French Bulldogs in Orange County

provided by Newport Harbor Animal Hospital.
French Bulldogs in Orange County
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French Bulldogs ('Frenchies') - what you need to know about their health:

This breed has become increasing popular and we see many of these cute faces at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital. Did you know that French Bulldogs cannot reproduce well naturally? While French Bulldogs don't have as severe breeding issues as English Bulldogs, this breed has been genetically altered so much over time, selecting for specific traits unique to French Bulldogs that they must be born via C-section and often breed with artificial insemination to start the process. One of these genetic alterations over time has also lead to their cute faces, that are shorter than most other breeds. This short face classifies them as “brachycephalic” which literally means short face. Brachycephalic breeds very often have concerns with their breathing called: brachycephalic syndrome.

What is brachycephalic syndrome?

  1. Stenotic nares: the flaps on the side of their nostrils do not open well when breathing making for a very small opening to each nostril
  2. Elongated soft palate: the soft flesh at the back of the roof of your mouth is the soft palate. This flap of skin, when too long, can cover over the windpipe and cause extra swelling in the back of the throat.
  3. Hypoplastic trachea: the trachea is small for the size of the pet
  4. Everted saccules: pouches in the trachea that overtime can obstruct the airways due to chronic increased pressure in the airways because of 1, 2 and 3.

What does this mean?

With the anatomic changes seen in 1, 2 and 3 above - these congenital airway problems cause your French Bulldog to work harder to get air into their lungs. And over time, this causes strain on the trachea that can lead to collapsing trachea and everted saccules. Think of when you use a straw to drink a milkshake and pull too hard and the straw collapses. These airways changes also lead to snoring and flatulence.

What can you do about brachycephalic syndrome?

Early in life, surgery can be done to open up the nostrils and to shorten the soft palate. Nothing can be done to change a hypoplastic trachea.

Because of their anatomy - any time we anesthetize and French Bulldog we are very careful and tailor our plan for their breed specific needs.

What other health problems do French Bulldogs have?

The other common problems we notice at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital include: allergies, facial fold and tail fold infections, ear infections, arthritis, urethral prolapse (can be related to brachycephalic syndrome), dental problems, cherry eye, difficult/abnormal labor, abnormally shaped vertebra, and spina bifida.

French Bulldog owners often have to clean out facial folds and tail folds daily to help with hygiene and prevention of infection. Routine cleaning of ears is likely need as they tend to have small ear canals and allergies which combine for ear issues.

If you are looking to breed your French Bulldog - Dr. Mary Sebzda is board certified in small animal reproduction and has successfully bred many of these cute faces.


Another successful group of puppies delivered via C-section by Dr. Mary Sebzda!


Here they are ready for their first shots at about 6 weeks old.