Home About Browse Search

Kossmann Lindström, Elin, 2020. Välfärd hos hundar (Canis lupus familiaris) och katter (Felis catus) av brakycefala raser. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)



Brachycephaly is a conformation in cats and dogs developed by man through
breeding. It is characterised by a short muzzle and a flat skull. A breed standard
describes the conformation for each breed. The cat breeds that are classified as
brachycephalic is Persian and Exotic and for dogs they are for example Pug,
French bulldog, English bulldog, Boston terrier and Boxer. In Sweden Pug and
French bulldog are both among the top 20 most popular breeds. The
brachycephalic cats are not as popular in Sweden as the dogs are. The
brachycephalic conformation is associated with several health problems and has
an unfavourable impact on the welfare of the animals. In Sweden the animal
welfare legislation and an ordinance on cats and dogs govern breeding with pets.
Additionally, cat and dog breeders in Sweden needs a permit to breed three or
more litters a year. It is the regional County Administrative Board that issues
these permits. The aim of this bachelor thesis was to investigate how the
brachycephalic conformations in cats and dogs affects the welfare of the animals.

This thesis is a literature study. Scientific articles about brachycephaly, problems
and diseases that are associated with brachycephaly and articles about animal
welfare form the basis for this study.

With the brachycephalic conformation comes several anatomic deformations, for
example an elongated soft palate, abnormal nasopharyngeal turbinates and stenotic
nares. All of these deformations could affect the breathing. If the breathing is
affected, the cat or dog could have Brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome
(BOAS). Clinical signs of BOAS are among others steror, stridor, dyspnoea,
cyanosis and fainting. A cat or a dog could show one or more clinical signs and the
severity varies. Brachycephaly can affect more than just the airways, for example
dogs can suffer from heat and exercise intolerance, both cats and dogs have a higher
risk for skin, teeth and eye problems. Dystocia is another problem for
brachycephalic dogs as well as brachycephalic cats. Brachycephaly can also lead to
gastrointestinal problems. Relevant welfare indicators identified and used in this
thesis are the pet’s ability to express its natural behaviours, its health and the
affective state of the pet.

This study found that the brachycephalic conformation can have a severe impact on
the welfare of the animal. It can affect the ability to express important species
specific behaviours, its health and its affective state. Surgery can improve the
welfare of an animal, but it is important not to breed an animal that has had surgery
done for e.g. BOAS or caesarean as the offspring still can inherit the problems.

When breeding brachycephalic pets, it is important to breed healthy bitches/females
and males that do not have de most extreme conformations.

This study concludes that cats and dogs that are affected with BOAS or other
problems due to their conformations have an impaired welfare. More studies on
how cats are affected by brachycephaly are needed. Further, when the county
administrative board issues permits for breeding brachycephalic breeds they should
consider the welfare of the animals. For example, the permission should have
conditions that the pet needs to pass a veterinary examination.

Main title:Välfärd hos hundar (Canis lupus familiaris) och katter (Felis catus) av brakycefala raser
Authors:Kossmann Lindström, Elin
Supervisor:Wallenbeck, Anna
Examiner:Berg, Lotta
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2020
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK005 Ethology and Animal Welfare - Bachelor's Programme, 180.0hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health (until 231231)
Keywords:Brakycefali, hund, Canis lupus familiaris, katt, Felis catus, välfärd, avel, brachycephaic obstructive airway syndrome
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal ecology
Deposited On:13 Jul 2020 11:41
Metadata Last Modified:14 Jul 2020 01:01

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics