Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs

 Aspiration pneumonia in bulldogs and French bulldogs is typically due to the inhalation of foreign material such as vomitus, regurgitated food, and gastric acid reflux contents.

That foreign content may cause extensive damage to your bulldog puppy’s lungs due to the acute inflammation it elicits which is often compounded by a bacteria infection present in the inhaled foreign material.

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs SYMPTOMS:

    • Breathing difficulties
    • Swallowing difficulties
    • Coughing, fever
    • Discharge from the nasal passages
    • Rapid breathing
    • Bluish purplish tongue (cyanosis)
    • General weakness and intolerance to exercise due to oxygen deprivation.
    • Loss of energy and reduced appetite


Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs showing improved xrays after fAspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs xrays Before

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs CAUSE

BCS (Brachycephalic Airway Syndrom) BULLDOG ASPIRATION PNEUMONIA

The leading cause of bulldog aspiration pneumonia is untreated bulldog brachycephalic syndrome (BCS) like stenotic nares and elongated soft palate. Those conditions are often associated with a  high vagal tone that leads to gastric reflux, retching, and vomit.


Bulldog megaesophagus is an enlargement of the lower aspect of your bulldog esophagus due to injury of its mucosal lining from the above BCS-induced acidic gastric reflux.

OTHER BULLDOG INHALATION PNEUMONIA: Other bulldogs have oral, laryngeal and pharyngeal problems such as laryngeal nerve paralysis, and laryngeal collapse, myasthenia gravis, etc.

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs DIAGNOSIS:

  • EXAM: Physical exam
  • RADIOGRAPHS: Chest Radiographs
  • BLOOD TEST:  A complete blood profile
  • CULTURE & CYTOLOGY: bacterial culture and cell cytology

Blood tests will indicate the presence of infection, and chest X-Rays will show if aspiration pneumonia is present.

Finally, a sample from your bulldog puppy’s lower airway might be taken for culture and cytology which will help determine which medication would work best for your sick bulldog.

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TREATMENT:

Bulldog Pneumonia OXYGEN

Oxygen supplementation might be initially required as part of a stabilizing treatment of your french bulldog puppy (oxygen cage or nasal canula).

Bulldog Pneumonia IV FLUID:

IV fluid administration to help maintain hydration and administer drugs.

Bulldog Pneumonia STREED-FREE & REST:

rest, preferably in a cage, away from other animals or active children is essential for a speedy recovery of your bulldog puppy.

Bulldog Pneumonia NEBULIZER & COUPAGE

Nebulization is critical for bulldog puppies with aspiration pneumonia. Alternatively, you can use your shower as a steam room.

Bulldog Pneumonia RX:

Broad-spectrum antibiotics, anti-nausea, anti vomit, anti-reflux

Bulldog Pneumonia NUTRITION:

Quality Food and quality nutritional support are critical


  1. IMMUNE SUPPORT: like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully Immune Formula and Immune & Healing Bundles
  2. GASTROINTESTINAL SUPPORT: Like Dr. Kraemers  V4B Bully Pre & Probiotics and Gastro Health Bundles
  3. MULTIVITAMINS: Like Dr. Kraemers V4B Bully Multivitamin Plus
  4. STRESS & CALM: Like Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Bully StressLess chews and Calm & StressLess BundlesInhalation pneumonia supplements for bulldogs and French bulldogs

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldog SURGERY:

If your bulldog puppy suffers from Brachycephalic Syndrome such as Stenotic Nares and/or Elongated Soft Palateyou must have those conditions surgically repaired as soon as possible (as early as 8 months old).

Left untreated those conditions tend to lead to a series of problems that could lead to medical complications like aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs RULE of THUMB:

Pneumonia in bulldog puppies is a serious condition that can lead to critical care hospitalization and several weeks of intense treatment.

bulldog Aspiration Pneumonia treated in oxygen cage at Dr. Kraemer

The majority of my bulldog cases with aspiration pneumonia will recover with proper treatment and with the correction of the underlining cause.

Dr. Kraemer’s V4B Inhalation Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs TIPS & WARNINGS:


Bulldog Pneumonia Tip #1 CALM & RELAXED: While recovering you should keep your bulldog primarily indoors, rested, and stress-free.

Bulldog Pneumonia Tip #2 NEBULIZER: Use a nebulizer daily and then perform coupage (percussion therapy) as it helps to dislodge secretions from your bulldog lungs.

Bulldog Pneumonia Tip #2 COUPAGE: Coupage can be performed by holding your hands cupped against your bulldog’s chest, then putting your hands on your bulldog’s chest so that it sounds like a galloping horse.

You should be firm enough to dislodge the secretions from your sick bulldog lungs but gentle enough not to hurt your french bulldog puppy.

Bulldog Pneumonia Tip #4 PRE OP PREP: Preoperative fasting of patients is recommended to avoid vomiting and aspiration. However, the ideal length of the fast is 8-hour, with water up to 2 hours before.


Bulldog Pneumonia Warning #1 OTC RX: Don’t use over the counter RX like cough suppressants (the cough is good it helps to remove the “bad stuff” from the lungs)

Bulldog Pneumonia Warning #2 ANTIBIOTICS: Don’t stop the antibiotic too soon, usually 4 weeks duration is required.Bulldog Inhalation Pneumonia portable oxygen cage

Bulldog Pneumonia Warning #3 R/C EXAM: Recheck chest radiographs should be taken weekly to evaluate your bulldog puppy’s recovery and healing progress

Bulldog Pneumonia Warning #4 ROTATE: A bulldog with pneumonia should not be left lying on its side in an inactive state for more than two hours.

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

Aspiration Pneumonia in Bulldogs and French Bulldogs puppies PREVENTION IS CURE

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

Ask Dr. K / Q & A Request an Appointment Email Us