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Brachycephalic Airway Surgery

In short-nose (face) dog breeds like, Pugs, English and French bulldogs, Shih-Tzus and Pekingese, facial and nasal malformation causes respiratory difficulty. These include:

  • Stenotic nares
  • Elongated soft palate
  • Everted laryngeal saccule
  • Hypoplastic trachea

All of the above conditions cause brachycephalic dogs to breath harder even at rest. Breathing harder is mainly noted as snoring, loud respiratory noise even when sleeping, and excessive panting. These dogs almost invariably suffer from some respiratory and digestive issues due to the above malformations. Several dogs experience syncope which are collapsing episodes due to less oxygenation of brain tissue.

How is Brachycephalic Syndrome diagnosed?

A physical exam and clinical signs observed by you and your primary care veterinarian are mainly used to diagnose this syndrome. You may observe the following at home:

  • Loud breathing
  • Comma shaped nostrils
  • Exercise intolerance

In many cases however, further diagnostic tools are used to assess the different components of brachycephalic syndrome. Dr Jha and his team may use the following tools to confirm one or the other component of brachycephalic syndrome in your pet:

  • Sedation and oral examination
  • Bronchoscopy
  • X rays of the chest and abdomen
  • CT scan of head

How is Brachycephalic Syndrome treated?

Our main goal is to widen the airway in these dog breeds. The following procedures are commonly done:

  • Widening of the nostrils
  • Removal of everted saccule
  • Trimming of elongated soft palate

Anesthesia in Brachycephalic Dogs:
Our surgical team’s main focus is to practice a very safe anesthesia in these breeds. Two of our most experienced anesthesia technicians are responsible for making the anesthesia plan for your pet friend along with our veterinary surgeons. Anesthesia in these breeds can be challenging and hence we pay utmost attention before, during, and post surgery to keep your pet safe.

Does your dog need a Brachycephalic Syndrome surgery?
Any brachycephalic dog will benefit from thesis surgical procedure as they breathe with ease and have less respiratory and digestive issues thus improving their quality of life.

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Pet Specialists of Austin


3901 Guadalupe St Austin, TX 78751

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Emergency Clinic Hours: 24/7 Specialty Service Hours: Mon-Fri* 8 am - 6 pm *Select services