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French Bulldog breathing problems
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French and English Bullodogs are both included in a non-public x-ray screening database for tracheal hypoplasia with OFA in the U.S.A. In Sweden only English Bulldogs are included in a similar project (Info in Swedish) for normal airways in breeding - in cooperation with The English Bulldog Club of Sweden SKEB, The Swedish Kennel Club SKK and the SLU Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences - Dept of Veterinary Medicine Diagnostic Imaging.
A dog must have a neck long enough to develop a normal windpipe (trachea).
Very much would be gained if only Pugs with a normal windpipe were used in breeding if all breeders had their sires and dams Trachea X-rayed before mating. Trachea X-ray is not very complicated and no sedation is used, so it is simpler and cheaper thanHip Dysplasia X-ray, which is required for many other breeds - without any money cashback to the owners.
A Pug often has pinched nostrils from birth, the nosewings turn inwards during inhalation and cause the nose to be constantly congested and stuffy.
A dog must have a muzzle foreface long enough to allow a normal length soft palate. It is scarcely possible for a very short faced breed to breathe normally.
Discrete surgery on long soft palates and pinched nostrils is sometimes performed - and there are Pugs, who seem to be able to move around and breathe without problems. A dog who needed this surgery should of course not be used in breeding.
A dog must have wide open nostrils to breathe normally through the nose.
Pugs like all short faced dogs have a particularly limited breathing capacity during stress and exertion in hot weather, because few can breath effectively with an open mouth and panting tongue. It can get real bad if the saliva is beaten to a stiff mousse, like merengue egg whites, by the troubled breathing and the long soft palate - and cause suffocation. The lathery saliva froth can sometimes be melted by squeezing lemon juice from a plastic lemon inside the dog's cheek pouches.
IT IS IMPORTANT NEVER TO LET A SHORT FACED DOG GET OVERHEATED AND STRESSED OR OVEREXERTED IN HOT WEATHER.
At the worst a Pug or a Frenchie and other short muzzled breeds can suffer a Heat Stroke or a Tracheal Collapse, which can be immediately life threatening. The windpipe (trachea) looks like an oldfashioned bathroom shower hose and is kept open by thin rings of cartilage - which can break and squeeze together - like used staples - when the strain on them gets too heavy.
No breeder wants to engender and sell disabled puppies.