograph should be taken pre-op to evaluate your bulldog’s trachea, heart, airways, and lungs.

Dr. Kraemer’s Tip #8 BREATHING: Bulldogs suffering from stenotic nares only should be able to compensate with open mouth breathing.

Dr. Kraemer’s Warning #1 TIMING: Medical problems related to bully stenotic nares get worse over time, therefore, timing is critical.

Dr. Kraemer’s Warning #2 DECOMPENSATION: Bully’s with stenotic nares often decompensate when he or she becomes excited or stressed. Acute decompensation can lead to acute respiratory distress, therefore, it is critical to keep your bully in calm, stress-free surroundings.

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PROGNOSIS:

The overall prognosis for bulldog and French bulldog patients depends on:

  • BAS: How many brachycephalic airway syndrome anatomic abnormalities are present.
  • TIMING: How soon they are corrected.

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

Stenotic Nares in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs PREVENTION IS CURE

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


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