Cute or Calamitous?
Was the title of the press conference at the WSAVA/FECAVA/DSAVA congress in 2017.
The start of a whole range of activities in different countries to start raising awareness of the problems of brachycephalic dogs, known as flat-faced dogs.
The fact that they became very popular, made the veterinarian community more aware that we needed to inform and to act. The flat-faced dogs have become victims of their own popularity.
It seems that the result of an extreme brachycephalic confirmation has become one of the top animal welfare concerns. As it is a complex issue, spread even in cats and rabbits, it requires additional education of veterinary professionals, breeders and owners to reduce health problems in these breeds.
It is up to the veterinary profession to work closely with stakeholders to influence and improve the health and welfare of all brachycephalic breeds.
Extreme phenotypes should not be used in breeding.
Affected animals are treated with the highest veterinary standards; surgical procedures are done to correct and overcome their uncomfortable disorders. However, these surgical procedures are anything but 'normal'.
All our FECAVA members put a lot of effort in communication; they created platforms and activities, got out of their comfort zone and took action! You can find a lot of information per country on the FECAVA website, just go and have a look.
We are proud as FECAVA team to see so many interactions with the public, especially with potential owners to talk with us before buying a dog in the first place.
As we are experts, don't forget!
Dr. Ann Criel
Honorary secretary of FECAVA,
Member of the FVE Animal Welfare Working group
Member of the FECAVA Brachie Working group