Book on Brachys
While it is my published hope that the breeding of brachycephalic dogs and cats will come to an end and these breeds are allowed to fade into extinction, the fact is that there are a lot of brachycephalic animals currently alive and they deserve the very best care we can provide for them. Sadly, many of the maladies from which they suffer on a daily basis have been ‘normalized’ through social media, the advertising industry and celebrity “endorsement”. Therefore, they often do not get the appropriate level of care (why treat what is “normal for the breed?”).
If you are an owner or breeder of brachycephalic animals or a member of a veterinary healthcare team that serves the many needs of these animals, you have an obligation to be well informed about their many issues. To that end, Drs. Rowena Packer and Dan O’Neill have put together “A Complete Guide for Veterinary and Animal Professionals” on the “Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals” with contributions from many leaders in their respective fields. Here is a link to the order page for this volume – link.
Part One is “Wider Viewpoints” and it covers the history of brachycephalism, the psychology of why these breeds are favoured by so many, the ethics of caring for brachycephalic animals, a review of current efforts to bring about reforms and more. I found this section fascinating reading.
Part Two is “Clinical Viewpoints”, composed of ten chapters, each of which covers a specific area of brachycephalic health such as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome), ophthalmology, dermatology, dental/oral health (written my yours truly), brain disorders, spinal disease, obesity, reproductive issues and anesthesia challenges.
It is my strong recommendation that you get this book, read (and re-read) this book and then share what you have learned with those who have a need to know.
And, if you feel so inclined, consider joining the growing community of animal welfare advocates who are raising concerns and public awareness. The two I am most familiar with are:
CRUFFA is a Facebook community hosted by documentarian, Jemima Harrison (Pedigree Dogs Exposed, among others). The acronym stands for Campaign for the Responsible Use of Flat-Faced Animals (in breeding and the media).
And here is a link to my pdf discussing some of the dental/oral issues so common to brachycephalic dogs and cats – link.