After a recent seizure by a local authority of 17 dogs from an illegal puppy farm, Dogs Trust Ireland is issuing a stark warning to the public about buying ‘flat-faced’ breeds.
French Bulldogs, Pugs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are just some of the 'brachycephalic breeds' which have risen in popularity in recent years.
French 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.
The charity was asked to assist by taking in the dogs following their discovery and upon veterinary examination, it was discovered that one of the dogs needed surgery to widen her nostrils to enable her to breathe more comfortably.
Another of the dogs, called Prudy had been excessively bred from. Scar tissue provided evidence that she had undergone caesarean sections, another risk associated with breeding French Bulldogs.
Niamh Curran-Kelly, veterinary and welfare manager, Dogs Trust Ireland said: “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.”
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.
Dogs Trust is appealing for financial support to help them to continue rescuing and rehoming Irelands most vulnerable dogs. People can visit their website DogsTrust.ie to donate.