13 Nov Is your dog breathing heavy?
We all know that short nosed breeds ( or brachycephalic breeds, if you want to be technical; squishy faces if you don’t) like Pugs and French Bulldogs are cute.
Their cuteness, however, comes at a cost.
Most brachycephalic breeds are born into this world with a somewhat sub-optimal breathing system. A lot of them have incredibly small nostrils, often just little slits, and long soft palates.
You will frequently hear Pug breathing problems in the parks, with the dogs snorting and snoring as they run around and sometimes this will even happens at rest (especially when they are sleeping!).
Breathing issues in dogs can be very problematic, especially during the hotter summer months, your dog breathing hard through nose is a sign that they are actually struggling to breathe!
Dogs do not sweat like you or I do, and most of their heat exchange (cooling down system) comes from passing air over their large wet tongues. More commonly known as panting.
If they have narrowed airways and a floppy soft palate getting in the way, the normal panting mechanism is interrupted, leading to compromised temperature control.
Essentially, if they can’t breathe properly, not only do they struggle to get oxygen everywhere, they overheat very quickly. This is very dangerous. If dogs cannot control their temperature correctly they can die.
So in those hot summer months, it is vital that we make sure that we keep them cool at all costs.
As with all dogs, please keep your walks to the cooler hours in the early morning and later at night. Don’t ever walk them in the midday sun, and make sure that they always have constant access to water. Make sure that they have somewhere nice and cool to stay during the day away from the direct sunlight.
Fortunately, we now have a technique known as BAS surgery (brachycephalic airway syndrome surgery) to correct for the narrow nostrils and long soft palate.
With this technique we can open up the nostrils by removing excess skin and shorten that long soft palate to make it a lot easier for your squishy nosed companion to breath and cool down.
Here at Southern Cross Vets we are using advanced surgical tools to aid in the recovery time and reduce bleeding during the procedure.
Is your dog breathing heavy? If so, it’s time to book in for our free Breathing Assessment to find out more about our pioneering technique with one of our vets, or give us a call at (02) 9516 0234.