Brachycephalic breeds (short-nosed breeds of dogs, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, and Shih Tzus) have become increasingly popular in recent years for their adorable faces and affectionate personalities. However, while these breeds can make great companions, they come with unique medical needs requiring special care.
One of these breeds’ biggest issues is their shortened nasal passages, which can lead to breathing problems. Because of their small nasal cavities and elongated soft palates, these breeds can suffer from difficulty breathing, especially in hot or humid conditions. It’s essential to be aware of the signs of breathing difficulty, such as heavy panting and snorting noises, which can be a sign of overheating. If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s important to get them to a cool place.
Brachycephalic breeds, as well as any dogs prone to vomiting or regurgitation, have a higher incidence of Aspiration Pneumonia, which occurs when a dog breathes materials like food, vomit, or liquid into their lungs. The inhaled food blocks air spaces and creates inflammation in the lungs. Symptoms include lethargy, labored breathing, coughing, runny nose, dehydration, and loss of appetite. If you notice these symptoms in your dog, seek vet attention immediately.
Another issue that short-nosed breeds are prone to is eye problems. Because of their large, protruding eyes, these breeds are at risk of developing dry eye, corneal ulcers, and entropion (where the eyelids curl inwards). Therefore, it’s important to watch for any signs of irritation, such as redness, tearing, or squinting.
Finally, short-nosed breeds are also prone to issues with their teeth. Because of their short snouts, these breeds can suffer from overcrowding, leading to dental issues such as gum disease or tartar buildup. It’s essential to brush your dog’s teeth regularly and schedule check-ups to help prevent any issues from arising.
Overall, short-nosed breeds can make excellent companions. However, knowing their unique medical needs and taking the necessary steps to ensure their health and well-being is important. With the proper care, these breeds can live long and healthy lives. If you notice signs or symptoms of any of the issues mentioned above, contact your vet with any questions or concerns you may have about your pet’s health.