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A new screening scheme aims to provide breeders of French bulldogs, pugs and bulldogs with more information about the health of their dogs, helping them reduce the risk of breeding puppies with potentially serious breathing problems.
Developed by the University of Cambridge and funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, the new Respiratory Function Grading Scheme assesses dogs for the presence and severity of a breathing problem known as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS). The scheme is currently available for the pug, French bulldog and bulldog, and has the potential to improve the health and welfare of these breeds for generations to come.
Dogs - Head - 'cephalic - Head - Tissue
Dogs with a flat, wide shaped head are said to be brachycephalic ('brachy' meaning short, and 'cephalic', meaning head). The soft tissue in the nose and throat of some brachycephalic dogs may be excessive for the airways, partially obstructing the airway and making it difficult for them to breathe normally and causing heavy panting or noisy breathing. This condition is known as BOAS and is a progressive disorder that can impair a dog's ability to exercise, play, eat and sleep.
The assessment, which can now be carried out by a number of specially trained assessors located across the U.K. involves listening to the dog's airway both before and after an exercise tolerance test. Assessors then use a pre-defined protocol to grade the dog from zero to three. Dogs graded as zero are free of respiratory signs of BOAS, while dogs graded as three will show severe respiratory signs of BOAS, indicating that further veterinary examination is advised. The scheme issues guidance that dogs graded three should not be bred from.
Grades - Kennel - Club - Database - Breed
These grades will be recorded on the Kennel Club's database and published in the Breed Records Supplement, on the dog's registration certificate, and on the Kennel Club Health Test Results Finder...
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