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01st May 2018

About Flat Faced Breeds

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS

Recently, I was visiting a friend. (Yes I do have one left.) Another visitor had brought her French Bulldog; there were three dogs altogether.  One was 14 years old. 

Now I’ll allow it was a hot day but the French Bulldog was gasping for breath.  She was mouth breathing as she tried to enough air into her lungs.  The two other dogs were breathing normally.  The strange thing was that no-one was paying any heed to this dog’s desperate efforts to stay alive.

If a human had been in that state we would have dialled 999 for an ambulance.  The dog’s distress didn’t seem to register at all.  It seemed to be treated as if it were normal; and my concern is that it will be seen as exactly that – normal. 

As brachycephalic / flat-faced dog breeds become more popular, I fear that acceptance of this respiratory distress that they suffer will become the accepted norm, just as overweight and obese dogs are now regarded as normal, unremarkable, under the radar.

by John Burns BVMS MRCVS
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