Florida veterinarian helping French bulldogs breathe better
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French bulldogs are now the most popular dog breed in the nation, but their cute "smoosh faces" make them the most likely to suffer from respiratory stress or heatstroke.
French bulldogs, pugs and bulldogs are more than ten times more likely to suffer from life-threatening breathing issues than any other breed.
"People love to say, 'Oh it's so cute how he is when he does this little snoring or grunt noises and he's hacking like a little pig', but it's not funny and it's not cute; it means they are having a problem breathing," Dr. Boaz Man, a veterinarian in Boca Raton said.
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"Unfortunately, Frenchies fall into a category of extreme brachycephalic breed, which means not only does he have a flat face, but it is extreme," Man said when speaking about his patient Merci.
Man is helping dogs like Merci, who previously went to an emergency veterinarian for heat stroke, by performing a minimally invasive procedure with a laser; no stitches or cones are required.
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"It is an outpatient procedure; they come in that morning and go home that night," he explained. "They start breathing pretty soon after the procedure. The benefit of using a carbon dioxide laser is we don't have the bleeding that usually takes place with a scalpel blade."
Man uses the laser to open a dog's nostrils and remove excess tissue in their windpipe.
"It's not only the nose that has to be fixed, it is something called an elongated soft palate, so that is creating an obstruction," he said.
Merci's owner, Narkeita Hall, said she noticed a difference right away and the day after the procedure he was back to himself.
"We are walking a mile now without the stroller," she shared.
Man said he understands why French bulldogs have gained so much popularity, and he hopes for more responsible breeding in the future.
"We need to do a better job of breeding them for better features," he said. "That is so important because we have a responsibility as pet parents to make sure they have the best quality of life possible."
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