Most humans know that snub-nosed dog breeds are the only ones having trouble breathing. Snub-nosed breeds, or those with short noses, such as Pugs, Boston Terriers, Lhasa Apso, and Shih Tzu, often have respiratory conditions.
However, a new study confirms that they are not alone.
A DNA from a 401 Norwich terriers shows that they can also develop the same wheezing as that of the snub-nosed dogs. They have a respiratory tract disorder that is associated with the swelling around their airways.
Norwich terriers also have the same variant of gene ADAMTS3 (which swells airways) and some of them even scored worse on airway-function tests, according to a report by researchers in PLOS Genetics.
The gene variant also turned up in French and English bulldogs, which indicates that having a “smooshed snout” is not the only factor that makes them have difficult labored breaths.
“This is the first evidence to show that it’s not just all about skull shape,” Jeffrey Schoenebeck, co-author of the study and an animal geneticist at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute.
He hopes that this study could help fellow animal lovers into developing healthier dog breeds. He also suggests for owners to do a genetic test to identify if their Norwich terriers have a genetic variant as those of the short-nosed dogs.