RSPCA Doncaster: Poor bulldog left needing major surgery due to 'extreme' breeding

A fundraising appeal to pay for extensive treatment and surgery to help a bulldog with severe health problems has been launched.

By Jack O'Connor
Friday, 8th April 2022, 12:09 am

Four-year-old Cleo was taken in by RSPCA Doncaster, Rotherham & District branch.

She has breathing problems, sore skin and has already had one eye removed, prompting the charity to launch the appeal.

Branch chief executive Mary McSherry said: “Cleo is one of a growing number of brachycephalic dogs - or dogs with flat faces - coming into the RSPCA’s care with severe health problems due to the extreme features they’ve been bred for.

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Four-year-old British bulldog Cleo has been left needing major surgery due to 'extreme' breeding, with the RSPCA in Doncaster has launched a fundraising appeal to ensure she gets the treatment she needs

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“Poor Cleo is only four but her life is being severely impacted by the health problems she’s plagued with. She has brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS); a group of

conditions that affect a dog’s breathing due to their short, flat muzzles, narrow nostrils, and excess tissue inside their mouth and throat.

“Cleo will need major corrective surgery to widen her nostrils and remove excess tissue to help her breathe.

“She has already had surgery for bilateral entropion - a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward and rubs the eye - and cherry eye, in which the tear gland becomes inflamed. One of her eyes was particularly bad so vets, unfortunately, had to remove it.

“She’s also been having special medicated baths for her sore skin which we believe has been caused by allergies.”

The RSPCA has also launched a new campaign Save Our Breath, urging the public not to buy breeds who cannot live normal lives due to being irresponsibly selectively bred.

There are fears more brachycephalic animals will have been bred after a surge in demand through lockdown, resulting in even more sick and abandoned animals.

RSPCA chief vet Caroline Allen said: “Our desire for cuteness and the selection for shorter, flatter faces - known as brachycephaly - has resulted in dogs who struggle to breathe.

“We understand why there is so much love out there for these breeds. But it’s wrong that we’re knowingly breeding for features which compromise their basic health and welfare.”

Anyone who would like to support Cleo can donate online at: https://www.rspcadoncasterrotherham.org.uk/saveourbreath.