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Flat dogs: tips to improve their quality of life – Gentle and moderate exercise

What we commonly call flat dogs (the shih tzu, the pug, the English and French bulldog, the boxer or the Staffordshire bull terrier, among others) are called brachycephalic dogs. This means that its skull is shorter and wider than that of other dogs, and that its muzzle is flattened. Because of this characteristic, these dogs can suffer from brachycephalic syndrome , which involves breathing difficulties, noisy breaths and snoring when sleeping, profuse salivation, and possible heart problems.

Not all snub dogs necessarily suffer from brachycephalic syndrome. Those that do suffer from it will need frequent veterinary control to evaluate the measures to follow to improve their quality of life. We must bear in mind that it is a syndrome that cannot be cured, since it derives from the appearance of the animal, but we can contribute with certain actions to make our dog feel better.

The peculiarity that resides in these dogs is that they have the same tissues as a dog with a “normal” or elongated muzzle, but these tissues have to adapt to a much smaller space than that of other dogs. Therefore, breathing is more problematic. However, the important thing is to know how to detect when it is normal breathing (within the characteristics of these breeds, as we said) and when it is symptomatic of brachycephalic syndrome.

It will be necessary to be aware of him and act before any symptoms of respiratory distress . The veterinarian will be the one to indicate the steps to follow in a crisis, as well as the treatment or even the surgical operation, in some cases, that is convenient for our dog.

It is also true that not all dogs that suffer from this syndrome suffer from it to the same extent. While some will only experience certain breathing difficulties and loud snoring, others may experience seizures and fainting spells, in addition to nausea, vomiting, and frequent coughing. We know that it can be very sad to see our dog suffer, but it is in our power to try to improve their day-to-day life and act accordingly.

Breeding and crossbreeding have encouraged these breeds to suffer from these respiratory difficulties, so we always urge them to adopt, so as not to encourage that irresponsible breeding that perpetuates the suffering of these dogs. However, before adopting a dog of this breed, we must bear in mind that it may suffer from the syndrome and that it will need all our love and care.

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