Miss Pickles needs major surgery to help her breathe properly
The RSPCA is appealing for funds to pay for life-saving surgery for a bulldog who collapses because she can’t get enough air into her airways.
Miss Pickles is an eight-year-old British bulldog who arrived at RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford & District Branch when her owner could no longer take care of her.
Animal centre manager Claire Kendall said: “We very quickly realised that Miss Pickles was struggling to breathe and vets diagnosed her with grade three brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome - also known as BOAS. This is a group of conditions that we see in dogs selected for shorter noses and flatter faces, like bulldogs, which compromises their ability to breathe normally and Miss Pickles was sadly the most serious grade possible.
“She really struggles for breath and can often be heard wheezing and snorting as she tries to breathe. We have to be incredibly careful exercising her as she has gone blue in colour and collapsed in the past.
“It’s heartbreaking that this sweet, fun dog can’t run or play because she can’t breathe normally. She urgently needs surgery to help widen her nostrils and remove some of the soft palate from the back of her throat to help her get more air into her airways but the operation will cost in excess of £2,500, which is a huge financial strain at this time of year.”
BOAS is a complex respiratory disease related to the flat face and skull shape of brachycephalic dogs, such as British bulldogs, French bulldogs and pugs. Dogs with BOAS can suffer from breathing problems and can have trouble coping with heat and exercise.
Claire added: “As part of our Christmas Wish Appeal, we’re asking the public to help grant Miss Pickles’ wish and donate to her emergency fundraising appeal so we can get her the surgery she needs. Once she’s recovered and can breathe more easily we’ll be able to find her a loving new home and a fresh start.”
RSPCA dog welfare expert Dr Sam Gaines said: “Sadly we’re seeing more flat-faced dogs coming into our care because their owners cannot afford the expensive surgeries these dogs need to enable them to breathe more easily.
“These breeds have been selectively bred for exaggerated features over the years and, sadly, the outcome is dogs cannot function like normal, happy, healthy pets. That’s why, as part of the Brachycephalic Working Group, we’re calling for action now to protect the welfare of these breeds in the future. We are urging people who want one of these dogs to stop and think.”
People must think about whether a brachycephalic breed is the right choice for them and their lifestyle. In particular, the health issues associated with these breeds and potential veterinary and insurance costs.
To donate to Miss Pickles’ emergency fundraising appeal visit JustGiving and to support RSPCA Halifax, Huddersfield & Bradford branch’s work, make a donation online.