The brachycephalic syndrome (BTSS) is a combination of abnormalities of the upper respiratory tract in dogs, which leading to partial obstruction of the upper respiratory system. Usually we think this syndrome mostly occurs in dogs with flattened snouts like English bulldog, pug, Boston terrier and the Pekingese, but you should know that cats can also suffer from it (Persian). BTSS include narrowed nostrils, extended soft palate, eventration of laryngeal saccules, laryngeal collapse and hypoplastic trachea. Affected dogs and cats may have a combination of these conditions. All these conditions can be diagnosed after a thorough clinical examination of the oral cavity, which requires only mild sedation and x-rays of the chest.
What to monitor?
Clinical signs include noisy breathing, snoring, fast tiring, regurgitation, vomiting, seizures and difficulty breathing. Many animals with BTSS can not withstand the heat. In its milder forms, or in its initial stage animals with success may be subjected to weight reduction, control of movement and residence in the cooler atmosphere. But if the animals have breathing problems they may need to be hospitalized, because they need to take oxygen, to be sedated and to take anti-inflammatory medications. In urgent cases, some dogs will need a tracheostomy (a tube that assisting breathing).
If you notice that your pet snore loudly or is easily tired after walking, coughing, choking, has often wheezing or gasping heavily, then it may have signs of BTSS. If you think that your pet has BTSS contact your veterinarian to be able to take timely therapy (surgical or drug) and to facilitate the breathing of your pet.
If your animal breathing very difficult and does not have enough air or have dark red or purple tongue, you should immediately seek emergency veterinary assistance!
How the surgery can help to a my animal?
Most brachycephalic animals are born with narrow nostrils or hypoplastic trachea or both and while developing these conditions they lead to an extension of the soft palate, eversion of laryngeal saccules and end-stage laryngeal collapse. So if you catch earlier it is possible to slow down or stop the progression of clinical signs. Only narrow nostrils, elongated soft palate and everted laryngeal saccules can be fixed with surgical repair, but most animals live much more comfortably after surgery performed.
Most animals remain under 24 hour surveillance after surgery, so they can be closely monitored after anesthesia and surgery. Complications after surgery are uncommon, but may include changes in voice and barking, pneumonia and secretion from the nose and secretion from stitches.