Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has licensed a method of measuring brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in U.S. and Canadian dogs.
The Respiratory Function Grading Scheme, conducted by a specially trained veterinarian, consists of:
- A short health survey.
- A brief physical examination while the dog is calm.
- A brisk three-minute walk.
- A post-exercise auscultation.
The results appear on a scale of 0 to 3. Grade-0 dogs are free of respiratory issues, but grade-3 dogs show severe signs of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and should receive veterinary treatment.
“The same dog under similar conditions on the same day should achieve the same grade,” said Eddie Dziuk, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals’ chief operating officer.
The foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization, is dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in genetic diseases.
Snub-nosed breeds, such as pugs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers, have become “extremely endearing to the public” and increasingly popular, Dziuk said.
“There has been a lot of public outcry and concern voiced against these breeds and their associated health conditions,” he said.
In response to the public criticism, the Bulldog Club of America, the French Bull Dog Club of America and the Pug Dog Club of America asked the foundation to find a way to help identify healthy dogs.
The University of Cambridge and the United Kingdom Kennel Club first developed the grading method. Jane Ladlow, VetMB, CertVR, CertSAS, DipECVS, MRCVS, who created the technique, trained the original two-veterinarian examiner team.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals hopes to increase the number of trained veterinary examiners so that more testing can be readily performed throughout the United States and Canada.
“It’s an international effort to collect data from all over the world to allow for better breeding decisions,” Dzuik said. “And hopefully, the data may lead to better therapeutics and better treatment programs.”