Canine First Aid Level 2 (VTQ)

52 videos, 2 hours and 50 minutes

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Brachycephalic dogs

Video 50 of 52
3 min 16 sec
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In the last few months, there's been a change in the most popular breeds that have been registered with the Kennel Club. So, up until recently, it was the Labrador, and recently it has now changed to French Bulldog. So we are seeing many more French Bulldogs. With that, we are also seeing other brachycephalic breeds. Brachycephalics are the short-nosed, squash-faced dog breeds. So we are talking about the French Bulldogs, talking about Pugs, Bulldogs, Chihuahuas to a certain extent, even medium sized nose breeds that have similar problems to these short-nosed breeds.

And the problems we are having with them are mainly upper respiratory. And the problem is that they do not have enough space in their mouth. So they are getting a dental disease, but they are getting respiratory issues as well. They have elongated soft palates, which means the soft part at the top of your mouth is too long and it hangs down at the back of your mouth. So whenever you eat or whenever you breathe it is getting in the way and that can cause respiratory problems. They also have thickening or pockets around the back of their throats that means that there is not enough space back there. Again, when they breathe, they cannot, especially when they are excited, they cannot get enough oxygen in, because there is just not enough space back there. They can have episodes of collapse or respiratory distress because they cannot get enough oxygen when they need it when they are excitable.

They also are more at risk of getting foreign bodies in their eyes or around their nose because they have not got that long nice nose to protect them from. When they are out and about and they are sniffing around in hedges or undergrowth, then seeds or thorns, anything like that, have easier access to get into the eyelid, cause foreign body problems and infections. Same with their ears, they are closer to wherever they are when they are investigating under bushes and that kind of thing. So they are more prone to getting ear infections because of that as well.

Dental disease, we see quite commonly in these short-nosed breeds because all their teeth are quite squashed in, they sometimes do not grow properly, they can have tooth root problems, they can get food trapped between the teeth that can then lead onto infections. They do need to exercise, but they often cannot exercise as well as they should because of their breathing difficulties. The knock-on effects of that is then a lot of them become overweight and then we get all the overweight problems, heart disease, arthritis, anal gland problems. When they are carrying too much weight, on their back legs in particular, because they are very short, a lot of these breeds, their limbs cannot cope and so the arthritic changes and the injuries that they can have to their ligaments and to their patellas, in particular, are quite pronounced and they do happen quite commonly. So lots of things that happen in these shorter nose breeds that we do not see as much, we do still see them in the larger breeds and the longer nose breeds, but they are far more common in these brachycephalics.