Dogs are adorable – inside and out.
Not only are they a joy to look at, their kind nature also means they are likely to be the goodest boys and girls you will ever have the pleasure of meeting.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to thousands on the internet when actor and comedian Andy Richter shared an MRI scan of his friend’s dog to discover that man’s best friend was downright ‘terrifying’ on the inside.
And although many found amusement in scan of the poor little pug, a vet has said it also highlights the concerning results of selective breeding which have a detrimental impact on the health of the breed.
Andy tweeted the image from the scan showing the dog’s signature bulging eyes with the caption: ‘My friend’s pug went to the vet’.
It’s attracted more than 132,000 likes, with many left in stitches by the results.
One replied: “This made me laugh uncontrollably for two minutes straight.”
Another said: “Amazing. Pugs may be the only creature to look exactly the same in X-Ray as in visible light.”
Some were slight unsure, with a third writing: “That is simultaneously the cutest and most terrifying thing I have seen in my entire life. Thank you for the happy nightmares this image will bring me tonight.”
After the tweet went viral, Andy added an update to let everyone know that the pug was given a clean bill of health and was ‘nonplussed’ by its new found fame.
Rory Cowlam, a vet based in London, told the Independent that although most MRI images, including those taken of humans, would look unusual to the untrained eye, he conceded the pug’s snapshot was ‘pretty odd looking’
Dr Cowlam said: “Their faces have been shortened due to intensive breeding by humans, unfortunately.
“They have these massive eyes, bunched up noses – the condition is called brachycephalism.
“We have, through human selection, bred them to look more like a human baby because we find that cute, but unfortunately that cute look is not very good for the animal.”
With other breeds including French bulldogs and Shih Tzus also suffering from the same condition, Dr Cowlam said he would ‘actively encourage’ prospective owners to think again about buying animals with brachycephalism.
Others echoed his thoughts on Twitter, with one replying: “Pugs used to be healthy. The pugs we see nowadays have been bred to favor recessive traits that are cute but also potentially a factor in major health issues later in life.”
Another said: “Pugs are an abomination and a reminder of all the casual cruelty of which human being are capable.”
Dr Cowlam added that some specialists are intentionally trying to undo some of the selective breeding which has led to health problems in pugs and other breeds.