Charity shares warning on flat-faced breeds

Max the flat-faced dog
Oh Max (Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)
Poor Max the French Bulldog ended up at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home after his owner could no longer afford to keep him.

When the 10-year-old arrived, vets found that not only was he struggling to breathe, but he also had eye ulcers and skin infections as a result of being a brachycephalic, aka flat-faced, breed.

Flat-faced breeds often suffer from breathing problems due to the strong features they’ve been bred to have.

Thankfully, the charity was able to get Max the surgery he needed so he could have a better quality of life, and he has since been rehomed with a loving owner.

Source: Psychology Today

However, little Max and dogs like him may never be able to run and play like other dogs with longer snouts and will require additional care – the costs of which can easily add up.

Battersea has shared that they have performed life-saving Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) surgery on nearly half of all the flat-faced dogs that have been given to them over the years.

Owners can be shocked by the cost of this surgery, with veterinary practices charging thousands of pounds for it as it’s often not covered by insurance.

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The charity started performing the surgery in 2015 after they saw a rise in brachycephalic dogs coming through their doors.

Max the flat-faced dog given up at 10 due to costly health problems
Poor guy (Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home)

At the time of writing, they have performed the surgery a whopping 244 times out of the nearly 500 brachycephalic dogs they’ve been given.

Claire Turner, Veterinary Surgeon at Battersea said: ‘While breeds like French Bulldogs are undoubtedly cute, they’re also a classic example of irresponsible breeding.

‘Over the years, so-called breeders have chosen the dogs with the flattest, “most fashionable”, faces to breed from, which has led to some dangerous health problems.

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‘Many brachycephalic breeds have airways so narrow that even carrying out simple tasks can be a struggle, and many will never be able to live the life of a normal dog.

‘On top of this, irresponsible breeding has led these dogs to face a multitude of other health issues, such as excess skin folds and eye infections which comes as a result of their poor conformation. I’d encourage anyone breeding and buying these dogs to consider the health of the litter.

‘No animal should have to suffer for the sake of fashion, but for these dogs, their looks could literally kill – they pay the ultimate price for their breathtaking appearance.’

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