The Short Snout: Brachycephalic Breed Safety
Flat-nosed breeds are unique and lovable, but the same physical features that endear them to owners are the same ones that endanger their health. Indeed, a shortened muzzle not only contributes to vision difficulties and eye ulcers, but problematic breathing and eating are equally as common – especially during the summer. When the temperatures are high, brachycephalic breed safety must be priority number one.
A Quick View
Brachycephalic cats and dogs have been specifically bred to have shorter skulls, lower jaws, and narrow nasal passages. Not surprisingly, breathing can be laborious for these animals. Mouth breathing, loud snoring, and snorting can typically be heard when a brachycephalic breed is eating, sleeping, or exercising.
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome results from the combination of a shortened trachea, nostrils, and excessive bone and tissue that block the airways.
Brachycephalic Breed Safety
It’s important to take extra special care of these breeds to support their airways, eyes, and overall wellness. Aging can worsen symptoms of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome, or the larynx can even collapse over time. Also, after a lifetime of difficult breathing, the heart and airways can be negatively affected.
Surgery can improve respiration. We’re happy to discuss your options during your pet’s upcoming wellness examination.
It’s so Hot!
Dogs of all breeds pant in order to regulate body temperature, but flat-faced animals cannot pant easily making it impossible to cool down. Thus, brachycephalic breed safety hinges on staying cool in extreme heat.
Keep your pet safe from heat stroke with these tips:
- Limit outdoor exposure to early morning or evening hours; discourage extreme physical exertion.
- Keep fans and air conditioning running.
- Minimize over-excitement, stress, or anxiety.
- Use a properly fitted harness instead of a leash and collar.
- Cool, fresh water should always be available.
- Spritz your pet’s coat with cool water.
- Invest in a dehumidifier for exceptionally humid conditions.
- Maintain a healthy diet, as symptoms can worsen with excess weight.
Please observe your pet’s behavior and respond quickly to possible health concerns. Never ignore the following:
- Laborious breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Lack of coordination
- Diarrhea or vomiting
Cool and Comfortable
Brachycephalic breed safety in the summer is remarkably close to safety measures for all animals. When the unique characteristics of these animals are understood and treated with caution, a faithful friendship can continue for many years.
We encourage you to reach out to The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital with any questions or concerns regarding brachycephalic breed safety. Without a comprehensive grasp on their needs and risks, a pet emergency may be imminent.
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