A veterinary surgeon has dished out the five dog breeds he would never have as pets.
Ben, from the UK, offered his explanation behind his least favourite breeds, ranging from the family-favourite Bernese mountain dog to the “elegant-looking” Italian greyhound.
“Here are five dogs breeds that as a vet I wouldn’t choose to own,” he said in a now-viral video.
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“Remember all of this is just my opinion and if you have one of these dog breeds, love them and look after them.
“But if you’re someone who’s looking at getting a dog and one of these breeds is on your maybe list, this might be food for thought.”
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West Highland White Terrier
The first of his five dog breeds is the West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as the westie, a medium-sized animal with a distinctive white coat.
“Ask any vet what dog breeds are most commonly affected by skin allergies and I guarantee the westie will be near the top of their list,” Ben said.
He explained how westies are prone to two common health problems.
Veterinary surgeon Ben has dished out the five dog breeds he would never own as pets – including the westie, right. Credit: @ben.the.vet
“The conditions are named after them which is never a good sign,” he said.
“The first is the westie lung or pulmonary fibrosis, which is a condition where their lungs become scarred and they develop a cough and breathing difficulties.
“The second is a westie jaw which commonly affects young westies. They get all of this abnormal bone growth around their jaw and it’s very painful.
“It’s a no from me.”
He said if you ever notice westies with brown feet, it’s actually not their natural coat colour.
“It’s from saliva staining because their feet are itchy and they spend a lot of time licking them,” Ben said.
Next is the Neapolitan mastiff, an Italian muscular build breed with wrinkly skin, short fur, and long, floppy jowls that droop.
“Now I’m not a giant breed dog person anyway but I don’t understand how anyone can live with this amount of drool,” Ben said.
“If you’ve got carpet on your floor, surely your carpet must stink of drool. If you have hard floors, then you must mop the floors multiple times a day and they shake their head and the drool goes everywhere.
“I just couldn’t live with that sorry.”
Drooling aside, Ben said the amount of redundant loose skin they have on their head can be problematic.
“Their eyelids tend to be very loose – meaning some parts of the eyelid roll outwards – leaving the eyes exposed and other parts roll inwards so hairs scrap on the surface of the eye which is obviously painful,” he said.
“They often have to have surgery to remove loose skin to correct this problem.”
The third dog he would avoid owning is the Italian greyhound, a sweet-natured, gentle breed that’s a miniature of a standard greyhound.
“They’re very elegant-looking dogs but they’re just extremely fragile,” Ben explained.
“Their long dainty limb bones are more vulnerable to fracture than those of most other dogs.
“Their skin is also very thin so they develop wounds very easily.”
The third dog he would avoid owning is the Italian greyhound, a sweet-natured breed, file image. Credit: Purple Collar Pet Photography/Getty Images
Despite being a “fairly healthy” dog breed, Ben said he couldn’t look past their “dainty and delicate” appearance.
“I just personally don’t like the fact that the appearance they’ve been bred for has a consequence for them in terms of being much more vulnerable to injury,” he said.
Despite being described as a “beautiful, iconic dog breed”, Ben said he would not personally own a German shepherd.
“I think they would make a lot of vets’ no-lists for a few reasons,” he explained.
“Firstly their temperament.
“Although I’ve met many lovely ones, they do tend to be very protective of their owners so when they’re in an unfamiliar surrounding like a veterinary practice and they’re feeling anxious, they can become very aggressive and reactive.
“But also because of their poor genetic health, they’re predisposed to a lot of health problems – including hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.”
Other breeds he would avoid bringing home include Neapolitan mastiff and Bernese mountain dog Credit: @Ben.the.vet
Over his career, Ben said he has met “far too many older” German shepherds with a paralysing spinal condition called degenerative myelopathy.
“They are also prone to a condition called furunculosis where they get painful fistulas forming next to their bottom can be difficult to manage and very costly,” he said.
Bernese mountain dog
Finally, Ben said he could never bring himself to own a Bernese mountain dog.
“This one makes me quite sad,” he confessed.
“They are what I would call a ‘heartbreak’ dog breed.
“They tend to be really sweet natured and make great family dogs but I can never bring myself to get one because of their horribly high risk of cancer.
“There’s a type of aggressive cancer which is very rare in most dog breeds but kills one in seven Bernese mountain dogs and it’s called histiocytic sarcoma, which they do tend to get it in the middle to older age.
“But I think I’m just too scarred by seeing too many Bernese mountain dogs diagnosed with this problem.”
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