Mad as a box of frogs, but you will find it hard to get a more loyal and loving dog.
A new study Use of Morphometric Mapping to Characterise Symptomatic Chiari-Like Malformation, Secondary Syringomyelia and Associated Brachycephaly in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel will help in understanding and diagnosing CM/SM in Cavaliers and is reported at CavalierHealth.org saying, "The study includes a motion picture which highlights the dynamic changes of the skull conformation and brain parenchyma associated with progressive brachycephaly and airorhynchy [the upward rotation of the front of the palate]. As the video morphs from the control dog to one with CM pain that the nasal bone and hard palate become closer so that the hard palate becomes more horizontal, the nasal cavity and frontal cavity reduce involume and the rostral forebrain is flattened. As the model progresses into SM case 1 the nasal and rostral forebrain changes become more extreme. In addition to the forebrain changes, the hindbrain is pushed down and the craniocervical junction kinks as a consequence of the cervical vertebral being closer to the skull with flattening of the supraoccipital bone. Consequently there is a “concertina” flexure of the brain with a compensatory increase in height of the cranial fossa. In SM case 2 the concertina flexure is more extreme lower with the cerebellum appear to be folded back under the occipital lobe, and the olfactory bulbs are much in size and displaced."
Just seen this very moving post Fighting for air their whole lives over on the Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog. The post is about the French Bulldog in the photo below.
The French Bulldog in the photo has just woken up from an anesthetic with the endotracheal (ET) tube that supported his breathing whilst under anesthetic in place. Note the dog lying bright eyed and not trying to fight and remove the pipe. Dogs normally fight this tube, just like a human would if they woke up with one still in place, as it makes you gag, but for this dog, he is a Brachycephalic. He has been bred with a square skull (The skull has been concertinaed) and a short flat nose, but everything a longer skulled , longer nosed dog internally has, has not been reduced. The brain, the 42 teeth, the soft palate, it has to find space and one of the spaces it fills to accommodate being bred with no nose is the dogs airway. The ET tube opens the airway and you are looking at a dog, that probably for the first time in it's life, it can breathe properly.
The moving bit of the Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog is the re-posted post from Facebook written by the German vet, Ralph Rückert who attended the French Bulldog in the photo above,
""It might sound implausible, but the French Bulldog in the photo just woke up from anaesthesia. The eyes focus on me and see me. Seconds later we removed the pulse oximeter from the tongue, and the dog rolled itself upright.
Every (every!) other dog will immediately try to dislodge the endotracheal tube at this moment, which is why we usually take it out much sooner. But with Frenchies (and other flat nosed dogs) we leave the tube in position as long as possible, dreading respiratory collapse during the home stretch of their anaesthesia.
This frequently leads to the moment - a moment that regularly sends cold chills down my spine - when you realise that these dogs, while fully conscious, are enjoying the ability to breathe without effort (through a tube) for the first time in their life. I know that I am anthropomorphising unashamedly but nonetheless: when you pull the tube eventually, the wheezing starts up again and you see - I swear to high heaven - a glaze of resignation and disappointment fall over their eyes that were previously bright with fascination.
This is a moment where the lifelong - and too often ignored – suffering of many brachycephalic dogs becomes crystal clear to see. Sadly it is a moment only vets witness. The first time I noticed this phenomenon, I was inclined to dismiss it as my own sentimental fabrication. But as time passed, I heard stories of the same curious and touching moment from several colleagues with a lot of experience with flat nosed breeds. You absolutely have to ask yourself honestly what it means when a dog prefers the discomfort of an endotracheal tube to its natural airway."
It's good to hear vets starting to speaking out, about time, but still to few do. That is why we are where we are now. You only have to see the Kennel Club figures for breeding extreme Brachycephalic dogs to understand that vets are not that pro-active in educating people to how cruel it is to breed dogs intentionally to be extreme Brachycephalic, in 10 years registration for French Bulldog pups has gone from 526 puppies a year to 21,000 puppies registered with them in 2016 and now 1 in 6 dogs registered with the KC is extreme brachycephalic, up from 1 in 50, ten years ago. That is a lot of veterinary work coming in to surgeries, so you can understand why maybe vets have not been so quick on speaking out about this.
Let's be honest here, one of the biggest growth sectors in the UK and the world is the veterinarian profession and those figures above are one of the main drivers, breeding extremely deformed dogs to feed the obscene demand to people who either don't understand or care about the health of the dog and just think it's "cute." I see a lot of suffering in those figures for the breeding of extreme brachycephalic dogs, but I also see that a lot of vets that have bought there homes, put their children through private education, had a wonderful holiday, off them as well. An unhealthy bred puppy on the vets table is worth more to a vet, than two healthy pups rustling around in a bush. Very sad, but true to often. Greed, the need for IOU's is insidious for many, I'm afraid. Vets though do swear an oath to protect animals, I think some need reminding of this.
The KC also should be brought to task, can they really say (As they do on their home page) that they are "dedicated to protecting and promoting the health and welfare of all dogs." when we see them happily taking money registering puppies, that they know the majority of them will spend their lifetime struggling to breath. This is cruelty and exploitation by the KC, which has been helped along by the silence of the majority of the veterinary profession, often seeming to care more for bums on sits in the surgery and the "kerching!" of the cash register, than the health and welfare of the puppies that come in to their care. "Vets, it's time to stop the suffering and speak out."
As Jemima Harrison says on her Pedigree Dogs Exposed blog about breeding extreme brachycephalic dogs "It is, frankly, the biggest explosion in suffering the purebred dog world has seen in modern times."
Stunning photo sent to me this morning of Alfie in the Alps. Alfie is from our first Brittany/Cavalier litter born Spring 2015 Smudge has nine little Hudges
"Hi Jane this is a photo of Alfie just wondering where all those animal tracks are going! The view is taken from just above the Chalet. We had some serious snow fall .... 18" over a day and a half ..... but the snowplough kept the roads clear lower down, they don't come up this part of the road though! Best wishes Joan and Colin xx"
"Wow, that is a stunning view.
Thanks for sharing
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!