Cleft palates are common in brachycephalic breeds, such as French Bulldogs. Cleft palates are caused by abnormal openings in the mouth roofs.
During embryonic development, the two sides of the palate (roof of the mouth) do not fuse together. The result is an opening between the nasal passages and the mouth.
The symptoms of a cleft palate in a French Bulldog
- Your dog may have a runny nose
- Your Frenchie may suffer coughing
- Aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia caused by milk and food contents entering the cleft and infecting the lungs)
- Breathing problems (usually caused by aspiration pneumonia)
- Difficulty sucking and nursing (for puppies)
- Slow growth or weight gain
- Weight loss from difficulty eating
- And lack of appetite