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Brachycephalic (short faced) syndrome: Coping with the humid life in Singapore


Do you own a Pug, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, or any other breed with a short nose? These breeds are predisposed to many health problems due to their shortened faces. Some of these health problems include predisposition to heat stress/stroke, gastrointestinal disease, difficulty birthing, ocular issues, and dental disease.


Due to Singapore’s high humidity and year-round temperatures of 25-33 degrees Celsius, these pets can have a harder time on walks. Dogs cool themselves through their tongue and by panting instead of sweating like we do. Due to these breeds having an enlarged tongue and extra tissues in the back of the mouth, it can be very difficult for them to adequately cool themselves. The extra tissues in the back of the mouth can also swell if the pet is left to pant for prolonged periods of time. If this swelling occurs, it can compound their already difficult breathing, leading to a medical emergency.


You can prevent this by walking your dog early in the morning or late at night when the temperature is cooler. Always be sure to bring water with you for your pet, and if you notice any signs of distress such as collapse, excessive panting, increased respiratory sounds, or if your pet won’t stop panting even after returning to an air-conditioned room, please seek emergency care immediately.


Please feel free to call Westside Emergency Vet at 6931 0095 for any concerns or emergencies you may have regarding this or any condition with your pet. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any animal hospitalization, emergency vet, and critical care needs.

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