About : “Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals

A Complete Guide for Veterinary and Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals A Complete Guide for Veterinary and Animal Professionals. By Dan O Neill and Rowena Packer.” 2021

Looking at this voluminous and impressive 394-page encyclopaedic work by Rowena Packer and Dan O’Neill, one finds much repetition of previously published research concerning mainly the three popular brachycephalic breeds.

Scientists are judged by the number of publications they put out into the world. Unfortunately, not on the quality of these publications. If we now use this methodology to judge the brachycephalic breeds by their level of appearance in this compilation, we should observe the following.

The three well-known breeds, French Bulldog (304x), Bulldog (372x) and Pug (360x) are by far the most cited in this ‘complete guide’ as they state.

The Affenpinscher (4x) and extremely short-muzzled Griffon (9x) belong to the group of least mentioned breeds and form category 3 (see appendix). They are mentioned in particular to show that muzzle length, the CFR, actually has nothing to do with the incidence of BOAS by Jane Ladlow and Nai-Chieh Liu.

It appears that in this work of just under 400 pages, many conditions in the three breeds are again extrapolated to the at least 30 other brachycephalic breeds. And if it is not BOAS or BOS, other disorders are linked to brachycephaly and the question is whether this link is causal or just a correlation (statistical relationship).

In short, this ‘complete guide’ is not as complete as it pretends to be but again revolves mainly around the three well-known popular breeds in which mainly the disorders described occur excessively.

Jane Ladlow and Nai-Chieh Liu are the only ones who rightly remark:

“At present, not enough is known about the breathing of many less popular brachycephalic breeds and more research is required to determine how many dogs in breeds other than the Bulldog, French Bulldog and Pugs are affected.”[1]

These scientists have therefore announced their intention to initiate a broader study, concerning conditions also other than BOAS and BOS, among the less popular brachycephalic breeds. For one thing has become clear to them from the studies. Brachycephalic is only a collective name for a type of construction of the dog and says little about the usually multiple cause of the disorders. BOAS is also just a catch-all term and says little about the cause of the respiratory problems. These scientists know that one should only talk about ‘breeds’ when it comes to health and hereditary disorders. After all, the definition of a breed is a group with similar hereditary characteristics.

Stichting Ras en Recht (SRR)/ Foundation Justice for Pedigreedogs


reference in the above-mentioned work :

Category 1 = popular breeds, many studied, many disorders

-Bulldog 372x mentioned

-Pug mentioned 360x

-French Bulldog 304x

Next are the medium-sized breeds, some distance away;

Category 2 = middle popular breeds, sometimes more is known about them, sometimes little and sometimes nothing.

-Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 56x mentioned

-Shih Tzu 40x

-Boxer 39x

-Boston Terrier 33x

Category 3 = predominantly unpopular breed (with the exception of Malteser and Chihuahua) and/or hardly researched

-Lhasa Apso 13x mentioned

-Chihuahuas 10x

-Japanese Chin 10x

-Doque de Bordeaux 9x

-Griffon Bruxellois 9x

-King Charles Spaniel 5x

-Affenpinscher 4x

-Malteser 4x

-Pekinese 1x

The other half of the brachycephalic breeds are not even listed in the book.

[1] Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) – Clinical Assessment and Decision-Making Jane Ladlow and Dr Nai-Chieh Liu University of Cambridge 2022

Edwin Meyer Viol

SRR/Foundation for Pedigree Dogs

17th of August 2022

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.