Brachycephalic or flat-faced breeds are dogs with a short nose and wide head. These include Pugs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers. While these dogs may have an adorable face, they often suffer from a number of health problems due to their unique anatomy.
If you own a brachycephalic breed, it's important to be aware of the health concerns and extra care required to keep your doggo happy and healthy. In this article we will discuss what brachycephalic means, and the top 4 things every flat-faced breed owner should know.
What does brachycephalic mean?
Brachycephalic literally means "short head". This is in reference to the shortening of the nose and muzzle, as well as the wide skull. While there are a number of brachycephalic dog breeds, the most popular include Pugs, English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers.
These dogs often have a cute "squished" face, which unfortunately leads to a number of health problems such as respiratory issues, skin problems, dental concerns and eye problems.
One of the most common health problems seen in brachycephalic breeds is respiratory difficulties. Because of their shortened muzzle and nose, these dogs often have trouble getting enough air. This can lead to a number of respiratory problems such as snoring, snorting, reverse sneezing, panting and difficulty breathing. While some respiratory issues can be managed, others can be life-threatening.
When playing outside with your brachycephalic dog, make sure to take breaks often and keep an eye on their breathing. If you notice your dog is having difficulty catching its breathing, stop the activity immediately.
If you notice your dog cannot catch its breath or is getting worse instead of better after taking a break, it's important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Another common issue in flat-faced breeds is skin problems. Because of their shortened muzzle, these dogs often have folds of skin on their face. Dirt and debris can get stuck in those folds and wrinkles leading to irritation and infection if the area is not kept clean.
Clean your brachycephalic dog's face regularly with Squishface Wrinkle Wipes to get rid of any dirt and grime that is hiding in their wrinkles and skin folds. Our alcohol-free formula is gentle enough for even the most sensitive and allergy-prone dogs. After the area is clean and dry use Squishface Wrinkle Paste to soothe and protect the area. Wrinkle Paste forms a water-repellent barrier on the skin surface which keeps moisture, yeast, fungus, and other bacteria at bay.
Another common health concern in brachycephalic breeds is dental problems. Because of their shortened muzzle, these dogs often have teeth that are crowded or misaligned. This can lead to Periodontal Disease, which is an infection of the gums and tissues around the teeth. If left untreated, Periodontal Disease can lead to tooth loss and other serious health problems.
To help prevent Periodontal Disease, it's important to brush your dog's teeth regularly with a pet-safe toothpaste. You should also take them to the vet for regular teeth cleanings or if you are concerned that they might be developing an infection.
Eye problems are also common in brachycephalic breeds. Because of their shortened muzzle, these dogs often have eyes that are bulging or protruding. This can lead to several eye problems such as dry eye, corneal ulcers, and eye infections. Flat-faced breeds are also more prone to having tear stains due to their eye structure.
To help prevent these problems, it's important to keep your dog's eyes clean and free of debris. You can do this by using a Squishface Wrinkle Wipe to gently wipe between the facial folds and wrinkles. After cleaning the area, use Squishface Wrinkle Paste to protect their wrinkles, remove tear stains, and help soothe itchiness.
If you notice any redness, discharge, or other signs of irritation, be sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible
The Bottom Line
Flat-faced breeds are prone to a number of health problems due to their shortened muzzle and nose. While some of these problems can be managed, others can be serious or even life-threatening. It's important to be aware of these concerns and take steps to prevent or manage these problems.
If you have any concerns about your brachycephalic dog's health, be sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible.