The Persian Nose Job (cat!)

The Persian nose job is a ‘feline rhinoplasty’. Any wiser?! Yes, it is the enlarging of the nostrils to allow the flat-faced Persian to breath properly. It is ironic that the Persian cat breeders are working against health while some veterinary surgeons are correcting unnatural anatomical features surgically. It is breeders versus vets! Strange that, don’t you think?

The facial anatomy is squished together. It can’t work properly.

Flat-faced Persian versus standard cat muzzle
Flat-faced Persian versus standard cat muzzle
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It means that the flat-faced Persian with the brachycephalic skull has a lifetime of poor breathing through the nose because the nostril openings are too narrow and then sometimes has to suffer some more: a surgical procedure to enlarge the nostrils. But at least the poor thing can breathe more or less normally after the operation.

The operation is sometimes carried out with a carbon dioxide laser which speeds up healing. The device removes a crescent-shaped piece of skin inside both nostrils. The amount depends on the severity of the defect. No sutures are needed and the cat is given painkillers post-op.

Cat owners say that their cat’s breathing improves. The result? More energy, weight gain and an improved life according to The Cat Doctor. I guess the ‘weight gain’ is a result of feeling better and eating better. This indicates that some Persian cats are feeling unwell or stressed because of their difficulty in breathing.

It may be difficult for the owner to spot distress in their Persian because of breathing difficulties.

I can't breathe!
I can’t breathe! Image: MIkeB

Outlawing extreme breeding causing health problems

This brings me nicely to a current attitude change in continental Europe about the extreme breeding of companion animals. I think Europe is leading the way on rejecting extreme breeding; called torture breeding in Germany.

Now the Dutch are considering new legislation which would outlaw cruel extreme breeding of dogs and cats. The French Bulldog has very similar breathing problems to those suffered by the Persian cat and is also, sometimes, a patient at a veterinary clinic to have their nostrils reshaped to allow near normal breathing. As I said it is odd that the vets are correcting dog and cat breeding errors.

The problem is that these breeding ‘errors’ are a result of a deliberate policy. They are not mistakes. There is a policy decision in the dog and cat fancies to create some breeds that struggle to breathe normally.

You can understand why the Dutch are considering a ban on these breeds. If the cat and dog associations and breeders won’t change their ways voluntarily, they’ll have to be told to change by making their activities illegal. An extreme measure in itself which is a shame as it would be far better is there was a willingness to focus on health and less on a weird appearance among the dog fancy members.

The proposed new Dutch law will, apparently, make it unlawful to possess and advertise companion animals with anatomies that result in health issues.

One couple found that their French Bulldog could not go on longer walks because she wasn’t getting enough air into her lungs. They were breathless. The operation was successful at the AniCura veterinary hospital.

The vet said that, “The skull has become very crowded. All the things that have to fit inside are squished together”. This statement applies equally well to the French Bulldog and the Persian; different species with the same bred-in health issues.

Baby-faces to improve sales

I don’t know the general opinion of other people but I find it surprising that people like the flat-faced breeds. They look ugly to me. I think the breeders are creating dogs and cats that have baby-like faces (rounder) with proportionately huge eyes. They want to tap into the nurturing nature of most humans. It is a commercial decision at the expense of health.

Dogs and cats are becoming a baby substitute as more Europeans don’t want to bring real babies into the world. This is creating other problems such as an ageing human population and less workers to grow the economy. That’s another story.

I would hope that the Dutch cat and dog breeders get their act together and respond positively to the proposed new legislation and make changes.

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