Problems with some flat faced breeds due to unscrupulous breeders

Animal Rain Rescue centre in Rotherham is warning people of problems with some flat faced breeds of dog due to unscrupulous breeders.

By Nigel Booth
Thursday, 06 June, 2019, 12:48
Rain Rescue wants to raise awareness about flat faced pets

The South Yorkshire centre aims to raise awareness to the public about the problems flat faced pets like Pugs, French Bulldogs and Persian cats are dealing with due to poor breeding.

The rescue which takes in more than 400 dogs and cats every year is seeing a rise in the number of these types of animals entering their care and wants the public to be aware of what it means to own one of these breeds.

The warning comes after it rescued Edna, a one year-old French Bulldog, who required major surgery when it was found she had narrowed airways and a dropped palate meaning she struggled to breathe properly.

Deputy charity manager, Lauren Sanderson, said: “In the last 12 months we’ve taken in three French Bulldogs and a Persian cat who all had what is known as ‘brachycephalic’ breed related health issues – from poor breathing, eye disease, dental problems and skin infections.

“It may not sound a lot but in Rain’s 17 year history it had only cared for one French Bulldog before this. Edna is also the second dog we’ve had to treat with surgery for poor breeding, the other was a Pug.”

She added: “Frenchies and Pugs are more popular than ever but sadly the public and those buying puppies do not realise the consequences. It’s often considered normal for these breeds to snore and snort but it isn’t, this is the effect of breeders choosing looks over health.

“In extreme cases this can mean they need corrective surgery like Edna did. Not only is this a huge thing for the animal to go through it’s can be very expensive, sometimes costing thousands of pounds."

The British Veterinary Association says that last year 93 percent of companion vets treated flat faced dogs for breathing problems, demonstrating the extent of the problem within the UK.

They recently launched their #BreedtoBreathe campaign to get the message out to dog owners to think about choosing a healthier breed or crossbreed instead of prioritising appearance over welfare.

Just last week Holland’s Pug Club banned the breeding of pugs with a nose less than a third of the length of the skull to try and improve the health of the breed. Lauren added: "Thankfully Edna has now got the treatment she needed, has been adopted and is doing much better, but sadly her breed related issues are not completely over – she still suffers from ear infections, another common issue in these types of dog.” To donate to Rain Rescue text ‘BARK1/2/3/4/5/10’ to 70500.  Texts cost donation amount plus standard network charge.