A charity is warning the general public of buying flat-faced breeds after 17 dogs were seized from an illegal puppy farm. Local authorities asked Dogs Trust Ireland to assist by taking in all of the dogs following the discovery.
It was revealed that one of the pups needed surgery to widen her nostrils to enable her to breathe comfortably, and another dog had been excessively bred. Scar tissue provided evidence that she had undergone caesarean sections, a risk associated with breeding French bulldogs.
Niamh Curran-Kelly, veterinary and welfare manager at Dogs Trust Ireland, explains: “Due to their large heads and broad chests, it can be common for these puppies not to fit through the birth canal and the mum has to undergo a c-section to deliver them.
” In addition, these breeds are often afflicted with a condition called Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome or BOAS as its more commonly known.
“To put this in context, it can be akin to hiking up a mountain while trying to breathe through a straw.
“Brachycephalic breeds can endure all sorts of medical issues over the course of their life, resulting in a poorer quality of life for the dog, and high veterinary bills for their owner.
“We understand that people buying these breeds may be totally unaware of their potential suffering, so we are pleading with anybody considering a flat faced dog to please speak to their local vet first.”
French bulldogs, pugs and cavalier King Charles spaniels are just some of the brachycephalic breeds which have risen in popularity in recent years.
Bulldogs are susceptible to multiple veterinary conditions due to the way they have been bred to produce the desired look of having a relatively broad, or short skull which can result in severe breathing difficulties.
As well as reconstructive surgery on one dog’s nostrils, the charity also had to cover the cost for neutering 12 of the 17 dogs.
All the dogs also needed to be wormed, vaccinated, and microchipped, as well as being fed and cared for while the charity found them loving homes.
They have since found adoptive families and are no longer with Dogs Trust Ireland.