BRACHYCEPHALIC SYNDROME IN DOGS

Dog breeds with flattened faces, muzzles, and facial wrinkles require extra attention. These animals’ characteristics can create respiratory issues and make them more susceptible to heat stroke.

What is Brachycephalic Syndrome, and how does it affect your dog?

Brachycephalic syndrome is a set of respiratory abnormalities that can affect flat-faced dogs. Although the morphology of these flat-faced animals renders them prone to brachycephalic syndrome, not all flat dogs necessarily suffer from it.

The Bulldog, Pug, Boxer, Pekingese, Boston terrier, and Shi tzu are the breeds most prone to respiratory issues due to their physiognomy.

Although it is present from birth, many symptoms do not appear until approximately 2-3 years of age, when the dog is fully developed. Finally, it can affect both sexes without distinction between males and females.

What are their physical anomalies?

So, in brachycephalic dog breeds it is important to take into account:

  • Their soft palate veil is thick and long in proportion
  • Stenotic nostrils. Narrow and reduced nostrils
  • Trachea with a smaller diameter than usual
  • Eversion of the laryngeal saccules. The laryngeal saccules are small parts of the inner tissue of the larynx that protrude in front of the vocal cords and that, due to heavy breathing and dragging, can make it more and more difficult for air to pass into the trachea.

An orchestra of snoring

The sound of snoring

The brachycephalic dog is remarkable because it produces odd noises when breathing. Palate tapping, which occurs in dogs with an extended soft palate, adds to the range of noises in the brachycephalic dog’s snoring orchestra.

Excessive snoring and brief periods of time without breathing while sleeping are further red flags to be aware of. In severe situations, the animal may lose consciousness, experience fainting spells, and have a blue tint on the inside of its lips.

Simple suggestions for brachycephalic dogs

The improvement in clinical signs after appropriate medical and surgical treatment is evident, but you can also help these patients by following these recommendations:

  • Use a harness instead of a collar, to avoid damage to the neck area (we remind you that they usually have alterations in their trachea).
  • Provide them with a habitat with mild temperatures, since due to the respiratory problem they may have a bad thermoregulation.
  • Limit intense exercise and at hours of high temperatures. Frequent short walks are better than few long walks.
  • Periodic controls at the veterinarian: these animals are chronic patients and should be evaluated periodically by your veterinarian.

Photo by Trent Jackson on Unsplash

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