So - here we were with our English Bulldog puppy (that's her on her back trying to play with Rufus our pitbull/lab mix in the picture), who we were told to keep calm, cool and slim. Luckily Stella has never been turned into a beggar. She loves her dog food - Nature's Variety - which we feed Rufus too. I have to say this food treats them both very well - although pricey - worth it (and I have tried lots of other high-end dog foods over the years with my dogs). She never overeats - and we try to keep her weight in check - although she's already a small bulldog due to her small trachea.
Her hypoplastic trachea is a condition where her trachea is abnormally small - about the size of a cat, our vet has told us. This causes her to breath as if you or I were having to breath through a straw. Normal breathing is fine for her, but if she gets overexcited or overheated, she puts more and more stress on her trachea, which can cause breathing difficulty, problems dealing with mucus, water and food, and eventually can cause the trachea itself to begin to weaken or collapse. Apparently vet students in some of the best veterinary schools are working on surgeries to correct this problem - but so far its not treatable.
It seemed that one of the worst things we were going to have to battle was the fact that when she got overexcited, she tended to vomit or hack up mucus, and that sometimes she must have been aspirating on that material, breathing it back into her lungs, and this would turn into pneumonia (at least this is our hypothesis). Or, the excessive breathing would cause the mucus to build up and get so thick that she would then develop breathing problems. Either way, the lemon is our savior and Stella's favorite toy, and its the one thing that seems to keep her airways clear and functional! We all love the LEMON!