Remember Me
Or use your Academic/Social account:


Or use your Academic/Social account:


You have just completed your registration at OpenAire.

Before you can login to the site, you will need to activate your account. An e-mail will be sent to you with the proper instructions.


Please note that this site is currently undergoing Beta testing.
Any new content you create is not guaranteed to be present to the final version of the site upon release.

Thank you for your patience,
OpenAire Dev Team.

Close This Message


Verify Password:
Verify E-mail:
*All Fields Are Required.
Please Verify You Are Human:
fbtwitterlinkedinvimeoflicker grey 14rssslideshare1
Packer, Rowena M A; Hendricks, Anke; Tivers, Michael; Burn, Charlotte C (2015)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Nose, Domestic animals, Research Article, Medicine, Morphometry, /dk/atira/pure/publication/pubmedpublicationtype/D013485, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Q, R, Pets and companion, Science, Dogs, /dk/atira/pure/publication/pubmedpublicationtype/D016428, Journal Article, Obesity, Animal sexual behavior, Veterinary diagnostics

The domestic dog may be the most morphologically diverse terrestrial mammalian species known to man; pedigree dogs are artificially selected for extreme aesthetics dictated by formal Breed Standards, and breed-related disorders linked to conformation are ubiquitous and diverse. Brachycephaly-foreshortening of the facial skeleton-is a discrete mutation that has been selected for in many popular dog breeds e.g. the Bulldog, Pug, and French Bulldog. A chronic, debilitating respiratory syndrome, whereby soft tissue blocks the airways, predominantly affects dogs with this conformation, and thus is labelled Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). Despite the name of the syndrome, scientific evidence quantitatively linking brachycephaly with BOAS is lacking, but it could aid efforts to select for healthier conformations. Here we show, in (1) an exploratory study of 700 dogs of diverse breeds and conformations, and (2) a confirmatory study of 154 brachycephalic dogs, that BOAS risk increases sharply in a non-linear manner as relative muzzle length shortens. BOAS only occurred in dogs whose muzzles comprised less than half their cranial lengths. Thicker neck girths also increased BOAS risk in both populations: a risk factor for human sleep apnoea and not previously realised in dogs; and obesity was found to further increase BOAS risk. This study provides evidence that breeding for brachycephaly leads to an increased risk of BOAS in dogs, with risk increasing as the morphology becomes more exaggerated. As such, dog breeders and buyers should be aware of this risk when selecting dogs, and breeding organisations should actively discourage exaggeration of this high-risk conformation in breed standards and the show ring.

  • The results below are discovered through our pilot algorithms. Let us know how we are doing!

