Cleft Palate in French Bulldogs

Cleft palate is a rare genetic disorder that is unfortunately more common in Frenchies. Learn what cleft palate is, as well as its treatment options.

Cleft Palate

French Bulldog with Cleft Palate
French Bulldog with Cleft Palate

Cleft palates in French Bulldogs is a genetic disorder that is commonly seen in brachycephalic breeds.

It is characterized by an abnormal opening in the roof of the mouth.

During embryonic development, the two sides of the palate (roof of the mouth) fail to come together and fuse. This results in an opening between the nasal passages and the mouth.

Symptoms of a French Bulldog with a Cleft Palate

  • A runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia caused by milk and food contents entering the cleft and infecting the lungs)
  • Respiratory difficulty (caused by aspiration pneumonia)
  • Difficulty sucking and nursing (for puppies)
  • Slow growth
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite

Surgery to correct a cleft palate can be performed when puppies are 3-4 months old. It usually requires more than one operation to completely close the opening.


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