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No news, no message, no see and no hear for a long time…

Due to various circumstances it has been quiet for a long time, about 5 years! Yet all this time there has been an itch to continue breeding. The circumstances were not good enough to breed and I only want to continue if it can be done in the best possible way. That possibility has now opened up again. Meanwhile, Yara was sterilized a few years ago, she is now 9 years old. She is living her best life on the couch with us. I had my doubts for a long time, but we took the plunge and Lily has been extensively tested recently! In addition to the various DNA tests that had already been carried out when she was still a puppy, we drove to the Veterinary Referral Center in Dordrecht. They are one of the few clinics in the Netherlands with all the equipment to carry out our entire test protocol. Carrying out the tests is one thing, a good interpretation is a completely different matter. In Dordrecht all specialists are present under one roof, they have the right knowledge to provide us with the best information possible.

The first examination on the program was a heart ultrasound including Doppler screening. The cardiologist found no abnormalities here.

After the heart ultrasound it was time for the physical examination. Various elements are examined, including the coat, indications of allergies, the eyes, the ears, a patellar luxation examination and the muzzle length (CFR) is assessed, as are the nostrils and any noise comping from te breathing. Fortunately, everything was fine! Lily was then given a sedative and a throat inspection was performed. Two veterinarians have assessed this. I asked them to be extra strict and compare it to a dog with a normal snout length, not to the average short snout. Both saw a minimally extended palate compared to a normal snout length, they were very satisfied with this examination and Lily received great compliments.

Immediately after the throat inspection it was time for the x-rays. Photographs were taken of the skull, trachea, cervical and dorsal vertebrae, hips and elbows. Lily’s trachea is nice and spacious. The X-rays also showed no abnormalities in the vertebrae! Lily’s hips fit nicely, but they could be a little less loose. All in all, she received a nice HD B score. Lily’s elbows have also been assessed and she is free of elbow dysplasia.

The x-rays can be seen below.

X-rays were also taken for a PennHip assessment. This result is also very good. Lily has better hips with 0.44 and 0.54 than the breed average of 0.63. For an explanation about this score you can read more here.

The next stop was the MRI scan. For this scan Lily had to lie completely still. The MRI takes about 30 minutes and soft structures are clearly visible on this scan. The nasal passages, the palate but also the brain. This is the main purpose of the MRI scan. In our opinion, too many reports have emerged of French Bulldogs having Syringomyelia. Too much to ignore this. Syringomyelia is caused by a skull that is too small.
With every breath and every heartbeat, the volume of the brain changes a little: the brain continuously becomes a little bigger and smaller. There is sufficient space for this in a normal skull. If the skull is too small, a small part of the cerebellum protrudes through the occipital hole into the spinal canal. This back and forth bulging part of the brain creates a kind of vacuum around the spinal cord, causing cavities to form. The cavities are filled with fluid. This is very painful for the dog.

The MRI machine needs a separate room

The MRI images are sent to neurologist Drs. Paul Mandigers. He has assessed the images and Lily gets the best possible score: CM 0a/SM 0a. The ear canals were also assessed for narrowing, which se scored as normal.

The rating can be seen below. I have yet to receive the images from the MRI, these will be posted on Lily’s own page.

Lily was then taken to the CT room, which is also a huge machine. This scan takes considerably less time, in a few minutes he has finished scanning her entire body. Unbelievable, because more than 1500 images were taken in that short time! The CT scan clearly shows whether there are any abnormalities in the respiratory system. Not only the size of the nostrils can be seen, but also the entire nasal passages, everything behind them. The throat area is imaged, and the entire spine is also imaged. This clearly shows whether any abnormalities are present and what consequences they have on the spinal cord and the intervertebral discs.

Below you can see an image of Lily’s full-body CT, more images will follow and these will also be posted on Lily’s own page. Below are some comments from the radiologist’s report.

There is a thick and long soft palate, despite this the nasopharynx is sufficiently spacious. The large bony structures of the skull are normal.
There are no abnormalities in the teeth present.
The esophagus is not abnormal.

Vertebral column:
The vertebrae are not abnormal and have a normal position. There is no visible compression of the spinal cord.
There are no abnormalities of the soft tissues around the spine.

Front legs:
The left shoulder joint does not show any abnormality.
Left elbow: There is no incongruence. There is no evidence of osteoarthritis.

The right shoulder joint does not show any abnormality.
Right elbow: There is no incongruence. There is no evidence of osteoarthritis.

Hind legs:
Both hips have a normal connection between the femoral head and the acetabulum. There is no visible osteoarthritis.
Both knee joints show no abnormality.

In short: a beautiful result!

It has become a long post, with a lot of information.

We are so incredibly proud of Lily that she has achieved such wonderful results at the age of 5! Beautiful icing on the cake for our home-bred girl!

This also means that plans for a litter are taking shape. We will announce the planned combination at a later date. Hopefully, after a long time, Hawbucks puppies again in the spring of 2024!

The waiting list for this litter is not yet opened, so no applicants will be taken on for now.

If you don’t feel like waiting, there are still puppies available at a breeder friend Esther from modern French Bulldog kennel Perfectionum Tendre! For more photos and information, see also the Facebook page.

8 replies
  1. Christine Ferguson
    Christine Ferguson says:

    Dear Hawbucks,
    Very happy to see you are continuing your efforts to restore the French Bulldog breed’s health. This was the same reason I bought a European Miniature Pinscher rather than one from USA (I am American). I felt the US MinPins were frail and high strung, unlike the rugged healthy EU MinPin. I bought my beautiful puppy from an excellent breeder in Sweden in 2006 and am happy to share that she is still with us today at 17.5 yrs later….breeding/genetics matter! I also think that your transparency is refreshing in that you are willing to show your results to the public and peers. If and when the time comes for me and my family to get another dog, I will definitely keep Hawbucks kennel in mind.
    Kind regards.

  2. Liselotte Kihlström
    Liselotte Kihlström says:

    Yes! It’s great to hear that you are back at breeding and the fantastic results of Lily. ❤️

  3. Nikki
    Nikki says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been looking forward to receiving an email like this. I’d love to be kept in the loop.

  4. Nasim
    Nasim says:

    Im so happy you are back! Im hoping to get my next pup from you sometime, maybe in couple years and I hope you keep doing the important thing you do: Breed healthy Frenchies! Thank you!


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