The big row on this blog last week was about bulldogs.
I received so many poorly written and poorly reasoned comments bashing some of my bulldog posts that I just wanted to scream.
And well, I did scream.
However, I noticed that not a single person refuted anything I wrote.
All they wanted to do was to either make a smokescreen and claim that because the Kennel Club (of the United Kingdom) has forced a rewrite of the bulldog standard that things were just fine now. Of course, this isn’t true– mainly because too many judges and the various self-appointed mandarins of the bulldog fancy have simply decided to ignore the changes. The implementation of vet checks for best of breed at certain shows is something these people really hate. That’s because those vet checks continue to reveal that judges are putting up very defective dogs, and the bulldog fancy as a whole really doesn’t care how unhealthy the typical bulldog actually is.
And they really don’t.
And now we have proof.
One of the main talking points I kept seeing from the bulldog nutjobs last week was the claim that goes something like this: ”My dog is healthy! You’re wrong!”
Well, it now turns out that we have evidence that many owners of brachycephalic dogs are actually quite deluded about the real health of their dogs.
A recent study in the journal Animal Welfare (Packer 2012), revealed something rather disturbing:
A questionnaire-based study was carried out over five months on the owners of dogs referred to the Queen Mother Hospital for Animals (QMHA) for all clinical services, except for Emergency and Critical Care. Owners reported the frequency of respiratory difficulty and characteristics of respiratory noise in their dogs in four scenarios, summarised as an ‘owner-reported breathing’ (ORB) score. Owners then reported whether their dog currently has, or has a history of, ‘breathing problems’. Dogs (n = 285) representing 68 breeds were included, 31 of which were classed as ‘affected’ by BOAS either following diagnostics, or by fitting case criteria based on their ORB score, skull morphology and presence of stenotic nares. The median ORB score given by affected dogs’ owners was 20/40 (range 8-30). Over half (58%) of owners of affected dogs reported that their dog did not have a breathing problem. This marked disparity between owners’ reports of frequent, severe clinical signs and their perceived lack of a ‘breathing problem’ in their dogs is of concern.
So now when someone with a brachycephalic dog comes on here and blasts me with the talking point that his or her dog is fine, keep this little study in mind.
This person may be quite deluded about the actual health and welfare problems associated with brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome– or just a liar.
The literature on the health and welfare problems associated with extreme brachycephaly is quite extensive– and quite damning.
The bulldog people have decided they don’t like what the literature says, and they’ve decided to try to shut down any criticism through trying to shout down anyone who uses this literature to expose the real welfare issues associated with trying to breed a dog that looks like a toad.
You cannot believe these people.
You cannot trust what they say.
They simply refuse to acknowledge.
And if you won’t acknowledge a problem, it will never be solved.
Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.
But delusion is even worse.