Do dogs that are brachycephalic have an increased risk for developing heat-related illness compared to dogs that are not brachycephalics?
Clinical bottom line
Category of research
Number and type of study designs reviewed
Four studies were critically appraised. Three of these were cohort studies, one was a case-control study.
Strength of evidence
Brachycephalic dogs are at increased risk of developing heat-related illness and brachycephalic breeds are over-represented in presentations for heatstroke. Other factors named, such as body weight, also contributed to the risk of developing heat-related illness.
Dogs that are brachycephalic are likely to have an increased risk for developing heat-related illness compared to non-brachycephalic dogs.
The application of evidence into practice should take into account multiple factors, not limited to: individual clinical expertise, patient’s circumstances and owners’ values, country, location or clinic where you work, the individual case in front of you, the availability of therapies and resources.
Knowledge Summaries are a resource to help reinforce or inform decision making. They do not override the responsibility or judgement of the practitioner to do what is best for the animal in their care.
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