Is it your imagination, or does your “brachy” dog have more problems than the Labradoodle next door? According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, you are not imagining it.
Let’s break it down:
A dog’s skull falls into one of three categories:
Dolichocephalic, mesaticephalic, or brachycephalic, as illustrated by the photo below.
Brachycephalic (or “brachy”) dogs are those breeds with a flat, broad head. These breeds include —
- Boston Terrier
- Brussels Griffon
- Bulldog breeds
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Japanese Chin
- Lhasa Apso
- Mastiff breeds
Nationwide Pet Insurance compared data for brachycephalic dog breeds versus dogs with longer skull types (dolichocephalic and mesaticephalic) and discovered that the dog breeds known for their flat, broad skulls showed a higher prevalence of certain diseases.
That means that more brachy dogs suffered the following conditions —
- otitis externa (ear infection)
- pyoderma (skin infection)
- atopic/allergic dermatitis
- conjunctivitis (eye infection)
- canine cystitis (bladder infection)
- anal gland impaction
- fungal skin disease
- malignant skin neoplasia (cancer)
Does this mean you should stay away from brachy breeds? Not necessarily, as they can be very lovable and faithful companions. But according to Norfolk veterinarian Donald Miele, VMD, it does mean that owners of those breeds should be aware of the greater likelihood of health problems, and that veterinary pet insurance is a worthy investment.
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or suggest treatment for any disease.
Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information on your pet’s health.