Brachycephalic dogs have compressed, shortened skull and a characteristic pushed in face appearance. Common breeds include: English, British and French Bulldogs, Boxers, Boston Terriers, Pugs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston Terrier, Shih Tzu and Pekinese, to name a few.
Because of their conformation, these dogs are prone to a number of health issues affecting the upper airways vertebrae and tail.
Three primary health issues that affect Brachycephalic dogs:
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS)
Brachycephalic dogs have stenotic nares and elongated palates. If untreated, these can progress to brachycephalic syndrome.
Stenotic Nares are nostrils that are extensively narrow, due to a congenital (birth) defect of nose cartilage.
An Elongated Soft Palate refers to the soft structure at the back of the roof of the mouth, after the hard palate.
In brachycephalic dogs, the soft palate is longer than normal and hangs down into the back of the throat.
Brachycephalic Hemi-Vertebra/Screw Tail
A Hemi-Vertebra is a congenitally deformed vertebra.
It occurs when two or more vertebral bodies (the block-like portion of the vertebrae) fuse or develop asymmetrically; creating a wedging effect in what should be fairly rectangular block.
The normal vertebrae have cylindrical vertebral bodies, which connect like heads on a necklace. The vertebral body of the hemi vertebra has not developed by symmetrically leading to a wedge shape.
The eyes are so prominent in brachycephalic breeds that the lids cannot close all the way over the eyes. This will lead to irritation and drying of the centre of the eye. If you cannot tell by watching your pet blink, watch as your pet sleeps. This condition is called Macropalpebral Fissure (eyelids too large for eyes).
Dogs that sleep without closing their eyes all the way could do with surgical correction. Eyelid problems are common in these breeds. Look for persistent wetness around the eyes.
Our Veterinarians Dr John Norris and Dr Terry Martin are well versed in our problem children the brachycephalics.
If you have any concerns with your Brachycephalic dog please contact one of our team to book a consultation.
Curtis Street Vets @ Pimpama
At Curtis Street Vets, your pet will receive the best possible treatment and care.
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