Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A breath of fresh air?

OK, we know that French Bulldogs are the latest BIG thing and that you all want one. And frankly, I can see why. They do have a certain winning way about them, and my personal theory is that owners of short-nosed dogs spend more time giggling at and/or with their chosen furry pumpkins than owners of many other breeds.

Each breed, their charm, and I guess it's probably fairly likely that each genetic weirdness (ie breed) within the genus Canis (err, dog) does attract a certain human type who would want to own one. Hence the idea that owners sometimes end up looking like their dogs. It could, of course be the other way round, with dogs seeking to emulate their owners' physiognomy by way of some exalted hero- or heroine-worship, but I doubt it.

You get a dog and generally fall in love with the endless/boundless affection and apparently uncritical adulation that goes with it. That's the idea isn't it? And so impressed are you with the wisdom of this creature that has chosen to recognise your magnificence (in a way that the rest of the human race is sometimes a little slow to catch up on), that over time, rather like those couples that end up dressing the same - always a pet hate of mine - you pick up on some of the behaviour and even the look of your canine companion.

And... hey presto! The 'Dog that looks most like it's owner' category in the Hyde Park Veterinary Centre Dog Show and countless others like it across the country.

But I digress, and apologise for it.

A recent survey (you've got to love a good survey) at the Royal Veterinary College, no less, showed that of 285 dogs referred to the hospital for awide variety of reasons, 31 were identified as being affected by the Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, which means they had difficulty breathing normally, snored loudly at night and struggled to exercise normally. Nearly 60% of their owners did not perceive this to be a problem, despite the fact that in the general population less than 2% snore.

The issue here is that many dogs, as a result of their specific breed conformation, really struggle to breathe normally, and they don't have to. Help is available to help these guys, so don't just tolerate the panting, wheezing and snoring: ask you vet and get help. It can revolutionise their lives. And yours.

If you want any more information on breed-related health problems, check the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare website.

No comments:

Post a Comment