Brachycephalic or short-nosed dogs are born with various health concerns. If you own a brachycephalic dog, it is important for you to understand that they require special care, especially during summer.
There are different factors to consider preparing your short-nosed for the summer or an unusually hot day.
The root cause of the concern
Unlike other dog breeds, brachycephalic dogs have a smashed in the skull, which offers less space to accommodate all the facial features. This results in a cluttered arrangement of short nostrils and enlarged soft palates.
Additionally, the extra fatty tissue extending to the airway also gives this breed a narrow channel to take in oxygen. These are the symptoms that give way to the brachycephalic airway syndrome, which is characterized by the blockage of the upper airway and the difficulty to take in oxygen.
The brachycephalic airway syndrome causes difficulty in breathing. During hot and humid conditions, your dog tends to pant more to regulate the temperature of their body by taking in cool air. The process, in conjunction with the brachycephalic airway syndrome, can trigger other symptoms like noisy breathing, difficulty in swallowing and even put the lungs under more pressure.
The short-nosed dogs with an advanced level of brachycephalic airway syndrome are usually subjected to surgery. A veterinary surgeon usually opens up the breathing passage, which can reduce the effort needed to take in oxygen. However, surgical treatment of the brachycephalic airway syndrome does not guarantee a full recovery. The breeds will still have some trouble breathing.
Heatstroke and dehydration
Summer or hot weather can make pets vulnerable to heatstroke and dehydration, especially brachycephalic pets. Following are the symptoms of heat stroke or dehydration in dogs:
- Low appetite
- Decreased urination
- Dry gums and nose
Always ensure that your pet has access to clean and fresh water. If you take him out for a run or walk during the summer season, ensure that you carry plenty of water and let him cool down under a shady place at equal intervals.
Hot weather conditions also pose the risk of sunburn to pets, especially short-haired brachycephalic dogs. The fact that short-nosed dog breeds usually have light skin and mostly short hair, makes the concern worse. Therefore, it is ideal to squeeze the time spent outdoors with your short-nosed pooch during summer. You can also consider using sunscreen with no zinc or PABA ingredients.
Ticks and mosquitos
Another concern hot weather brings along is ticks and mosquitos. Since brachycephalic dogs usually have a low immune system, these carriers can pose the biggest threat. Therefore, it is important that you consult with a veterinarian and administer tick and heartworm medication to your pet as recommended.
Taking care of brachycephalic or short-nosed dogs during summer can be an overwhelming task. Just keep in mind that investing a little time and effort can help you save money and further effort in the future. Brachycephalic dogs by nature require special care and attention and as a pet parent, you should foresee all these aspects and prepare your dog for the summer season.