NEWS: Degererative Myelopathy Test
French Bulldog breathing problems

- Kindly follow all links in the text below to sources and references -


There must be changes to the breed standards for short faced dogs
Pugs used to look like this at the beginning - without breathing problems

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.

The Swedish Pug breedclub MopsOrden, MO has not so far taken any initiative to X-ray the airways of the Pugs. But this breed has equally often malformed and tight windpipes just like French Bulldogs and other short muzzled breeds. The windpipe can be so tight and narrow from birth, that it can be compared to force the dog to constantly breathe through a drinking straw.

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.

Everyone does not understand the seriousness of breathing distress

A Pug often has pinched nostrils from birth, the nosewings turn inwards during inhalation and cause the nose to be constantly congested and stuffy.
Go to to see examples of stenotic or pinched nares (fig. 3) and normal nares (fig. 3a) and more.

The mucous membranes get swollen and cronically thickened, as the dog constantly has to strain to get sufficient air down to the lungs. It doesn't help that the soft palate in addition often is too long and blocks the throat at every breath. What it looks like is shown on this video published on the website of a German veterinary clinic:

A soft palate too long Tierklinik Kaiserberg

A short faced dog has the same structures in nose and throat as a dog with a normal length muzzle foreface - but in a much smaller and crumpled area.
CT- scan from the University of Leipzig Animal Clinic of the airways of a breed with a normal foreface and that of a short faced breed:

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.

Normal but strenuous stress breathing

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.

- Cool the dog by splashing not too cold water all over the body -
--- and keep it still, in the shade ---

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.

Pug illustration in Brehm: Tierleben - Animal Life
German abbreviated ed. 1927 from
for an original and healthier Pug

No breeder wants to engender and sell disabled puppies.
All owners would prefer a Pug with normal breathing capacity:

- why not turn back a little to good old vintage show ideals
for better health and function fit for the future?

A long enough muzzle foreface and open nostrils provide good breathing
and a good quality of life.

"Drumpelier Estate Pugs" painted by the Scottish court painter Gourlay Steell in 1867.

William H. Hopkins oil painting of his own Pug
named "Pug" Britain 1880 - Dogs in Art

Carl Reichert, Austria, d. 1918

Kennel Club breeders must follow the appointed breed standard and breed Pugs, who are awarded prizes at shows - while puppy buyers can choose the type of Pug puppy they want to own and share their lives with.

- The responsibility now is mainly with the Breed- and Kennel Clubs and Show Judges -

The Swedish Kennel Club SKK Play Summer 2012:
Making Assessments of Dogs' Respiration
- Video Instructions to Show Judges -

The extreme breeding in many breeds could not continue without an ever more advanced animal health care, where the arising problems are left to the puppy buyers and their veterinary surgeons and insurance companies.

  - British KC and BSAVA Health Survey Pug 2006 Results -