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BOAS— also known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome— is a term used to describe breathing problems that are often seen in dogs that have been bred to have short noses. This worrying condition commonly affects breeds such as French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs and Pugs. 🐶
It can cause an excess of soft tissue in the upper airways that obstructs airflow and forces the animal to rely on open mouth breathing more. It can also make your dog susceptible to skin infections, as well as heart and eye problems. However, the most serious threat to your dog’s welfare is the struggle to breathe, as unfortunately, the condition can cause severe suffering and can even be fatal. 😢
Thankfully, there is something that can be done to help your cherished pet. We are proud to have wonderfully skilled Vets who will be able to carry out a BOAS assessment. They have extensive training and experience in diagnosing and treating this condition successfully, which as you can imagine is life-changing for your precious pets. 💚
This fascinating procedure involves making the nostrils wider and shortening the soft palate allowing easier passage of air down the trachea. Recently, we’ve welcomed some adorable four-legged friends through our surgery doors for BOAS surgery. Our fantastic Vets have helped to improve their breathing and set them up for a much happier and healthier life. 😊
Read on to find out more about these interesting cases…
Let us introduce you to this beautiful boy- Bentley! 🐶
Bentley recently came in to Lakeview Vets for BOAS surgery and returned to see our amazing Veterinary Surgeon Clemence last week for his post operative check. You can tell from the picture above just how happy Clemence and Bentley were to be reunited. Just look at those thank you kisses! 😘
Brachycephalic (short headed, short nosed) breeds will have some form of abnormality within their upper airway which can include narrowed (stenotic) nostrils, elongation, thickening of the soft palate as in Bentley’s case, but other causes can include overcrowding or extension of the turbinates, the ridges in the upper part of your pet’s mouth, laryngeal collapse (Pugs only) or hypoplastic trachea, the trachea (or windpipe) is much narrower than it should be. Sadly, all of these abnormalities restrict the upper airways and reduces the space available for your furry friend to breathe and get enough air into their lungs! 😢
Canine breeds that are affected include:
🔹 English Bulldog
🔹 French Bulldog
🔹 Dogue de Bordeaux
🔹 Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
🔹 Lhasa Apso
🔹 Shih Tsu
While this is a common condition in dogs, short nosed felines, e.g. Persians and Himalayan breeds can also suffer from this condition. 🐱
Prior to brave Bentley’s surgery he was given a full nose to tail pre-operative check by our fantastic Vet Clemence, before being given tailored intravenous fluids and medications to give a balanced general anaesthesia and to promote a speedy, safe recovery. 💚
Our Brachycephalic patients like Bentley are particularly in need of specialised care and our dedicated, experienced Veterinary Surgeons and Veterinary Nurses were on hand throughout his stay with us.
While under general anaesthesia Clemence performed a rhinoplasty- this is where the nares (nostrils) are widened, followed by surgical shortening of his soft palate and resection of the everted saccules (tissue) at the back of his throat, enabling the passage of air to his lungs to move more freely.
Bentley remained with us for intensive monitoring after his procedure and recovered really well, going home later that day to continue to recuperate with his loving family. 💚
If your pet exhibits any of the following or is a short nosed breed they may have Brachycephalic Airway Obstructive Syndrome:
🔹 Snorting or snoring while resting
🔹 Snorting, snoring or difficulty breathing during exercise
🔹 Prolonged recovery after exercise or when they are hot
🔹 Excessive panting in hot weather or when stressed
🔹 Restlessness at night
🔹 Sleep apnoea
🔹 Looking like they are going to be sick, retching, vomiting or regurgitation
🔹 Or even collapse
This gorgeous French Bulldog is Pluto. 😍
Pluto was a visitor at our main hospital Streatham Hill Vets earlier this year. He came in for BOAS surgery with our wonderful Lead Vet Gabriella. Isn’t he handsome? 🐶 💚
Pluto had surgery on several areas to help increase airflow. He was diagnosed with Stenotic Nares (narrowed nostrils), so Gabriella removed a section of the cartilage on the front of the nose that will help to improve the airflow through the nares.
Take a look at the picture of Pluto’s nose below. You can see the incredible difference after one nostril had been opened. 👃 👀
Pluto also had an overlong soft palate. The excess length of the soft palate was reduced during surgery to allow more air flow into the larynx. Finally, Gabriella removed Pluto’s laryngeal saccules which were everted to help with airflow. Here he is after his surgery, pictured with Gabriella.
We are pleased to say that Pluto recovered really well from his surgery! Before he went back home, our team made sure he got lots of attention and cuddles for being such a star patient! 🌟
It’s important to be able to recognise some of the signs of BOAS. If you do notice that your pet is showing any signs, please contact us immediately for advice.
The signs of BOAS are varied and can range in severity, including some or all of the following:
🔸 Excessive panting
🔸 Clear nasal discharge
🔸 Exercise intolerance
🔸 Difficulty breathing during exercise
🔸 Poor tolerance to heat stress
🔸 Restlessness at night
🔸 Sleep apnoea
🔸 Retching, regurgitation, vomiting
🔸 Collapse due to lack of air
If you are worried about your pet and would like to book them in for a BOAS assessment, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our friendly team on- 0208 674 3525. You can also book an appointment online.