Brachycephalic Dogs: What makes them different? - NibbleyPets

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Brachycephalic Dogs: What makes them different?

December 11, 2020

Brachycephalic Dogs: What makes them different?

If you have taken an interest in adopting a dog, you may have come across the term "brachycephalic".

And, while that term sounds very scientific, we're going to break down what it means to help you get a better understanding. Plus, we're also going to be covering what makes them different, and things you need to be aware of. So, stay tuned.

What Are Brachycephalic Dogs?

The term brachycephalic is a scientific term that is used to describe short-nosed or flat-faced dogs.

It comes from two Greek words which translate into "short" and "head".

Any type of dog that has a muzzle that looks like it has been flattened or squashed inwards is considered brachycephalic. And, usually, their bottom jaw is longer than the upper one which may make it look like the bottom jaw is stuck out.

What breeds are brachycephalic?

Many breeds are considered to be brachycephalic. Some common ones include french & English bulldogs, pugs, and Pekingese. But, various other breeds are brachycephalic too.

You can tell that a dog is brachycephalic by taking a look at its face. If they have a cute little face that looks like it's flattened, as mentioned in the previous section, they are likely to be brachycephalic.

If you are unsure, you can also search the internet for a particular breed to get answers.

What Makes Them Different?

Sadly, they are more sensitive and vulnerable to health issues. This isn't the case for all brachycephalic dogs, but there are a lot of them that suffer.

Some common health issues that brachycephalic dogs have to include:

  • Breathing problems

Breathing commons are quite common in flat-faced dogs. This is also called Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).

When dogs have this syndrome, their airways can be blocked or uneven which makes it hard for them to breathe.

  • Heart Problems

Another common health issue in brachycephalic dogs is heart problems. This is also caused by shortened and narrowed airways which makes it hard to keep the right amounts of oxygen in the bloodstream. This can have a very negative effect on the heart.

  • Eye problems

Another place where brachycephalic dogs can get health problems is in their eyes. In their eyes, sometimes their tear film isn't spread out fully which makes it quite easy for them to get injured.

  • Skin & Ear problems

You should also watch out for your dog's skin & ears. The way their head is shaped can often cause them to get yeast infections.

Yeast infections can be a very sore & also painful experience for your dog.

  • Tooth problems

As we spoke about earlier, brachycephalic dogs have a shorter upper jaw. This means they have a smaller area to fit in all of their teeth compared to breeds with longer upper jaws. Despite this, they still have the same number of teeth which can often cause teeth to overlap.

This can then increase the risk of tooth health problems.

How To Recognize Health Issues

There are signs that a brachycephalic dog could have health issues. Most of them are a sign of breathing issues which is the primary concern for most brachycephalic dogs. However, others shouldn't be ignored too, as they can be very significant too.

Some signs to look out for include:

  • Overlong soft palate
  • Narrow nostrils
  • Narrow airways

These can often show that your dog is having some type of health issue.

Additional signs in your dogs include:

  • Not sleeping well
  • Becoming overweight quickly
  • Joints seem painful
  • Skin infections

What To Do When Health Issues Arise

If you notice any of the above signs in your dog or simply have a bad feeling, it's always best to call a vet and be safe. Quite often, the earlier you treat the dog, the better.

So there is no point in waiting if your dog's health is involved.

You can also search up the symptoms that you see with the breed of your dog which might give you more information too.

Steps To Preventing Health Issues

While it can be hard to completely prevent health issues in a brachycephalic dog, we can still make their life as comfortable as possible.

Some of the ways we can help make their life more comfortable to prevent health issues include:

  • Using a harness instead of a collar
  • Using an elevated feeder, instead of a regular one
  • Avoid overfeeding
  • Avoiding stress/heat

These steps will help your brachycephalic dog breathe easier.

Final Thoughts

As you have seen throughout this article, brachycephalic dogs are vulnerable to various health issues. This is extremely sad and a reason why we should put our efforts into making their life as comfortable as possible.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out our related posts below. Or, you can also head over to our store to check out our elevated feeders for your dog.

Why is my dog being sick? 6 potential causes

11 Effective Ways To Make Your Dog Happy

Why Regular Dog Bowls Won't Cut It for Brachycephalic Dogs


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