One of our biggest concerns with brachycephalic breeds, especially British Bulldogs that are severely over represented for this condition, is hypoplastic trachea. Very simply, this is a trachea (windpipe) that is narrower than normal.
Here are the breed averages:
- Normal nose dogs 0.20 (or 20% the diameter of the thoracic inlet)
- Brachycephalics generally 0.17
- British Bulldogs 0.13
So generally speaking, all brachycephalics have a 15% reduction in the size of their trachea, and British Bulldogs in particular have a 35% reduction in the size of their trachea. Here’s the real problem with this – these breeds already struggle for oxygen for the following reasons:
- Short noses
- Crowded intranasal turbinates
- Enlarged tongues and tonsils
- Swollen laryngeal saccules further blocking their small tracheas
- Elongated soft palates entering the larynx
- Stenotic nares
Adding a significant hypoplastic trachea to the above list of restrictions, is a major problem.