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Dog and cat breeding Deformed by man

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If the dog or cat is supposed to meet the breeder's expectations, the result is sometimes not a beautiful but a sick animal: Animals with a short snout such as pugs and Persian cats often suffer from dangerous shortness of breath.

Status: October 13, 2017

"Does breed breeding make dogs and cats sick?" Not only animal lovers or doctors ask this question. Because animal breeding has changed: in the past, dogs were mostly bred as farm animals. Herding, hunting or sled dogs are hardly needed any more. In breed breeding today, therefore, "beauty" is usually in the foreground: External characteristics such as body size, color and texture of the fur, the shape of the ears and the tail should correspond to a certain ideal.

Long ears help the black-and-tan coonhound smell. The long ears drag on the ground when running. They support the nose in finding clues.

One goal of breeding was and is to shorten the skull of many dog ​​breeds. The technical term for this is brachycephalic races (from Greek for "brachis", short and "cephalus", head). The nose and lower jaw in particular became shorter and shorter over time. In the large Bulldog breeds, these traits were bred as early as the Middle Ages. The animals should be able to bite better as fighting dogs. With small dogs like the pug, on the other hand, the aim was to look as cute as possible. Short noses and short lower jaws also make adult animals look like puppies. This child schema awakens the caring instincts of the human being.

Man-made hereditary disease

A Shi-Tzu with a bathrobe, which is supposed to protect against colds.

If breeders exaggerate it when it comes to selection, an extreme form of short-headedness arises. The result is often the so-called brachycephaly syndrome, an unnatural narrowing of the upper airways. This man-made hereditary disease can lead to severe shortness of breath. Mainly affected are the pug, French and English bulldogs, as well as Shi-Tzu, Pekingese, Boston terriers and boxers. Pedigree cats such as Persian cats and "Exotic Shorthair" can also suffer from it.

Snoring with your eyes open

Snoring breath sounds, especially when awake, are an indication that the dog is unable to breathe properly. Dogs with brachycephaly syndrome often pant, cannot breathe through their noses, if at all, and are not resilient. Many have difficulty breathing while sleeping. Some animals have difficulty eating because they cannot get enough air while they are eating. Some dogs choke up food several times a day. Animals can pass out and fall over under strain, stress or heat and in advanced cases.

Small nose makes you sensitive to heat

Dogs need their noses to regulate their body temperature.

The symptoms of short-nosed dogs can increase dramatically and even become life-threatening in warm ambient temperatures. Brachycephalic animals have nasal turbinates that are so small and hardly ventilated that they can no longer regulate their body temperature. In contrast to humans, dogs absolutely need a functioning nose.

Terrifying survey result

Persian cats can also suffer from impaired breathing.

A survey of 82 owners of dogs with extreme brachycephaly, initiated by veterinarians at the Small Animal Clinic at the University of Leipzig, gave a frightening picture: 73 percent of the dog owners surveyed stated that their animal had breathing problems when sleeping. 29 percent try to sleep sitting down because they cannot breathe while lying down. 13 percent have attacks of suffocation while sleeping, 77 percent of the animals have trouble eating, 23 percent vomit more than once a day. 33 percent of the animals have fallen over due to shortness of breath and over half of them have lost consciousness.

To raise awareness of the dangers of these breeds among animal lovers in Great Britain, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) launched the #BreedtoBreathe campaign in January 2018. Well-known stars such as Lady Gaga or David Beckham have brought the short-headed animals into fashion - without thinking about the health consequences of breeding for the animals, according to the BVA. With their campaign, the vets want to reduce the demand for these animals - then breeders would give up again, so the hope.

  • "Cruelty to Animals - Why Bulldogs and Pugs Are Overbred": on January 17th, 2018 at 6:05 pm, "IQ Science and Research", Bavaria 2