This pointed 'joke' is lifted from a Facebook page called Emergency Vet Tech Memes.
For those that don't know what they're seeing - this is an endotracheal tube, used during surgery to keep the airways open and deliver oxygen (and anaesthetic) to the patient.
Normally, ET tubes are whipped out once the patient comes round enough for the swallow reflex to restart - and not least because they're uncomfortable.
But this little dog clamped down on the tube, preventing the vet techs from moving it, so they left it in for a while longer. As you can see, he looks chilled. That's because the tube ensures the dog's airways are open. In brachycephalic breeds, coming round from an anaesthetic with an ET tube still in place can mean the first truly clear and unhindered breath of their waking lives.
Just as sad and telling are some of the comments from other vet techs in response to the pic.
• "Hahahaha!! I know that's right! Never fails! Best SPO2 of their life!"
• "Bahahaha true, yet terrifying when you de-tube lol"
Don't be put off - this is black humour; a way of coping when a fair proportion of your working life is spent trying to fix problems inflicted on dogs by people who think defect and deformity is attractive.
Many vets will tell you similar stories of happy-looking Bulldogs and other brachcephalic breeds running round with the ET tube still in place post surgery.
In this very sad piece, UK vet Nick Marsh describes doing a C-section on a Bulldog called Heidi assisted by veterinary nurse, Sam.
I look sadly down at [Heidi]. Her whole life is a struggle with her own body – whenever she tries to walk, or eat, or defecate, or breathe, she has to wrestle against her own bizarre anatomy.
Placing an endotracheal tube is difficult too – Heidi’s soft palate is too long for her mouth, and it takes some searching before I manage to locate her epiglottis – but the moment the tube is in place, Heidi’s tongue loses its alarming bluish tinge and turns a reassuring pink.
“Probably the best lungful she’s had for a while,” says Sam.In truth, I've run out of novel ways to say we shouldn't be breeding dogs that live their whole lives starved of oxygen.
But I don't mind repeating myself.