Brachycepahlic dogs: the consequences of exaggerated traits

Speaking at the general assembly of the Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) in Brussels yesterday, Tonje Trinterud DipECVS (Norway) gave a detailed overview of the surgical issues, interventions and prognosis in brachycephalic breeds. ‘Congenital malformation of these dogs, with a nose squashed back to the skull, leads to a long list of soft tissue changes, including stenotic nares, elongated and thickened soft palate, macroglossia, laryngeal collapse, abnormal conchae and a hypoplastic trachea, to name but a few.’ Surgery is not without risk and postoperative care is life-long, but often it is the only solution to help relieve permanent respiratory distress. She noted that the number of surgeries in this type of dogs, French bulldogs in particular, was on the rise.

Her presentation was followed by Monique Megens who described FECAVA’s actions in this field