Breathing Issues Affecting Short Nosed Dogs
This week saw a scary story in the National News about the breathing issues affecting ‘short nosed’ or brachycephalic dogs such as pugs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers.
These little dogs are all the rage at the moment and it’s not hard to see why. They’re gorgeous.
Sweet, playful natures, permanently happy faces and fun filled, puppy-like behaviour make them loved by many with their faces adorning everything from lunchboxes to sweatshirts and greetings cards.
However, many of these dogs have awful respiratory problems that can require them to have major surgery just to help them breathe.
As I was driving to work on Wednesday, I heard Nicky Campbell, a great dog lover, hosting a debate about these breeds on his five live show.
As luck would have it, we had a lovely little frenchy in that morning for a spay, which gave us the opportunity to correct one of the issues that contribute to the issue, namely stenotic nares.
This part of the syndrome (known collectively as Brachycephalic Obsructive Airway Syndrome or BOAS) means there is too much tissue over the nostrils, preventing adequate airflow. If you pinch your nose and try to breathe through it, you’ll get an idea how that must feel.
As far as surgical corrections of the overall syndrome goes, this is the most straightforward. Lola’s before and after pics will show you the change that this procedure can make.
Many of these dogs also have more complex issues going on further down towards the back of the throat. An elongated soft palate means that the roof of the mouth can extend to cover the windpipe and may require more complex surgery to correct.
The message from this is that although these pups are gorgeous, there are issues with them that may require expensive and tricky surgery to correct. If you’re thinking of getting one, please come and have a chat so that you are fully informed, and as always, use a reputable breeder.
The Guardian Newspaper featured a story recently regarding this topic.
“This is a calamity’: The surgeons keeping pugs and bulldogs alive.
Read the full story here.
Nicky Campbell hosted a debate about these breeds on his five live show.
Listen to the BBC Debate.