A veterinary hospital has claimed the increase in the popularity of Pugs and French Bulldogs have led to it performing 130 percent more surgeries on the breeds.
The Willows Veterinary Centre, Solihull, which was recently praised by Paul O’Grady on national radio, said that it has seen the number of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) almost double since 2014.
Chris Shales, a soft tissue surgeon, is urging owners of Pugs, English Bulldogs and French Bulldogs to be aware that their dogs are at risk.
He said, ‘It’s important for owners of specific breeds, such as Pugs and Bulldogs, to be aware of the signs a pet may be developing BOAS and also the options available to them for specialist assessment and treatment of the condition.
‘Signs of BOAS can vary from mild snoring or snorting noises to severe breathing problems. Restlessness at night and regurgitation or vomiting can be related to BOAS.
‘These breeds are extremely popular with the French Bulldog overtaking the Labrador as our most popular pet, and this warning is not about trying to make owners anxious. It is simply to let them know how to recognise the warning signs and, if they are concerned, urging them to get their pet assessed.’
The Kennel Club along with the University of Cambridge introduced a grading scheme earlier this year to assess the presence and severity of BOAS. Dogs are graded from zero, where they are free of respiratory problems, to three, meaning veterinary assistance is required.
Speaking at the inaugural launch event, Bill Lambert, Senior Health and Welfare Manager at the Kennel Club said, ‘The high demand for these breeds, combined with the already recognised health problems has made brachycephalic health and welfare one of the most pressing canine issues in the UK, and one of the Kennel Club’s top priorities.
‘We’re proud to have been able to fund and develop this important scheme with the University of Cambridge and continue to support further research into BOAS, together with the other steps we are taking to improve the health of future generations of these breeds.’