    • 1. Wayne RK, editor (2001) Consequences of domestication: morphological diversity of the dog. Oxon, UK: CABI Publishing. 43-60 p.
    • 2. Asher L, Diesel G, Summers JF, McGreevy PD, Collins LM (2009) Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 1: Disorders related to breed standards. The Veterinary Journal 182: 402-411. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl. 2009.08.033 PMID: 19836981
    • 3. Summers JF, Diesel G, Asher L, McGreevy PD, Collins LM (2010) Inherited defects in pedigree dogs. Part 2: Disorders that are not related to breed standards. The Veterinary Journal 183: 39-45. doi: 10. 1016/j.tvjl.2009.11.002 PMID: 19963415
    • 4. Oltenacu P, Broom D (2010) The impact of genetic selection for increased milk yield on the welfare of dairy cows. Animal Welfare 19(S): 39-49.
    • 5. Knowles TG, Kestin SC, Haslam SM, Brown SN, Green LE, Butterworth A, et al. (2008) Leg Disorders in Broiler Chickens: Prevalence, Risk Factors and Prevention. Plos One 3: e1545. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0001545 PMID: 18253493
    • 6. Pollinger JP, Bustamante CD, Fledel-Alon A, Schmutz S, Gray MM, Wayne RK (2005) Selective sweep mapping of genes with large phenotypic effects. Genome Research 15: 1809-1819. PMID: 16339379
    • 7. Stockard CR (1941) The genetic and endocrinic basis for differences in form and behavior: as elucidated by studies of contrasted pure-line dog breeds and their hybrids. Philadelphia: The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology.
    • 8. Noller C, Hueber JP, Aupperle H, Seeger J, Oechtering TH, Niestrock C, et al. (2008) New aspects of brachycephalia in dogs and cats. Basics: insights into embryology, anatomy and pathophysiology.: Universitat Leipzig.
    • 9. The Kennel Club (2013) Breed Registration Statistics http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/1128 8th August 2013
    • 10. Packer RMA, Hendricks A, Burn CC (2015) Impact of Facial Conformation on Canine Health: Corneal Ulceration. PLoS ONE 10: e0123827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123827 PMID: 25969983
    • 11. Njikam IN, Huault M, Pirson V, Detilleux J (2009) The Influence of Phylogenic Origin on the Occurrence of Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome in a Large Retrospective Study. The International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine 7: 138-143.
    • 12. Harvey CE (1989) Inherited and Congenital Airway Conditions. Journal of Small Animal Practice 30: 184-187.
    • 13. Oechtering TH, Oechtering GU, Noller C (2007) Structural characteristics of the nose in brachycephalic dog breeds analysed by computed tomography. Tierarztliche Praxis Ausgabe K Kleintiere Heimtiere 35: 177-187.
    • 14. Leonard HC (1956) Surgical relief for stenotic nares in a dog. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 128: 530. PMID: 13319181
    • 15. Ginn JA, Kumar MSA, McKiernan BC, Powers BE (2008) Nasopharyngeal turbinates in brachycephalic dogs and cats. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 44: 243-249. PMID: 18762560
    • 16. Wykes PM (1991) Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. Probl Vet Med 3: 188-197. PMID: 1802247
    • 17. Monnet E, editor (2003) Brachycephalic airway syndrome. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. 808-813 p.
    • 18. Orsher RJ, editor (1993) Brachycephalic airway disease. 2 ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger. 369-370 p.
    • 19. Reiter A, Holt D (2012) Palate. In: Tobias K, Johnston S, editors. Veterinary Surgery Small Animal Volume II. Missouri: Elsevier Saunders. pp. 1707-1717.
    • 20. White R (2012) Surgical management of laryngeal collapse associated with brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome in dogs. J Small Anim Pract 53: 44-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01156.x PMID: 22122300
    • 21. Packer RMA, Hendricks A, Volk HA, Shihab NK, Burn CC (2013) How Long and Low Can You Go? Effect of Conformation on the Risk of Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Extrusion in Domestic Dogs. PLoS ONE 8: e69650. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069650 PMID: 23894518
    • 22. Packer RMA, Hendricks A, Burn CC (2012) Do dog owners perceive the clinical signs related to conformational inherited disorders as 'normal' for the breed? A potential constraint to improving canine welfare. Animal Welfare 21: 81-93.
    • 23. Hendricks JC, editor (1995) Recognition and treatment of congenital respiratory tract defects in brachycephalics. Philadelphia: WB Saunders. 892-894 p.
    • 24. Aron DN, Crowe DT (1985) Upper Airway-Obstruction-General-Principles and Selected Conditions in the Dog and Cat. Veterinary Clinics of North America-Small Animal Practice 15: 891-917.
    • 25. Dupre GP (2008) Brachycephalic Syndrome: New Knowledge, New Treatments. 33rd World Small Animal Veterinary Association Congress. Dublin, Ireland.
    • 26. Farquharson J, Smith D.W. (1942) Resection of the soft palate in the dog. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 100: 427-430.
    • 27. Schlotthauer CF (1929) Congenital defects in the stomach of a dog. J Amer Vet Med Ass 75: 370-371.
    • 28. Roedler FS, Pohl S, Oechtering GU (2013) How does severe brachycephaly affect dog's lives? Results of a structured preoperative owner questionnaire. The Veterinary Journal 198: 606-610. doi: 10.1016/ j.tvjl.2013.09.009 PMID: 24176279
