This year they are expected to replace Labradors as the UK's most popular breed for the first time since 1990. Man phones 999 to complain pet groomer shaved his dog Flattened faces in dogs is caused by genetic mutations that produce a wider, shorter skull shape. Many pet-owners are attracted to the dogs’ baby-like features that include large eyes and rounded faces. But Dr Lydia Franklinos, a London-based vet, told The Independent the dogs’ mutations often led to “serious health consequences”, including major breathing problems. “Brachycephalic dogs, such as pugs, Shih Tzus, and Pekingese, are very popular as pets but often owners are unaware of the negative health and welfare consequences,” she said. The animals’ normal sized lower jaw and very short upper jaw gives rise to a variety of health problems, including obstruction of the airways, heart disease , ulcers, skin infections, abnormally-shaped spines and difficulty giving birth. Dogs have a lot more brain power than cats, according to a study “Unfortunately, owners are often unaware of the facts about brachycephalic dogs and I believe if they understood the potential suffering that these animals might have to endure then they might reconsider owning one,” she added. To combat the increasing popularity of brachycephalic dogs, the BVA has launched its #BreedtoBreathe campaign , which aims to “challenge the pervasiveness of these ‘cute’ images”. The group said nine out of 10 vets reported a big increase in the number of brachycephalic dogs being brought into their practice in the last three years. And more than half of them needed treatment for health issues related to their appearance. The BVA lay part of the blame at the feet of celebrities including Lady Gaga , David Beckham and social media star Zoella , who all own dogs with shortened muzzles. Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs: in pictures Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs: in pictures 1/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs A dog and wild boar fight during a contest 2/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs A dog handler leans on a dog cage during a fight 3/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs The contest is known locally as ‘adu bagong’ 4/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Villagers in Majalaya, West Java watch a fight 5/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Breeder Agus Badud’s daughter carries a dog to be washed at their house 6/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Villagers watch the spectacle on a bamboo stage 7/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Dog breeder Agus Badud washes his dog at his house in Majalaya 8/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Contests are fought for a cash prize of up to £1,500 9/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Badud’s dog sits in his cage after being washed 10/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Hooves of a wild boar hang for dog training at Badud’s house 11/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Badud’s family sit near the cage of their dog as a fight takes place 12/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs A dog handler cleans blood from his dog which bit a boar in a fight 13/13 Indonesian villages pit wild boars against dogs Badud’s wife and daughter wash dogs at their house Statistics provided by the BVA showed almost half of vets believe clients who choose brachycephalic dogs were swayed by social media (49%) or their celebrity idols (43%). John Fishwick, BVA president, said: "These dogs are more popular than ever with celebrities, and on social media, and vets fear that this is adding to their popularity with members of the public. “There are thousands of pictures on Instagram of brachycephalic breeds tucked up alongside popular celebrities and bloggers, but these #puglife images don’t show the full story. Many of these ‘cute’ pets will struggle with serious and often life-limiting health problems. “Whilst many people perceive the squashed wrinkly faces of flat-faced dogs as appealing, in reality, dogs with short muzzles can struggle to breathe.” When surveyed, the main reason owners gave for buying brachycephalic dogs was Full Report the perception they were “good companion breeds”. "We often hear from owners that their flat-faced dog is healthy but they don’t realise that loud breathing isn’t ‘normal’,” Mr Fishwick said. “Vets see these problems in practice every day and tell us that very few owners can spot their dog’s health issue before it is highlighted by the vet. “These hereditary problems are distressing for the animals and can be costly for the owners to treat.
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