Health Problems of
Flat-Faced (Brachycephalic) Dog Breeds
Brachycephalic dog breeds have flat faces and short muzzles. The term comes from two Greek words meaning ‘short’ and ‘head’.They may have a bottom jaw which sticks out disproportionately to the top jaw.
Here is a list of Brachycephalic Dog Breeds
Cavalier King Charles spaniels
and many less known breeds.
This type of dog has become increasingly popular but bad breeding has lead to respiratory problems for these flat-faced breeds.
Brachycephalic syndrome is a condition affecting certain dog breeds which can lead to severe respiratory distress.
Snoring, snorting, noisy breathing, tiring or fainting during exercise and heatstroke.
Brachycephalic dogs are also prone to;-
Eye Problems due to large protruding eyes and small eyelids, which don’t always shut.
Skin infections due to the heavily folded skin around the neck
Dry eye and tear staining.
Dental disease due to overcrowding teeth.
Elongated soft palate. Brachycephalic dogs have more tissue between the nose and mouth cavities.
Narrowed or collapsed nostrils.
Inflamed pouches in the Larynx
Tips to help if you have a Brachycephalic dog or are thinking of getting one.
1 Go to a reputable breeder.
2 Keep your dogs weight under control.
3 Use a well fitting harness
4 Don’t let your dog overheat.
5 Keep a watchful eye on your dog’s breathing.
6 Exercise within limits.
Here is an interesting article on the subject of Brachycephalic or flat faced dogs published by BBC News in September 2016.
A recent survey by the Royal Veterinary College suggests many owners of brachycephalic dogs are not aware of the common underlying health problems.
Caroline Reay, chief vet at Bluecross Animal Hospital in Merton, said: “Most owners – and some vets – think airway noise, and consequently reduced activity, is normal, so the problems are rarely discussed.
“And I think the number of operations we are carrying out is really only the tip of the iceberg”.
The extremely broad head shape seen in in pugs and bulldogs is not a natural look. It developed as a result of intense, selective breeding.
Breeding Problems in Brachycephalic Dogs.
The cesarean risk in flat-faced dogs is much higher than other dogs. Puppies tend to have large heads and the narrow pelvis of the mother makes surgical intervention common.
According to the Kennel Club, 86% of Bulldogs need to have a Caesarian Section.