Certain dog breeds have shorter bones around the face and note, leading to breathing problems. When they become severe, pet airway surgery may be required. The vets at Aloha Affordable Veterinary Services have the experience you want when it comes to performing pet airway surgery procedures on a beloved family pet.
What Causes Pet Breathing Issues?
Brachycephalic airway syndrome covers a group of upper airway malformations that affect certain dog breeds. It’s also referred to as congenital obstructive upper airway disease, brachycephalic syndrome, or brachycephalic respiratory syndrome.
The condition manifests itself in various ways, including:
- Unusually small or narrow nostrils
- Excess bone in the nose ridge that extends into the pharynx
- An elongated soft palate
- A smaller than average trachea
Dogs with brachycephalic can end up with a collapsed larynx and other serious conditions because of the pressure caused by the other abnormalities. In addition, the medical condition can lead to changes in the lungs and gastrointestinal tract, including:
- Bronchial collapse
- Chronic gastritis
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
Dogs diagnosed with brachycephalic airway syndrome often breathe noisily or snort when they get excited. More severe symptoms, including breathing problems, may manifest as:
- Lack of appetite
- Loss of consciousness after exercise
- Airway restrictions
- Heart strain
What Does Pet Airway Surgery Involve?
If the condition affects your dog’s breathing ability, your vet may recommend pet airway surgery to provide relief. Early correction of any abnormalities typically leads to better outcomes. There are several procedures available to handle different obstructions.
- Stenotic nares — Dogs with nostrils that are too narrow for normal breathing may wheeze excessively and breathe through their mouth. Pet airway surgery would involve removing a small wedge of tissue from the nostrils to let in more air.
- Elongated palate — The surgeon removes any excess tissue hanging over the trachea to shorten the palate and allow more airflow.
- Everted laryngeal saccules — These tiny sacs located inside the larynx may get pulled into your dog’s airway because of the pressure caused by an elongated palate or stenotic nares. Pet airway surgery in these cases involves removing the excess tissue pouches.
Because there may be swelling around the surgical areas, we keep an eye on animals for a period after the pet surgery. Dogs who undergo stenotic nares pet airway surgery usually go home the same day.
Once we feel that they came through the procedure successfully, we provide owners with detailed instructions on how to care for their furry friends as they recover. Dogs younger than two years of age typically have an easier time during the post-operative phase.
Make sure you follow the instructions provided to you to help your dog have a successful recovery. Pets should remain on a soft food diet for at least two weeks. You should also set up a quiet, cool spot where your dog can recover.