How to Diagnose Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs

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How to Diagnose Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs
How to Diagnose Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs

If you have a French Bulldog, also known as a “frenchie”, you should be familiar with the affectionate, fun and loyal nature of the breed. French Bulldogs have several positive characteristics, such as being good guard dogs, not requiring a lot of space or exercise, and responding well to training methods based on rewards. Unfortunately, short stature and weight can cause respiratory problems. The breed's characteristic respiratory tract can make breathing difficult, especially when it's hot or when they're panting a lot after exercise.


Part 1 of 2: Looking for Respiratory Problems

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 1

Step 1. Listen to your French Bulldog breathing

Under normal conditions (with mild temperatures and without stress), it is normal for breathing to make some noise without disturbing the dog. But if you close your eyes and hear wheezing that resembles a snoring or harsh noise, your dog may be having trouble breathing.

Noisy breathing is caused by the French Bulldog's reduced airway diameter. The more noise it makes, the worse the condition

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 2

Step 2. Monitor your dog during exercise

If he is avoiding physical activity or falling behind on walks, it could be a sign of difficulty breathing. Notice if your French Bulldog is panting deeply with its tongue hanging out.

If your dog has a respiratory problem, exercise places an even greater demand on his body. It will not be able to get the additional oxygen it needs because there is a physical barrier to air entry

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 3

Step 3. Examine your dog's mouth

The membranes in the mouth turn bluish or purple when the dog has difficulty breathing and cannot maintain adequate oxygen levels. Healthy membranes are pink in color.

Maybe he starts drooling because he's so focused on his breathing that he doesn't want to waste time swallowing

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 4

Step 4. Observe your French Bulldog's behavior

Your dog can collapse and pass out if he's too tired and doesn't get enough oxygen. He may be uncomfortable or fidgety when it's hot, which makes breathing even more difficult. Other signs of respiratory problems include:

  • panting breath;
  • Asphyxia;
  • Vomiting;
  • Choking.

Part 2 of 2: Getting a Veterinary Diagnosis

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 5

Step 1. Take your French Bulldog to the vet

The veterinarian will observe your dog's breathing and chest movements. He will also look for physical characteristics that make breathing difficult, such as a narrowing of the nostrils or a wide tongue blocking the back of the throat. Listening for wheezing is also important to making the correct diagnosis, so your veterinarian will listen to your chest, heart, and lungs with a stethoscope to rule out signs of conditions that cause fluid to build up in the lungs and impair breathing.

  • A dog that breathes normally moves its chest in and out but keeps its belly still. Using your belly muscles to breathe (abdominal exertion) indicates that it is difficult to pull in air.
  • The veterinarian will examine the heart and lungs because they can compromise the safety of anesthesia during an operation.
Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 6

Step 2. Submit the dog to throat exams

The veterinarian will do a thorough examination of the back of your dog's throat, which must be anesthetized and sedated so that the tongue is displaced enough to allow visualization of the area. An endotracheal tube will be inserted to keep the airways open while he sleeps.

The tube is inserted into the trachea because there is a risk associated with anesthesia as the dog is no longer able to protect its airway

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 7

Step 3. Request more exams

If your veterinarian suspects that other conditions are causing your symptoms, you may need to order more tests. A chest x-ray can rule out pneumonia, lung infections, or cancer. Advanced imaging tests such as MRI or CT can also help your veterinarian visualize your French Bulldog's anatomical features (especially the soft palate, trachea, and tonsils).

It is important for the veterinarian to look at the length of the dog's palate and the size of the dog's tongue and tonsils to plan corrective surgery

Diagnosis Breathing Problems in French Bulldogs Step 8

Step 4. Follow the recommended treatment

Your veterinarian may recommend corrective surgery to reduce and reshape your dog's nostrils and soft palate, improving the shape of the back of the throat and making it easier for air to enter. A skilled surgeon may also suggest removing the tonsils.

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