    • 29. Wiestner TS, Koch DA, Nad N, Balli A, Roos M, Weilenmann R, et al. (2007) Evaluation of the repeatability of rhinomanometry and its use in assessing transnasal resistance and pressure in dogs. American Journal of Veterinary Research 68: 178-184. PMID: 17269884
    • 30. Hendricks JC, Kline LR, Kovalski RJ, O'Brien JA, Morrison AR, Pack AI (1987) The English bulldog: a natural model of sleep-disordered breathing. Journal of Applied Physiology 63: 1344-1350. PMID: 3693167
    • 31. Poncet CM, Dupre GP, Freiche VG, Estrada MM, Poubanne YA, Bouvy BM (2005) Prevalence of gastrointestinal tract lesions in 73 brachycephalic dogs with upper respiratory syndrome. Journal of Small Animal Practice 46: 273-279. PMID: 15971897
    • 32. Knecht CD (1979) Upper airway obstruction in brachycephalic dogs. Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian 1: 25-30.
    • 33. Drake AG, Klingenberg CP (2010) Large-Scale Diversification of Skull Shape in Domestic Dogs: Disparity and Modularity. American Naturalist 175: 289-301. doi: 10.1086/650372 PMID: 20095825
    • 34. Bateson P (2010) Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding http://breedinginquiry.files.wordpress.com/ 2010/01/final-dog-inquiry-120110.pdf 1 February 2011
    • 35. Council of Europe (1995) Resolution on the breeding of pet animals, Multilateral Consultation of parties to the European Convention for the protection of pet animals (ETS 123), March 1995 in Strasbourg, Document CONS 125(95)29, Council of Europe, F 67075 Strasbourg-Cedex.
    • 36. Farrow T, Keown AJ, Farnworth MJ (2014) An exploration of attitudes towards pedigree dogs and their disorders as expressed by a sample of companion animal veterinarians in New Zealand. New Zealand Veterinary Journal: 1-7.
    • 37. Packer R, Hendricks A, Burn C (2014) Conference Report: Building Better Brachycephalics 2013. North Mymms: Royal Veterinary College. 1-36 p.
    • 38. Sutter NB, Mosher DS, Gray MM, Ostrander EA (2008) Morphometrics within dog breeds are highly reproducible and dispute Rensch's rule. Mammalian Genome 19: 713-723. doi: 10.1007/s00335-008- 9153-6 PMID: 19020935
    • 39. Regodón S, Vivo JM, Franco A, Guillén MT, Robina A (1993) Craniofacial angle in dolicho-, meso- and brachycephalic dogs: radiological determination and application. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger 175: 361-363.
    • 40. Evans HE (1993) Miller's Anatomy of the Dog: Saunders.
    • 41. Schmidt M, Neumann A, Amort K, Failing K, Kramer M (2011) Cephalometric measurements and determination of general skull type of cavalier king charles spaniels. Vet Radiol Ultrasound 4: 436-440.
    • 42. Carrera I, Dennis R, Mellor DJ, Penderis J, Sullivan M (2009) Use of magnetic resonance imaging for morphometric analysis of the caudal cranial fossa in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. American Journal of Veterinary Research 70: 340-345. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.70.3.340 PMID: 19254145
    • 43. Purina (2012) Assessing your dog's body condition http://www.purina.co.uk/content/your-dog/helpingto-keep-your-dog-healthy/managing-your-dog%27s-weight/assessing-your-dog%27s-body-condition 1 November 2012
    • 44. Brown D, Gregory S (2005) Brachycephalic airway disease; Brockman D, Holt D, editors: BSAVA.
    • 45. Hendricks JC (1992) Brachycephalic airway syndrome. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 22: 1145- 1153. PMID: 1523786
    • 46. Davies R, Stradling J (1990) The relationship between neck circumference, radiographic pharyngeal anatomy, and the obstructive sleep apneoa syndrome. European Respiratory Journal 5: 509-514.
    • 47. Davies R, Ali N, Stradling J (1992) Neck circumference and other clinical features in the diagnosis of the obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Thorax 47: 101-105. PMID: 1549815
    • 48. Katz I, Stradling J, Sljutsky AS, Zamel N, Hoffstein V (1990) Do Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Have Thick Necks? American Review of Respiratory Disease 141: 1228-1231. PMID: 2339843
    • 49. Hoffstein V, Mateika S (1992) Differences in abdominal and neck circumferences in patients with and without obstructive sleep apnoea. European Respiratory Journal 5: 377-381. PMID: 1563498
    • 50. Steiropoulos P, Papanas N, Nena E, Antoniadou M, Serasli E, Papoti S, et al. (2010) Inflammatory Markers in Middle-Aged Obese Subjects: Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Play a Role? Mediators of Inflammation 2010.
    • 51. Parker HG, Kim LV, Sutter NB, Carlson S, Lorentzen TD, Malek TB, et al. (2004) Genetic structure of the purebred domestic dog. Science 304: 1160-1164. PMID: 15155949
    • 52. Asher L, Buckland E, Phylactopoulos CI, Whiting M, Abeyesinghe S, Wathes C (2011) Estimation of the number and demographics of companion dogs in the UK. BMC Veterinary Research 7: 74. doi: 10. 1186/1746-6148-7-74 PMID: 22112367
    • 53. Parker HG, Kukekova AV, Akey DT, Goldstein O, Kirkness EF, Baysac KC, et al. (2007) Breed relationships facilitate fine-mapping studies: A 7.8-kb deletion cosegregates with Collie eye anomaly across multiple dog breeds. Genome Research 17: 1562-1571. PMID: 17916641
    • 54. Oechtering GU (2010) Brachycephalic syndrome: new information on an old congenital disease. Veterinary Focus: 2-9.
    • 55. Haworth KE, Islam I, Breen M, Putt W, Makrinou E, Binns M, et al. (2001) Canine TCOF1; cloning, chromosome assignment and genetic analysis in dogs with different head types. Mammalian Genome 12: 622-629. PMID: 11471057
