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Results of Surgical Correction of Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome

Cynthia V. Torrez, BS (College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University)

Geraldine B. Hunt BVSc MVetClinStud PhD FACVSc, Associate Professor in Small Animal Surgery, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006  Australia


Presenting signs, breed predisposition and outcome after surgical correction of brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome were reviewed retrospectively in 73 cases. Stenotic nares were present in 31/73 dogs (42.5%), elongated soft palate in 63 (86%) and everted laryngeal saccules in 43 dogs (59%). Laryngeal collapse was identified in 34/64 dogs (53%) with records complete enough to permit analysis.  Breeds most represented were the Pug (26%), Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (20.5%), British Bulldog (19.2%) and Staffordshire Bull Terrier (5.5%).  Post-operative complications included dyspnoea (20.3%) necessitating emergency tracheostomy in 5 dogs (7.8%), cough (9.4%), infection/inflammation (6.3%), and vomiting/regurgitation (4.7%).  No dogs died peri-operatively.  Telephone interviews with owners of 46 dogs indicated that 26 dogs (56.5%) were much improved after surgery, 15 (32.6%) had some improvement and 5 (10.9%) showed no improvement.  Signs that persisted after surgery were snoring (73.9%), stertor/stridor (50%), excessive panting (28.3%), snorting (21.7%), and dyspnoea (21.7%).  Long-term outcome after surgery was good, even in dogs with laryngeal collapse.  Only one dog died from respiratory problems 3 years after surgery.

The Summer Veterinary Student Research Fellowship Program at Texas A&M University is funded by the College of Veterinary Medicine and awards by the Research Committee of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association and the Merck-Merial Veterinary Scholars Research Program. 

The University of Sydney Veterinary Centre Faculty and Staff supported the research project with their facilities, supplies, and time.