French Bulldogs are known for their short noses and those little grunts and wheezes they make when they breathe. But what happens if your purebred Frenchie has a long nose? Is this normal? Is he still purebred? Let’s find out.
Health Issues Related to Short Snouts
The Frenchie’s shorter nose comes with many health issues, as any breeder or owner will tell you. Studies show that the Frenchie’s short nose contains the same amount of tissue as their cousins of other breeds that have longer snouts. So, where does all this tissue go? Glad you asked.
Turns out that the French Bulldog’s nose gets squashed up, kind of like an accordion, to allow all this tissue to fit into such a small space. Here, the poor dog’s nasal cavities, palate, teeth, and jaws all get squished into funny positions to make everything fit. Unfortunately, this leads to breathing difficulties for most purebred Frenchies. In many cases, these poor dogs suffer from BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome) – a pretty serious condition leading to severe breathing difficulties and sometimes other health issues. Not a pleasant thought.
Another health issue associated with the modern Frenchie’s short nose is stenosis (pinched nostrils). This condition adds to the respiratory risk, leaving these pooches in poor health altogether. While a short nose on its own doesn’t necessarily lead to breathing difficulties, it aggravates the situation, along with other genetic factors that come into play.
As if all of that’s not enough, the shorter nose causes an elongated palate, which is usually soft. Frenchies often breathe through their mouths because their nostrils are so squashed up. Here, the soft, elongated palate adds to their misery, since it further restricts the airflow to their lungs. Poor dogs.
All of the above explains why Frenchies are notorious couch potatoes – they simply can’t get enough air in to go for a proper run. Imagine continually having to fight for breath, like when you have the flu or severe allergies. Now, imagine going for a run while you’re congested like that. You might just pass out along the way! These poor dogs often gag or cough when they give more substantial exercise a go since they simply can’t breathe.
The softer palate also leads to more mucus production. Yup, that’s why your pooch drools and sneezes like such a champ. This mucus overload could cause them to choke while eating or drinking, so always keep an eye on them while they’re scarfing down dinner of snacks.
The breathing problems associated with the Frenchie’s short nose add another complication: surgery. When French Bulldogs undergo standard procedures, such as spaying and neutering, going under anesthetic poses a real risk. The conventional breathing apparatus used during these procedures could cause injuries to their squashed-up nasal cavities.
Frenchies often suffer from nasal hyperkeratosis. Here, they produce too much protein, leading to growth on their noses. This dries up and peels off, which can be painful if not managed properly. Luckily, there are a bunch of ointments and moisturizers on the market to deal with this.
Since their noses are all squashed up, Frenchies have lots of extra skin flaps on their noses – an ideal breeding ground for all kinds of bugs and nasties. This causes skin fold dermatitis, a common condition in purebred French Bulldogs. Your poor pooch’s nose could even develop a smell of its own. Yuck. Again, there are lots of products available to help manage this, but if you notice anything going on around the nose area, consult your vet first. They’ll know what to do.
Can this list end, already? The Frenchie’s shorter nose aggravates allergies. It’s not uncommon to see a clear discharge from your pup’s nose. If your Frenchie seems all hot and bothered by these allergies, get some allergy medication from your vet to manage the symptoms. Sometimes, a change in diet and environment also helps – find what works best for you and your best friend.
Why the Longer Nose?
Some breeders have decided that breeding dogs with inherent health issues are just not worth it. It’s not fair to the dog, and it tarnishes the breed and breeders’ reputation. Besides, the new owners end up with some pretty hefty vet bills from having to manage all these health issues. So, they started breeding purebred Frenchies with a longer nose.
This isn’t totally new, however. Comparing pictures of French Bulldog champions over the years, you can clearly see that their noses used to be longer. It’s only relatively recently that they were bred to have such extremely short noses.
If the long-nose trend catches on, we’re likely to see a whole new generation of purebred Frenchies that are far healthier than their recent ancestors. That’s a good thing in my book!
So, there you have it, folks. Purebred French Bulldogs can indeed have a longer nose than what we’re used to, and it would probably improve their health, too. While your Frenchie’s longer nose might decrease your vet bill, some other medical conditions are still inherent to the breed. If you’re not sure what’s going on, it’s always best to consult your vet first.