Brachycephalic Syndrome

Some dogs and cats have short faces and pushed in or shortened noses. The skull has been genetically altered. Although these dogs and cats are considered to be cute, the changes in their faces can be very detrimental to their breathing.

The dog breeds affected include: Old English Bulldogs, Pugs, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, Boxers, Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, Bull Mastiffs, and Shar Peis. The cat breed primarily affected is the Persian.

Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome will have all or some of the following abnormalities:

1) Stenotic nares- nostrils that are too small making it hard to breathe through the nose

2) An elongated soft palate which can block the larynx

3) A hypoplastic or very small trachea

4) Everted laryngeal saccules- swollen tissue by the vocal cords

Breed of the Month

July: The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

CavalierHistory of the Breed

Chances are you've seen old, English tapestries and paintings that feature the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  This is because for centuries, the Cavalier has been a companion to artistrocratic families.  Although they have been used successfully as a sporting dog, they were primarily a house pet for the wealthy.  

Dogs that were bred to be companions typically have a very congenial nature, and the Cavalier is no exception.  This highly affectionate breed makes a fabulous family dog.  Cavaliers are active and sporting and love the companionship of a busy, loving household. They tend to consider strangers as friends, so usually do not make good guard dogs.  If you have small children and are looking to add a dog into the mix, the Cavalier would be a wonderful choice.

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Westgate Pet Clinic provides veterinary services to the Edina and Minneapolis area.