July 12, 2024

Brachycephaly is the result of selective breeding in dogs and refers to an especially short neck and rounded head. The result is usually lifelong suffering.

This is brachycephaly in dogs

The term brachycephalic comes from the Greek kurz and Kopf together. This phenomenon is particularly well known in dogs.

  • Brachycephalic dog breeds are created through selective breeding. Because many people find brachycephalic symptoms attractive, dogs with short, small heads were preferentially bred to emphasize their appearance.
  • This is a genetic predisposition in dogs that affects the growth of bones in the neck and skull area. Because bone development is weakened, the head remains small and the face is often flatter than normal.
  • Breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, and boxers are particularly affected. Brachycephaly also exists in other dog breeds and occurs in other animals such as cats.

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Problems caused by brachycephaly in dogs

Brachycephalic dogs’ cute appearance also has a downside. Affected animals usually have a variety of health problems.

  • There are some exceptions, such as brachycephalic dogs, who can live healthy lives without further physical limitations. However, the breeding of brachycephalic dogs is strongly criticized as the majority of dogs experience health problems.
  • Brachycephalic dogs often have respiratory problems. This can manifest as increased gasping and snoring, as well as frequent gasping for air and even shortness of breath. These dogs run out of breath quickly, live restrained and in pain, and are at risk of suffocation.
  • The larynx is also usually a health risk. The laryngeal cartilage or soft palate becomes deformed and can lead to collapse. Collapse and suffocation can usually be prevented with treatment, but symptoms remain.
  • One of the consequences of airway problems is gastrointestinal problems. These include digestive problems, bloating, and pain from drinking too much air.
  • Symptoms are particularly exacerbated by high temperatures. Be especially careful in the summer. The risk of heat stroke increases, and the airways become narrower than in colder temperatures, making panting less efficient. Being overweight also increases your dog’s problems.

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