Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has reported a year-on-year increase in the number of brachycephalic breeds coming through its doors.

Daniella and Shaun
Veterinary surgeon Daniella Kelsey-Foreman performing surgery on Betty, with veterinary director Shaun Opperman.

In 2015 the charity admitted 70 brachycephalic breeds and 101 in 2016 – an increase of 44%.

In 2010, 34 such breeds were admitted – an increase of almost 200% on the previous year.

Improving quality of life

The burgeoning number has resulted in the home carrying out more brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) surgeries each year, as they try to improve the quality of life for the most severely affected dogs.

British bulldog mother and daughter duo Elsie and Betty – three and one years old respectively – recently underwent BOAS surgery at the home to relieve their severe breathing problems.

Veterinary surgeon Daniella Kelsey-Foreman conducted the two surgeries consecutively.


Battersea Dogs and Cats Home’s head vet Shaun Opperman said: “Fortunately for Elsie and Betty they are relatively young; both surgeries were successful and mother and daughter recovered well.

“With increasing age, the operation becomes more challenging, the dog is at greater risk of both pre and post-op complications, and the outcome is less likely to be successful.

“Such surgery, if required, is best performed before the age of two years, placing extra pressure on Battersea’s clinic, as they often encounter dogs in need of such surgery when they are past their prime years.”

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