Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome – how to care for our flat faced friends.
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS), is a combination of abnormalities affecting short faced dogs and cats, known as brachycephalic breeds. Although these animals are very cute and loveable, BOAS effects the quality and length of life of affected breeds. The syndrome is the result of the deliberate breeding for shorter faced animals which has caused the detrimental side effect of defective airways. Some notable brachycephalic breeds include French Bulldogs, Pugs, English Bulldogs and Persian cats.
The four main classifications of BOAS include:
The classic ‘snore’ or ‘grunt’ seen in brachycephalic breeds is evidence of the abnormalities of BOAS outlined above.
The main health concerns for brachycephalic breeds diagnosed with BOAS include increased risk of overheating, Increased pressure and risk of airway collapse (both windpipe and lung airways) and a decrease in oxygenation to vital organs (such as the brain) - all secondary to the increased airway obstruction. Due to the chaotic and turbulent oxygen exchange in brachycephalic breeds, another associated risk is aspiration pneumonia (food, water or saliva going down into the lungs). In addition to airway disease, brachycephalic breeds are pre-disposed to certain gastrointestinal diseases causing regurgitation, which can further complicate and increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
Treatment and prevention of brachycephalic airway syndrome:
At Allambie Vet our team is skilled in assessing your pets for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome and experienced in performing corrective surgery if necessary. If you have a flat-faced friend in your household, feel free to make an appointment or contacts us for advice on an airway assessment or for further information and guidance specific to your pet.
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