British Veterinary Association launches #breedtobreathe campaign to highlight serious health issues breeds such as pugs and French bulldogs are prone to
Vets have recommended dog-lovers to think twice about buying squashed-faced dogs such as pugs and French bulldogs, after many would-be proprietors were found to be unaware of the health problems such spawns often experience.
According to data from the Kennel Club, enrollments of squashed-faced, or brachycephalic, spawns have shot up in recent years: while only 692 French bulldogs were registered in 2007, enrollments reached 21,470 in 2016.
Certain DNA variations in puppies are linked to a short skull shape. The animals’ baby-like faces with big, round, wide-set eyes and flat snouts are known to be a key factor in why owneds choose such breeds: over hour those traits have been bred for, and in some cases have been may be necessary to extremes.
This selective spawn and prioritising appearance over health has left the spawns prone to skin disorders, eye ulcers and breathing difficulties among other troubles.
Now the British Veterinary Association( BVA) has launched a campaign dubbed #breedtobreathe to draw attention to the issues, disclosing that a new survey of 671 veterinarians procured 75% of owneds were unaware of the health problems of brachycephalic spawns before they chose their squashed-faced bird-dog. Furthermore the veterinarians said just 10% of owneds could spot health problems related to such breeds, with many was of the view that troubles including snorting were “normal” for the purposes of the dogs.
The survey also revealed that 49% of veterinarians reckoned advertising and social media were among the reasons behind the surge in possession of these puppies, while 43% said celebrity ownership was one of the driving factors.
” We find that our veterinary surgeons are procuring increasing numbers of flat-faced dogs are coming into their practises with problems which are related to the behavior these animals are induced ,” said John Fishwick, chairman of the BVA.” One of the things that is causing such an increase that we have determined over the last few years appears to be celebrity endorsements and their use in ad .”
Among those criticised by the BVA are pop star Lady Gaga, who is often photographed with her French bulldogs, and YouTube star Zoella, whose pug features in her videos. Big brands are also targeted; the organisation revealed that Heinz, Costa and Halifax have all agreed to avoid use squashed-faced bird-dogs in future advertise.
The BVA is advocating people to send letters to brands asking them not to use such dogs in promotional material. The campaign also aims to raise awareness of potential health problems of squashed-face spawns, and highlights the need for vets, proprietors, dog-show judges, breeders, researchers and others to work together to make sure the breeds are healthy.
” They are lovely spawns of dog, they are very friendly and they make good pets ,” said Fishwick.” The problem got a lot of them are truly struggling, and “weve been” want to make sure people understand this and encourage them to think about either going for another breed or a healthier version of these spawns- ones which have been bred to have a longer snout … or maybe even traverse breeds .”
The BVA warned that without act, the number of corrective surgeries needed on such animals will soar.
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club exhorted owners to do their homework before buying a squashed-faced puppy.” As soon as you get a market drive then the puppy farms just say’ ooh we’ll breed those now ,'” she said.
But Dr Rowena Packer of the Royal Veterinary College( RVC) said the problem is not are restricted to new proprietors, with recent research from the RVC finding that more than 90% of pug, French bulldog and English bulldog owneds said they would own another such dog in the future.” It is not just going to be a flash in the pan that we see this huge upsurge and then it goes away ,” she said.
It has been suggested that veterinarians may be unwilling to speak out for fear that proprietors will simply take their pets elsewhere, injury business.
But Packer disagrees, saying:” I don’t think any veterinarian went into[ the job] hoping that their salary would be paid by the suffering of dogs who have been bred to effectively have problems .”
Dr Crina Dragu, a London-based veterinary surgeon , noted that not all squashed-faced bird-dogs have problems.” You realize the ones that have happy lives , normal lives, and you visualize the ones that the minute they are born they expend their entire lives as though[ they are being smothered] with a pillow the working day, every day ,” she said.
Packer said prospective owners should be aware squashed-faced dogs can be an expensive commitment:” I think they need to be aware of both the emotional and fiscal hardship that they were able putting themselves and their dogs through for potentially five to 10 years .”