J Appl Physiol. 1987 Oct;63(4):1344-50.
The English bulldog: a natural model of sleep-disordered breathing.
To establish a natural model of sleep-disordered breathing, we investigated respiration during wakefulness and sleep in the English bulldog. This breed is characterized by an abnormal upper airway anatomy, with enlargement of the soft palate and narrowing of the oropharynx. During sleep, the animals had disordered respiration and episodes of O2 desaturation. These were worst in rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep, with most bulldogs having O2 saturations of less than 90% for prolonged durations. In contrast, control dogs never desaturated. In REM sleep, the bulldogs had episodes of both central and obstructive apnea, the latter being associated with paradoxical movements of the rib cage and abdomen. During wakefulness, the bulldogs were hypersomnolent as evidenced by a shortened sleep latency (mean of 12 min compared with greater than 150 min for controls). This animal model should facilitate studies of the natural history of the sleep apnea syndrome and its complications.
This is so interesting to me. Okay so first off, sleep apnea has one major symptom: Constantly tired all day. Hypersomnolence. Sound familiar with english bulldogs? Secondly, long durations of oxygen desaturation are extremely bad for the brain. This means for extended periods of time, there is oxygen deprivation in the dogs blood supply, and therefore brain. This of course can cause all kinds of neurological problems long-term. Lastly, the sleep latency (time it takes for the bulldog to go from a waking state to a sleeping state) was 12 minutes versus 150 minutes. Its interesting because I, like I'm sure many of you here, just think our bulldogs are lazy. When in fact the difficulty breathing can result in sleep apnea disorder, which in turn results in sleeping all day long, constantly being tired, and unfortunately low oxygen saturation to the brain. I suppose instead of thinking its cute how "lazy" they are, we could be thinking of ways to help them sleep better. I'll have to think about that one as I can't come up with any ideas right now. Interesting either way.