A French bulldog puppy has had to undergo life-saving surgery after being left gasping for breath due to her flat face.
Dory arrived at the RSPCA’s Bath Cats & Dogs Home earlier this summer due to her health problems.
The 10-month-old’s breathing difficulties meant she was unable to run around and play with other puppies.
She underwent emergency surgery costing £1,800 on Tuesday to widen her nostrils and remove tissue from inside her airways.
Rachel Jones, from Bath Cats & Dogs Home, said: ‘Dory is just 10 months old – she should be running and bouncing and doing all of the things a playful puppy would do.
‘But she can’t lead a normal life because she has difficulty breathing.
‘Worryingly, on several occasions, Dory has been left gasping for breath as a result of being starved of oxygen.
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‘She needed this life-saving surgery just so she can lead a normal life – but she’ll probably always struggle and will need to have limited exercise and take it easy during hot weather.’
Dory has brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS).
French bulldogs are brachycephalic – or flat-faced – breeds that have been bred to have exaggerated features to make them ‘cuter’ to buyers, the RSPCA said.
This has resulted in some flat-faced dogs, like Dory, struggling to breathe when walking, running or playing.
Caroline Allen, chief veterinary officer at the RSPCA, warned that operations like the one Dory has undergone are becoming ‘more and more common’.
‘The public see these dogs on adverts, in magazines and on social media and think they’re cute. They see videos of them snorting and snoring and think it’s cute – but it isn’t,’ she said.
‘It’s the dog gasping, trying to suck enough air into their body.
‘It’s really important that people understand this and that, as a society, we’re doing our best to produce dogs without these severe health problems.
‘Whilst there are breeders working hard to breed healthier dogs, poor Dory is a perfect example of how poor breeding has impacted the individual dog and affected their quality of life.’