Summer has well and truly arrived in Hong Kong. This is great for most people and most dogs. Especially the current fan favorite French Bulldogs. Or any other snub nose breed.
They’ve got these cute little nose but there’s almost no hole for them to inhale air into their lungs. There’s a little slit of an opening. Try pinching your nose together with your thumb and index finger. Just leaving a small gap there. Now trying breathing for 10 minutes. Yep it’s hard. Now do that under 30 degrees and running.
These need to be corrected, yes your Frenchie will have a bit of a pigs nose. Two round circular openings. But they’ll be so much happier. And HEALTHIER. (Will go into that a little later).
Also when you try and breed a snub nose dog and have a flatter skull. The internal structures don’t shrink along with the skull. Nope. They remain the same length as a normal long nose dog. But just crammed into a smaller space. So they’ve got these long long long soft palates. (Elongated soft palate) that flaps around freely and covers the opening of their trachea. Stopping oxygen from going in. If this happens long enough. Your dog will pant like crazy, turn blue, have a heat stroke, faint and possibly die. Yep - That escalated quick.
These soft palates need to be trimmed, under anaesthesia to a normal length.
It doesn’t stop there. There’s a whole range of secondary issues that occur. And these are not reversible so the longer you wait the worse they become. This increased effort causes thickening and ulceration in the stomach and leads to gastric reflux and oesophagitis. Ever wondered why your snub nose dog might be more prone to stomach problems. It’s likely because of their airways problems. This happens because as they’re trying so hard to suck in air, they produce so much negative pressure from the effort that it leads to these irreversible stomach problems.
But if you’re not planning on doing these procedures. Do take precautions and pay attention to your dog when you’re out for a hike or just out for a walk. If they’re stopping, lying down, look wobbly, stop, offer water, splash water on their body, under surface is good, inner thighs, feet. And then carry to shade or indoors/AC. Don’t try and push them to continue the walk, might tip them over the edge. This passage is relevant for all dogs, not just snub nose. All dogs under this heat has the potential for overheating.
Have a safe and amazing summer!
Posted in Pet Ownership in Hong Kong By Dr David Gething