Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome

Certain dog (and cat) breeds have shorter heads and noses compared to other breeds, classing them as a brachycephalic. The most common examples of these dogs are Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Griffons and Shih Tzus.
The issue with the genetic shortening of the nose is that the airway can get obstructed. The opening of the nostrils/nares are much narrower, and the soft palate (roof of the mouth) becomes very long. This can make day to day activity for these breeds difficult, as it restricts oxygen availability.
This can present as abnormal noise in the throat while breathing, such as grunting, gurgling, snorting and snoring. Over time, this can cause irreversible damage to the lungs and bronchi as well as limiting the quality of life that is available. These patients also have a higher anaesthetic risk because of this condition so we recommend taking the opportunity to do this surgery at the time of de-sexing.
Our team of vets assess each animal individually when coming in for vaccinations as puppies so can give you more information during your appointment. Don’t worry if you have an older pet, we are more than happy to assess them too as we want all our brachys to be comfortable!
Below is a photo of Obi (a very sweet 1 year old French Bulldog) who was admitted for this surgical procedure here at Pakuranga Vets earlier this year.
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