Cali is a very sweet and beautiful French Bulldog who is almost two years old. She recently had surgery to enlarge her nostrils (nares). In the photo you can see how narrowed her nostrils were (left side) – just slit. On the right side of the photo you can appreciate how wide and normal her nostril is. Doesn’t she look cute getting her laser therapy?
Narrowed nostrils are a common problem in short-nosed breeds, among them English and French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and Pekingese. Narrowed nostrils can, of course, occur in any dog. When dogs have this condition, they have to work much harder to breathe. It is easier for them to get heatstroke and too much excitement can cause breathing problems. Forceful inhaling can cause changes in the upper airways/back of the throat that can cause other problems later on. There is a name for this disease process called “Brachycephalic airway syndrome”; and it usually necessitates further surgery. But the damage has been done.
The best thing to do when your pet has narrowed nostrils is to have surgery done to open them up. This is recommended as early as 3-4 months of age. It can still help if performed later on, but more changes occur as time goes by.
If you are not sure if your pet needs this surgery, please have an exam completed by your veterinarian. And of course, please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any concerns or questions.