    • 56. Hunemeier T, Salzano FM, Bortolini MC (2009) TCOF1 T/Ser variant and brachycephaly in dogs. Animal Genetics 40: 357-358. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2008.01838.x PMID: 19220226
    • 57. Bannasch D, Young A, Myers J, Truve K, Dickinson P, Gregg J, et al. (2010) Localization of Canine Brachycephaly Using an Across Breed Mapping Approach. Plos One 5: e9632. doi: 10.1371/journal. pone.0009632 PMID: 20224736
    • 58. Caccamo R, Buracco P, La Rosa G, Cantatore M, Romussi S (2014) Glottic and skull indices in canine brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome. BMC Veterinary Research 10: 12. doi: 10.1186/1746- 6148-10-12 PMID: 24410902
    • 59. Roberts T, McGreevy P, Valenzuela M (2010) Human Induced Rotation and Reorganization of the Brain of Domestic Dogs. Plos One 5: e11946. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011946 PMID: 20668685
    • 60. Regodon S, Vivo J, Franco A (1993) Craniofacial angle in dolicho-, meso- and brachycephalic dogs: radiological determination and application. Ann Anat 175: 361-363. PMID: 8363043
    • 61. The Kennel Club (2012) Pug Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/breed/ standard.aspx?id=6164 1 November 2012
    • 62. The Kennel Club (2010) Bulldog Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/ breed/standard.aspx?id=4084 1 November 2012
    • 63. The Kennel Club (2009) French Bulldog Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/ public/breed/standard.aspx?id=4088 1 November 2012
    • 64. American Kennel Club (2014) Pug Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/pug/breed_standard. cfm 1st September 2014
    • 65. American Kennel Club (2014) French Bulldog Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/french_ bulldog/breed_standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 66. American Kennel Club (2014) Bulldog Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/bulldog/breed_ standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 67. Yucel A, Unlu M, Haktanir A, Acar M, Fidan F (2005) Evaluation of the Upper Airway Cross-sectional Area Changes in Different Degrees of Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome: Cephalometric and Dynamic CT Study. American Journal of Neuroradiology 26: 2624-2629. PMID: 16286412
    • 68. Magalang U, Farkas G, Najdzionek J, Nakano H (2000) Obese Zucker rats have narrower upper airway compared to lean litter-mates. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 161:A87.
    • 69. Smith PL, Gold AR, Meyers DA, Haponik EF, Bleecker ER (1985) Weight Loss in Mildly to Moderately Obese Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Annals of Internal Medicine 103: 850-855. PMID: 3933396
    • 70. Manens J, Bolognin M, Bernaerts F, Diez M, Kirschvink N, Clercx C (2012) Effects of obesity on lung function and airway reactivity in healthy dogs. The Veterinary Journal 193: 217-221. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl. 2011.10.013 PMID: 22099184
    • 71. Robertson I (2003) The association of exercise, diet and other factors with owner-perceived obesity in privately owned dogs from metropolitan Perth, WA. Prev Vet Med 58: 75-83. PMID: 12628772
    • 72. Gossellin J, Wren J, Sunderland S (2007) Canine obesity: An overview. Journal of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 30 1-10. PMID: 17567509
    • 73. Lund E, Armstrong P, Kirk C, Klausner J (2006) Prevalence and risk factors for obesity in adult dogs from private US veterinary practices. International Journal of Applied Research in Veterinary Medicine 4: 177-186.
    • 74. The Kennel Club (2014) Breed Registration Statistics http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/registration/ breed-registration-statistics 1st September 2014
    • 75. The Kennel Club (2008) Pekingese Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/ breed/standard.aspx?id=6162 1 November 2012
    • 76. American Kennel Club (2014) Pekingese Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/pekingese/ breed_standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 77. The Kennel Club (2009) Griffon Bruxellois Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/ public/breed/standard.aspx?id=6154 1 November 2012
    • 78. American Kennel Club (2014) Brussels Griffon Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/brussels_ griffon/breed_standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 79. The Kennel Club (2009) Japanese Chin Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/ public/breed/standard.aspx?id=6156 1 November 2012
    • 80. American Kennel Club (2014) Japanese Chin Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/japanese_ chin/breed_standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 81. The Kennel Club (2009) Boston Terrier Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/ public/breed/standard.aspx?id=4083 1 November 2012
    • 82. American Kennel Club (2014) Boston Terrier Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/boston_ terrier/breed_standard.cfm 1st September 2014
    • 83. The Kennel Club (2009) Shih Tzu Breed Standard http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/ breed/standard.aspx?id=4102 1 November 2012
    • 84. American Kennel Club (2014) Shih Tzu Breed Standard http://www.akc.org/breeds/shih_tzu/breed_ standard.cfm 1st September 2014
  • Discovered through pilot similarity algorithms. Send us your feedback.

Share - Bookmark

Cite this article