Do you have a brachycephalic dog? The term, brachycephalic, defines short-muzzled dog with a flattened face. It is the result of a genetic mutation which alters the way that the bones in their skulls grow. As a result, the shape of their skull is wide and short. This mutation can occur in a wide range of breeds, from breeds with flat faces to less exaggerated brachycephalic dog breeds.
Some examples of brachycephalic breeds include:
- French Bulldog
- Boston Terrier
- English Bulldog
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tzu
- Cavalier King Charles Special
The brachycephalic dog breeds require special attention to make sure they are happy and healthy! To ensure that your dog is healthy, we have listed some of the most common problems faced by brachycephalic dogs that you should look out for.
One of the most common health problems is breathing. Most brachycephalic dog breeds are at a risk of developing respiratory problems. Such dogs have disproportionate soft palates, nasal cartilage, and tongues. The airway openings are narrow and might cause hindrance in breathing. Situations in which they are unable to catch their breath pose danger to these dog breeds.
Some brachycephalic dog breeds might experience dental problems. Because they have the same number of teeth as other breeds, but their mouths are less spacious than other dogs’, they are at increased risk of dental issues. The muzzles of such dogs are short and the teeth are piled on top of one another. It increases the risk of plaque and tartar along with the risk of other dental problems.
Another common problem in brachycephalic dogs is eye injuries. Since their skulls are overly flat, their eyes do not fit properly into their sockets. This puts them at a higher risk of eye injuries. Their eyelids will not close properly, which makes their eye irritated and dry. Some of the breeds are at a risk of eyes popping out of their socket.
In some of the brachycephalic dog breeds, skin infections and irritation are common. Dogs with many skin folds and excessive wrinkles are more prone to developing skin problems. The deep skin folds will lead to retention of moisture that might cause the growth of yeast and bacteria. The bacteria will feed on the secretions trapped in the skin of your dog. Their skin folds provide an ideal breeding environment for bacteria. Additionally, these microscopic organisms can produce substances that might cause irritation and infections.
If you don’t clean your dog regularly, then they might get a skin infection. These infections are painful and irritating for your dog. If you are an owner of a brachycephalic dog, or considering owning one, make sure that you keep your dog’s skin folds clean and free of excessive moisture.
If you think your dog is not well, contact Hunt Valley Animal Hospital. Our team of experienced and highly-skilled veterinarians is always available to help you. We understand that taking care of your brachycephalic dog is not an easy task, and we are here to answer all your questions. Please feel free to contact us and schedule an appointment today!