Due to the conflicting and often inaccurate advice regarding the facts and options available when it comes to the long term health of brachycephalic breeds, Southern Animal Health offers no charge phone education sessions to all owners of these dogs.
The reasons for this service are:
- Most general practitioners do not give the right advice, especially before desexing.
- The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) now endorses the modern thinking that almost all dogs will benefit from corrective airway surgery before 12 months of age, even if they don’t necessarily need it. Refer to the AVA and RSPCA endorsed Love Is Blind campaign and hear Professor Philip Moses, Specialist Surgeon of VSS explaining why specialists now recommend this.
- Most veterinary surgeons that do offer this surgery only offer nares widening and palate shortening. Although this may give a reasonable initial result, it is far too little. Ideally appropriate airway correction also potentially involves laryngeal saccules removal, tonsil removal, and the most important aspect, palate thinning (not shortening) which most surgeons do not explain. Hence we take some time explaining why these are significant and how to interview your surgeon if considering airway correction, no matter which surgeon you choose – (specialists included), as many of these do not do adequate airway surgery.
- The older dogs that present to our clinic with increasing signs of airway concerns at 2-8 years of age are distraught that the information we offer was never explained to them by their own vets before desexing. Some of these vets were supposedly well respected Bulldog vets.
- Although you may or may not decide to proceed to airway assessment under anaesthesia, we feel it’s extremely important that you at least have the correct information so that you do not make any decision in ignorance.
- Having tried to get the kennel clubs and breeders to talk to the AVA and RSPCA regarding improving breed standards, and to have them understand that even minor problems that are currently accepted as normal are not normal but in fact signs of suffering, we have unfortunately had no success in starting this discussion. Hence we feel a public explanation is vital as breeder recommendations leave most dogs leading a life less comfortable than they need to, and also at significant risk of bigger problems as they age.
Our education consultations spend about 25 minutes on the above, then about 10 minutes on the following:
- Our Less Is Healthier Philosophy advice that concentrates on de-mything the over retail exuberance of veterinary clinics including:
– Why we recommend less vaccinations
– How raw bones will save you thousands of dollars on unnecessary dental work and keep your dog healthy, as well as save you thousands on unnecessary dental products
– Why very few vets use a monthly all-in-one product, and if you are using one, we will go to some length to explain why we believe they are a waste of money and not necessarily healthy for your dog
– Why many of the services such as pre-anaesthetic blood screens are also no really needed or value for money
- Pet Insurance: We have a long chat about what to consider with insurance
So as an owner of a brachycephalic breed, please feel free to take advantage of our willingness to help educate the public on what is the best for your dog for a healthy life, and in turn we hope you help educate your friends and fellow dog owners on all that you learn.
Call our clinic and book in for a no charge Bulldog education phone session.