If you are reading this, chances are you already own a brachycephalic dog, or are thinking about getting one. You may be experiencing some problems with your dog, or wondering what you need to be concerned about before adopting one.
So, first off, what exactly is a brachycephalic breed of dog? You probably think of them as dogs with smushy faces, and that is probably as good a description as any! This type of dog has a flat, wide skull and a short nose. It looks as if the skull has been compressed toward the back, and some dogs may appear as though they have no snout at all. Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Pekingese, Shih Tzus and King Charles Spaniels are all examples of brachycephalic dogs.
The answer to this is simple – they’re cute. There is just something unbelievably adorable about short-snouted dogs, and the shorter the snout, the cuter the dog. What this means is that over the years, breeders have been trying to achieve even shorter snouts in breeds that already have them. Unfortunately, this can lead to various health problems.
Health Issues in Brachycephalic Dogs
Although flattish faces and short snouts are characteristic of many breeds, the tendency on the part of breeders to try to enhance those characteristics is not necessarily the best thing for the breed. As dogs are bred for nasal bones that are short, or even virtually absent, they can develop difficulty breathing. The tongue, the palate, and the nasal cartilage are so crammed into one space and the nostrils are narrowed. In serious cases, this is known as BUAOS (Brachycephalic Upper Airway Obstructive Syndrome), and it can cause significant discomfort, especially during the hot months. This particular structure of the face makes it especially difficult for them to reach their nose with their tongue, which can contribute to them having a dry, crusty nose
The flattish skull also causes the eye sockets to be shallower, which gives brachycephalic breeds that cute “bug eyed” look. The problem with this is that the eye is more exposed, and can be vulnerable to trauma at worst, or dryness at best.
Another thing that you have no doubt noticed about brachycephalic dogs is that they have a lot of wrinkles, particularly around their faces. This creates a perfect breeding ground for yeasts and bacteria, and can result in inflammation and/or infection. Cleaning and drying can help, but often additional treatment is needed.
Caring for Your Brachycephalic Dog’s Skin
Skin folds create a breeding ground for moisture, bacteria and yeast. Without proper care, this can cause serious skin conditions such as skin fold dermatitis, rashes, infections and pyoderma. Wrinkle Balm from Natural Dog Company is an all-natural balm with anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and yeast fighting properties. Wrinkle Balm will soothe existing irritation while preventing future outbreaks. It is formulated to be gentle enough to use around sensitive areas like the face! It contains only natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about toxic chemicals or if your dog ingests any.
If the infection or dermatitis is especially severe, they also have Skin Soother. Skin Soother creates a barrier to keep fungus, bacteria and yeast away from your dog’s skin, and also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients to eliminate them if they are already present. Skin Soother is also an ideal treatment for burns, rashes, abrasions, cuts, and dry skin. It is a stronger formula, so it is not ideal for sensitive areas but will get the job done on more stubborn cases, such as paws and tail folds.
Don’t Neglect the Snout!
You love that cold, wet snout, so make sure to take care of it as well. You may have noticed that your brachycephalic dog seems to have a runny nose a lot of the time – more so than his longer-snouted friends. Paradoxically, a very wet snout can be more prone to dryness, and that can mean cracking and bleeding if left untreated. Snout Soother from Natural Dog Company contains vegan, organic moisturizing compounds to treat dryness and cracking and leave your best friend’s nose feeling better in mere days.
There is nothing better than the love of a good dog. It has often been said that your dog is the only living creature who will love you better than he loves himself. That kind of devotion should be treasured, and that is why we have a duty to look after the health of our beloved dogs. So if you have a brachycephalic dog, or are thinking of getting one, make sure that you are well aware of the health issues that go hand-in-hand with the breed type, and take appropriate measures to keep him or her healthy and happy.