Everything in society follows a trend, and dog ownership is no exception. Twenty years ago when I first started working at Mosman Vets, Mosman was the land of the Mini Schnauzer. Then came the Poodle craze, Then the Cavalier King Charles phase, and following on from that the Oodles arrived. By the mid 2000’s every 2nd canine pet in Mosman seemed to be a fluffy poodle cross (“oodle”) of some description.
Fast forward to the “2000 and teens”, and our canine companion preference has done a pretty big turn around.
These days what’s on the end of the lead is a French Bulldog.
It’s no surprise really. These little dogs have spunk. They’re clownish, ultra friendly, totally devoted and incredibly entertaining to watch.
They do have a downside though.
Just like the other “breeds of the moment”- Pugs, English Bulldogs and Staffies, they fall into the category of Brachycephalics.
“Brachycephalic” means shortened head. Due to the the shortened bones in their face and nose, these dogs often have trouble breathing.
While Staffies don’t tend to be affected significantly, the Frenchies, Boston Terriers, Pugs, and English Bulldogs can be so compromised by their squishy faces that they find it hard to breath without corrective surgery.
Some of these dogs literally have slits for nostrils and a huge amount of soft palate tissue blocking the backs of their throats and if your pet is severely affected it will be quite exercise intolerant-in real danger of collapse and even death when exercised.
The good news is that there is a routine surgical procedure that can help if required. At Mosman Vets we can widen the nostrils and trim the soft palate to make breathing a lot easier. This is usually performed at time of desexing (6 months) but can be done at any age. The procedure is relatively routine, has a quick post operative recovery time , is not expensive and has an excellent success rate.
On the husbandry front, these hardy little dogs don’t need clipping and coiffing like the oodles, but you do need to pay attention to their weight. Brachycephalics must be kept slim to make their breathing easier. They should also be kept out of the heat.
Dr Rachele Lowe
Posted on 10 June 2016
Last updated on 11 December 2019
Tagged with: brachycephaly