Last week we received a call from the dog warden about a gorgeous Frenchie who was in desperate need of a home. We named him Brian, and as soon as he came into our care we realised that he urgently needed to be seen by a vet. Frenchies are a brachycephalic (flat faced) breed, which can lead to multiple health issues including Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). This essentially means that Frenchies frequently struggle to breathe, and this can be fatal. Poor Brian was really struggling with this issue. His breathing was laboured and he was lethargic.
Brian was also underweight, and it was discovered whilst in the care of the vet that he had megaoesophagus, which means that the tube connecting his mouth and stomach didn’t work properly, and he needed help swallowing. This condition is much more common in brachycephalic dogs. While he was in the pound, Brian developed aspiration pneumonia, a common complication where food or foreign matter entered his lungs and causes an infection. Despite everything he was going through, he was so sweet and loving with the veterinary team, and took everything in his stride. Sadly Brian could not be saved. He deserved a chance of a happy life, but this chance was taken away from him by irresponsible breeding.
Frenchies are an incredibly popular breed, and we are seeing the results of careless overbreeding in dogs like Brian. Unscrupulous breeders often want Frenchies to be smaller and ‘rare’ (often recessive) colours, and both of these ‘desirable traits’ can increase the chances of dogs having issues with airways, digestion, mobility and skin. These dogs cannot even mate or give birth without veterinary intervention, and yet they are still bred for profit. Buying brachycephalic breeds from breeders leads to dogs like Brian living a life of discomfort and pain. Please think of Brian, and #thinkrescue before buying a puppy.