french pug
Recently found this on Facebook and it sums up my hate for people who breed these dogs perfectly.
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This is AMAZING!

For those who can’t go to the link, the following is what it says:

FYI, none of this is mine. It was posted by Bilton veterinary centre, the same one as in the picture. All credit goes to them but I felt it was important to get word out about some of the breeds of dogs that are riddled with health problems. If you own a pug that’s perfectly healthy that’s cool, but it’s doesn’t change the fact that an alarming number of short nosed (almost no nosed at this point) dogs have extreme difficulty with tasks like breathing and blinking.

 "So I am going to have a rant now and I apologise in advance if this upsets anyone, but here goes.

   Last week, I managed to reduce a lovely family to floods of tears.  They had brought their new dog in to come and see me.  There was a young lady, her husband and their two children of about 8 or 9 years old and they were all already absolutely besotted with their new pet - their first dog, and they had been planning it for several years.

   The dog was a 5-month-old French Bulldog that they had picked up from a breeder about 4 weeks previously.  They were concerned that their new dog may have “a chill” as the dog had sore runny eyes,  difficulty in eating and kept making a choking sound.  They had also noticed the dog had a “funny smell” about him. As I examined the dog it became quickly apparent what was occurring and my heart sank.

  This dog was yet another increasingly popular “short-nosed” breed that was suffering horribly from a myriad of problems - all related to its poor breeding and its unfortunate anatomy. After the examination, I found that this dog had: 

 - Eyeballs too big for its eye sockets. So much so, that when he blinked, the eyelids didn’t fully cover the eyeballs.  (Imagine going out on a windy day and not being able to blink!) This had resulted in deep painful ulcers forming on both eyes that in the short term would require intensive treatment and could feasibly result in the rupture of one or both eyeballs. 

  - The bones forming the front of his face (the maxilla) were so squashed by virtue of this style of this breed (called the brachycephalics), that the soft-tissue structures of the throat are compressed and forced backwards -  obstructing his larynx.  Amongst other things, his soft palate was so elongated (relative to his skull) that it kept getting trapped over his wind-pipe.

 -His nostrils were completely occluded, so absolutely no airflow was possible through his nose.  All of his breathing had to take place through his open mouth.  This meant that whilst he was eating/sleeping he was going through bouts of asphyxiation and so would have to spit the food out or wake up and open his mouth - purely so he would be able to breathe.  This explained the “choking” sound that there were hearing all the time.  He could just manage to breathe with his mouth open, but this then exacerbated the problems with his soft palate.

 - The skin fold over the top of the nose (caused by the squashed face involuting the skin) had caused a crevice of around 2-3 cms deep, where the skin was rubbing against its self.  In this area, the skin was ulcerated and was full of liquid pus.  It was this that the owners were smelling.  This was incredibly painful for the animal and he cried every time I tried to clean it.

 -The skin around his feet, ears, armpits and groin was red raw and inflamed.   He clearly was very itchy and had been licking at these areas repeatedly - which had, in turn, made them more sore and painful.  This is very typical of a condition called “atopy” which is very common in many breeds, particularly the Bulldogs (French and English). So at this point, the shocked owners asked what needed to be done to sort him out.

  So I had to explain that he would need: 

 - Bilateral eyelid shortening surgery that would allow the dog to blink properly and prevent further ulcers from forming.  As well as long-term medication to improve the quality of his tears.

 - Complex soft tissue surgery of the back of the throat to, (amongst other things) shorten his soft palate to facilitate his breathing.

 - He would need both of his nostrils opening up so as to allow adequate air flow to be possible to allow him to breathe/exercise/eat/sleep properly.

 -He would need a “face-lift” to remove a large amount of excess skin on the front of his face, to try and open up the fold that was causing so much infection and pain.

 -He may need allergy testing, food trials, anti-inflammatories etc to try and manage the atopic skin disease that he has. 

 *He needs all of this fairly urgently.  

 *He can’t have all of this done at once and so will require several anaesthetics and complex procedures to be done over a period of time.   

*He is only 5 months old. 

*He needs all of this doing - just so that he can live a vaguely normal life.   


 Also - he is not insured.  It transpired that the new owners looked into insurance but the premium was so high for this breed, that they felt they couldn’t afford it.  To move forward, he would have to go to a specialist veterinary unit (sadly recently set up to deal with the increasing number of very poorly brachycephalic dogs with extreme conformational issues) and this treatment could cost upwards of £8,000 to correct.

 Once I had discussed all this with the owners - they were understandably distraught.  They had hoped for a “cute” and “cuddly” family pet that they had seen examples of spread throughout popular media.  They had no idea that these problems even existed.  Instead, they now have a much-loved dog that is miserable, has a long journey ahead of it and one that they cannot afford to have fixed.

 The family left the room in floods of tears, armed with medication that would temporarily alleviate some of the symptoms and try to make the poor little dog more comfortable.  From what I have later found out, this dog has gone to a rescue centre to be rehomed.  It may have moved away, but its problems most certainly will not have done.

