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Bull Dog Health Issues: Stenotic Nares

Updated on July 14, 2012


There are few dogs adored as much as a Bull Dog (English). In fact, once you become a Bull Dog owner, you rarely go for any other breed. These tenacious, adorable, beautiful/ugly dogs are truly unique. As someone once noted, “Not only do they look like characters, they are characters.” However, Bull Dogs, like many other purebreds, have various health issues. You should be aware of them before you decide to bring one of these loveable creatures home with you.

Stenotic Nares - Narrow Nostrils

It is not difficult to recognize this health problem. If you look at the dog’s nose, you will see two very narrow openings instead of larger ones. Sometimes, the openings of the nostrils seem so narrow they appear to be closed. As to be expected, if your dog has stenotic nares, he or she will have trouble breathing. The condition becomes more obvious and difficult during the hot summer months.

You can provide your canine with much-welcomed relief. Surgery can widen the nostrils. This will increase the passage of air. Your dog, as a result, will be able to breathe easier. Such a surgical operation will also decrease the extra demands made on the heart and lungs. This permits your dog to enjoy life at a faster pace (fast that is for a Bull Dog).


Related Health Issues

In many Bull Dogs, the condition of stenotic nares rarely occurs on its own. It often forms one part of what is termed the Brachycephalic Syndrome. Included in this syndrome are:

  • Elongated palate – the palate is too large for the dog’s mouth
  • Everted laryngeal saccules - they face inwards further blocking the throat
  • Hypoplastic trachea
  • Collapsed larynx

You can address these issues through surgery, when necessary. In some instances, lifestyle changes for both you and your Bullie will be enough.


Bulldogs make some of the best of companions. They are comical, expressive and very cuddly. Their appeal crosses the boundaries of age, gender and socio-cultural-economic life. Yet, Bulldogs do suffer from some serious health issues. While many breeders work hard to correct the problem, they are not always successful. If you decide to purchase a Bulldog, you need to be aware of these problems, ask the right questions and know how to deal with them.


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      Diane Ward 5 years ago

      very good information