Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome
Does your dog commonly snore while sleeping or snort when excited?
What is brachycephalic airway syndrome?
Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome is a group of inherited characteristics that cause restriction of normal air movement and breathing. The 4 components of this syndrome are stenotic nares (narrow nostrils), elongated soft palate (blocks the epiglottis, preventing air flow to the trachea), everted laryngeal saccules and hypoplastic trachea (narrow trachea). One or more of these changes can be present in dogs that are at risk. The most common breeds associated with this are the pug, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier and French Bulldog.
How can this affect my dog?
Depending on the severity of these changes brachycephalic airway syndrome leads to impaired airflow that can manifest assnoring, or honking sounds. Commonly we associate these sounds as normal for the breed or cute behaviors, but this can actually represent a serious medical condition. Having brachycephalic airway syndrome predisposes patients to respiratory distress particularly in hot weather, stressful situations and during strenuous activities. In severe cases, this can even impair day to day activity and healthy sleep cycles.
What can be done to treat this?
Surgical correction is a safe and effective way to open up the airway of affected dogs. When stenotic nares are present a surgical laser is used to create wider nostrils that are cosmetic and natural in appearance. Whenthe an elongated soft palate is present a surgical device is used to seal and remove the excess tissue to prevent blockage of the trachea during breathing. When present, everted laryngeal saccules can be surgically reduced with the laser. Unfortunately there is no treatment to correct a narrow trachea, but correcting the above abnormalities can greatly improve airflow and resolve clinical signs in most cases. Most dogs with experience immeddiate relief and improved airflow right after awakening from surgery.
When can this be corrected in my dog?
Surgical correction can be performed at the same time as many elective procedures such as spay and neuter. This allows us to address these problems early as preventative medicine and improve the quality of life for your dog.
It is very important to speak to your veterinarian about your dog if you have any questions about your pet’s breathing!!
Here is a great before and after of a Brachycephalic Surgery that was performed by Dr. Adam Foret on a Pug.