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Brachycephalic Dog Breeds

Brachycephalic dogs breeds are those with short, "pushed in" noses and bulging eyes. The group includes the Pug, Bulldog,Pekingese, Boston terrier, Boxer, Shih Tzu and others. Because of their uniquie head and jaw configuration, these breeds are especailly prone to certain health concerns. 

Brachycephalic Resiratory Syndrome

Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome affects various parts of these dog breeds' respiratory tracts. Dogs may only suffer from a few of the aspects associated with Brachycephalic Syndrome, or they may suffer from several at the same time. Narrowed nostrils, medically known as stenotic nares, can cause difficulty breathing. Many brachyceohalic dogs also have an elongated soft palate and everted laryngeal saccules, causing heavy snorting and snoring. In addition, tracheal hypoplasia, or narrowing of the windpipe, can further exacerbate breathing problems and be very dangerous. All of these problems combine to make normal respiratory function much more difficult for brachycephalic breeds. These dogs also pant inefficiently and are at risk for airway inflammation and overheating. In some cases, surgeries can help to correct the issues. Help keep your brachycephalic dog safe by not letting them overexert themselves, exspecially in hot weather. Since obesity will only exacerbate the problems associated with these breeds, take steps to keep your dog at a healthy weight. Instead of a standard collar and leash, which can restrict the airways even further, use a specialized harness for your brachycephalic breed.

Eye Issues

Since the nasal bones are compacted in brachycephalic breeds, these dogs also tend to have eye problems. A severe blow to the back of the head or a sharp tug on a leash when the dog is wearing a collar, can actually cause an eye to pop from the socket, requiring surgical correction. Sometimes, a brachycephalic dog's eyelid can't cover the eye completly. This leads to dry eye and irritation, Abnormal tear drainage and eyelashes rubbing against the eye are other common problems; surgery may be needed for correction.

Dental Concerns

Dogs have 42 teeth in their mouths. In brachycephalic breeds, those 42 teeth have far less space to fit into. This can lead to problems with crowding, teeth growing in at angles, food trapping and periodontal disease. Be sure to keep up good dental care at home and visit your vet for regular dental check-ups.

Other Issues

Since brachycephalic breeds tend to have many skin folds on their bodies, skin fold infections are common, especially around the face. Pregnancy is another tricky aprect of these breeds; often time a C-section is required for a safe birth. In addition, breeding crachycephalic dogs can be complicated and should be left to professionals. Because of the specific health concerns and care requirements of brachycephalic dogs, people who own these breeds should maintain a close relationship with teir beterinarian and schedule regular office visits. Call your vet if you have any questions about the care of your brachycephalic breed.