In Norway, a higher percent of the dogs are purebred compared to the rest of Europe. Although these puppies are normally sold with an ID-chip and health certificate, the latter rarely focuses on breed-specific issues.
The Norwegian Veterinary Association (DNV) and FECAVA member association the Norwegian Small Animal Veterinary Association (SVF) have undertaken a number of actions to help raise awareness of problems in brachycephalic dogs. Together, they have:
- Been represented by DNV president Torill Moseng on several national TV and radio debates with the Norwegian kennel club (NKK).
- sent a letter to Kreativt Forum, the NGO of the people working in advertising in Norway, encouraging them, not to use brachiocephalic breeds in advertisements and TV commercials.
- given a free one-day seminar to their members on the health problems of the brachycephalic breeds; including respiratory, skin and eye problems.
- translated the Functional grading system developed by the BOAS Research group at Cambridge University to Norwegian, and are introducing the grading system to the Norwegian practitioners. Their goals with the grading system are many: making the assessment of the breathing function easier for the practitioners, and helping the owner understand to what degree their dog has a breathing problem.
- written a client information sheet regarding what problems to expect in brachycephalic dogs.
- encouraged 3 students at the Veterinary University to write their End-of-term paper on the BOAS functional grading system.
Currently, the two associations are working on a leaflet called “Ethical purchase of dogs”; regarding not only health issues, but also financial concerns, time concerns and more. They are also working on a position paper regarding the problem.
The associations are also encouraging vets to show this video on brachycephalic problems called “Ogulligt” (i.e. ‘un-cute’) on their home pages and in the clinic waiting-rooms. The video was produced by the Swedish Veterinary Association.
They hope these actions will help veterinarians focus on breed-related problems, encouraging them to register diagnosis and to ‘be the leading force in improving the animal welfare for the brachycephalic dogs’.
They also hope to raise awareness among breeders, owners and the general public about the health issues, thereby making these breeds less popular and hence steering breeding in a more ethical direction.
If your association is undertaking similar or other actions to promote healthy breeding and raise awareness about health and welfare issues in brachycephalic dogs in particular, please let us know!