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Brachycephalic breeds

The Kennel Club and University of Cambridge Respiratory Function Grading Scheme

The Respiratory Function Grading Scheme assesses Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs for a breathing problem known as BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome).

The scheme advises owners if their dog is affected by BOAS and gives guidance to breeders on how to lower the risk of producing affected puppies. A selection of regionally approved assessors (vets trained especially in BOAS) have been appointed to carry out respiratory function grading on dogs of these breeds.

At Oakhill Veterinary Centre, small animal vet, Lisa Steinhage is an approved assessor for this scheme. We are offering these assessments at a competitive price.

Please contact us to book your dog’s appointment or for further details. 

What is BOAS?

Dogs with a flat, wide shaped head are said to be brachycephalic (‘brachy’ meaning short, and ‘cephalic’, meaning head). The soft tissue in the nose and throat of some brachycephalic dogs may be excessive for the airways, partially obstructing the airway and making it difficult for them to breathe normally (causing heavy panting or noisy breathing). This condition is known as BOAS and is a progressive disorder that can impair a dog’s ability to exercise, play, eat and sleep.

The below video explains more about the Brachycephalic breeds


What do I need to bring to the assessment?

You will need to bring your dog’s Kennel Club registration certificate and microchip identification in order for your dog’s assessment to be completed. An assessment form will be completed by the regional assessor and a copy will be given to you following the assessment, with another copy sent to the Kennel Club for publication including on the Health Test Results Finder.

What happens during the assessment?

Your dog will be assessed by a specially trained vet, Lisa who will initially use a stethoscope to listen to your dog’s breathing while they are calm and relaxed. Your dog will then be encouraged to move around an exercise area at a quick pace for 3 minutes, either by the vet or yourself. The vet will then listen to your dog’s breathing again and will use a list of criteria to give a grade. Lisa will then discuss this with you.

You can find out more about the health of Brachycephalic breeds on the following link:


Contact us to book your appointment or to discuss.