Short-faced dog breeds are adorable and loveable but have anatomical differences that make them more susceptible to certain health problems. Shortening of the facial skeleton leads to crowding and compression of the upper airways. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome (BAS) has various consequences, some of which are:

Overexertion and overheating can exacerbate airway obstruction. These dogs should not undertake strenuous outdoor exercise in hot or humid weather. Short-faced breeds may not be able to cool down by panting as effectively as other breeds do. Owners are encouraged to provide their dogs with alternate opportunities for moderate exercise in cooler environments.

A standard collar and lead can put intense pressure on the trachea and exacerbate symptoms of BAS, sometimes triggering tracheal collapse. A low-front harness is recommended for these breeds.

Dental malocclusions, overcrowding, and misalignment of teeth are associated with brachycephalic dogs. This can lead to difficulty chewing food, jaw dysfunction and premature tooth loss. Owners should maintain dental hygiene and pursue regular dental examinations by their veterinarian.

GI diseases, including hiatal hernia, gas reflux, and esophagitis are common in these dog breeds. Surgical management of respiratory disease may reduce GI signs.

Ocular & Ophthalmologic disease can lead to pain and vision deficits. Nasal folds, visible white-of-the-eyes, and increased eyelid swelling have been identified as risk factors. In some cases, surgery may be required to manage acute and chronic eye conditions.

Please don’t hesitate to call us with questions about your special breeds of dogs. We would love to meet them and are happy to answer all of your questions.

Have a great month!

Dr. Bonnie