Irish vets and vet nurses who specialise in the care of pets and companion animals will be highlighting welfare concerns about brachycephalic dogs – like pugs and bulldogs – at the Veterinary Ireland conference in Naas, Co Kildare on May 19-20, 2018.
The Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society (VICAS) conference will include technical presentations on ‘the senses’ – eyes, ears, skin – but will also include a roundtable animal welfare discussion involving vets and vet nurses, along with stakeholders from an array of areas including the charitable sector, academia, industry and regulatory authorities.
Flat-faced dogs like pugs have increasingly been seen as entertaining and cute, resulting in a huge increase in demand for these puppies around the world.
However, breeding dogs like pugs and bulldogs, with short skull shape, short muzzle and flat nose means that some of these dogs may suffer from brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS), so that they struggle to breathe and to get essential oxygen into the body and are at risk of life-limiting health issues. The Irish vets will use special masks at their conference to demonstrate the difficulty these dogs experience when breathing.
Irish vets want to help to ensure that, by 2030, all flat-faced dogs born in Ireland can breathe with ease.