 Pugs, Frenchies, English Bulldogs and Shar-Peis are amongst the breeds which are increasingly being abandoned in vast numbers as people cannot cope with their ongoing problems, illnesses and costs.  It upsets us all hugely when we see how many of the problems frequently associated with these breeds are now classed as “normal”. I will commonly hear “Oh it is normal for this breed to struggle with A, B or C”. NO IT ISN’T NORMAL!

 These trendy flat-faced breeds are some of the most expensive puppies to currently buy.  There is serious money for people who sell a litter of these puppies and so the incentive to breed is VERY high.  It must be said that there are responsible breeders who are trying to “back-breed” these types of dogs to have longer noses, smaller eyes, more open nostrils etc and try to reduce the incidence of these conditions, and these people should be applauded.  However, puppy farms and irresponsible owners are rife, and these “breeders” don’t seem to care a jot about the long-term prognosis and what the future holds for “their” breed. 

 It is also worth noting that many of these breeds are unable to give birth naturally now too (due to the shape of the puppy’s skulls) and so the mothers often go through multiple caesareans… 

 PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP AND THINK before you buy.  Come and talk to US about the breeds that you are interested in - and we shall give you the whole picture.

 I am completely exhausted and totally demoralised seeing these type of problems on a daily basis.  There are enough horrible illnesses, diseases and potential accidents out there without being destined to be unwell before you are even born.

   Whilst people are still buying these dogs, people will still breed them and the problem will never go away.“


ultimate dog noises

I am excited to announce I’m launching my “Sailor Pooches” print series on Red Bubble! A parody of my favorite childhood anime Sailor Moon combined with some of the cutest dogs on the Internet (and one cat). Check it out and (if you like) support me and buy a bag or a sticker for yourself or someone you love! …

Problems with Brachycephalic Dog Breeds

Everyone is familiar with Brachycephalic dog breeds, it includes the English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, Brussels Griffon, Lhasa Apso, Shih Tzu, Boxer, Boston Terrier, Cavalier King Charles, Japanese Spaniel (or Japanese Chin), and Bull Mastiff. Basically it is any dog breed that has been bred to have flat round faces with minimal space for their palate and eye sockets, especially in the smaller Brachycephalic breeds. There is also a deformation in the respiratory tract, teeth, middle ear, and brain.

(Bulldog, 1900-1960-Today)

Why is being Brachycephalic an issue? 

The main problem is that the dog cannot breathe. This also means they have a hard time controlling their body temperature and can easily over-heat. Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is common in these dogs, obviously due to their head structure. Symptoms include snoring, rapid breathing, a snoring-like noise when breathing while awake, frequent panting, and physical collapse. They will also typically breathe with their mouth open rather than through their nose, because they simply cannot breathe through their nose. Sometimes their soft palate may need to be surgically trimmed because it is so elongated. The dogs head shape gives them marrow nasal passages and all of these symptoms can worsen with obesity and exercise, which lead right into one another. The dog cannot do much physical activity, and thus may become obese if their food isn’t properly regulated, and then they have more symptoms. The brachycephalic dog’s windpipe is often narrowed, sometimes to a dangerous extent, and must be checked before the dog has any surgery. Because of all these obstructions, the dogs cannot cool down even with panting. Panting works by air passing over the tongue and the blood inside is efficiently cooled and circulated. It is so much harder for these dogs to pant that the dogs will often over-heat.

That’s not the end of it. With their head shape also comes eye problems since the sockets are shallow meaning their eyes can POP OUT OF THE SOCKET from even a minor blow to the back of the head. You read that right, their eyes can come straight out of their skull and need to be surgically put back. This can also happen if the dog pulls too hair on the leash and strains itself on the collar, which is why harnesses are recommended. The eyes are sometimes so large that the lids cannot close properly leading to the eyes drying out unless there is surgery to correct it. More eyelid problems includes abnormal tear drainage and the eyelashes rolling inward into the eyes. Again, surgery can fix this.

Since there is the same number of teeth in Brachycephalic dogs as there are in other dogs (42) that means there is less room for them to grow since the jaw is so short. The teeth will typically grow at odd angels and lead to periodontal disease very early in life. Skin fold infections are also common.

How can we help Brachycephalic dog breeds?

If you are interested in a dog just because of its looks, stop and think for a second. Brachycephalic dogs will often rack up hearty vet bills due to their health problems. If you cannot afford these bills you will either have a suffering/dead animal or be forced to give it up. You can help these dogs by not getting one if you are not familiar with the problems they can have. Never adopt an animal until you have done research on it.

Don’t influence the breeding of these dogs by buying them form pet stores or breeders. Adopt one from a shelter that is fixed and needs a home. Did you know that 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred? That goes for all dog breeds. You’ll eventually find the breed you are looking for, but again do not adopt the dog if you are not ready for the vet bills (this goes for any animal though).