This example is extremely important for all brachycephalic owners as well as veterinarians to take into consideration. Initial surgeons did a basic surgery, nares opening and palate shortening, citing absolutely nothing else could be done upon a poor initial result. Sent to another specialist, they disagreed suggesting the saccules and tonsils should be removed, the nares opened wider than the first surgery, and the palate shortened a lot more and also thinned. This demonstrates the importance of understanding the meaning or a pro-active 5/5 surgeon as opposed to a surgeon that may do all 5 aspects only if really necessary (often synonymous with the fact the don’t really do them). Our own clinic does many revision assessments demonstrating the same problem, a difference of opinion of what does and does not need to be done.
Frankie 2 Weeks Post-op Frankie is a three and a half year old Frenchie who came to see us with a long history of breathing difficulties, snoring and regurgitation. This is a common combination of symptoms that we see in this breed, especially in dogs that have not had airway assessment and relevant correction at…
Miki represents a significant problem with brachycephalic breeds, in particular in British bulldogs with hypoplastic tracheas. As we know, their excessively squashed faces cause enough welfare issues, but many dogs also have a trachea (windpipe) that is abnormally narrow which exacerbates their breathing concerns.
Maxi was left very late for airway correction at almost 4 years, but still had huge improvements in vomiting, from almost daily to 90% reduced. Maxi also had huge improvements in energy levels. But he also has stage 2 laryngeal collapse, a narrowing of the larynx that can never be fixed. Fortunately, 5/5 surgery gives the best chance of stopping this progression to stage 3, which is critical. Maxi spent 4 years regurgitating and having significantly less exercise than he could have had as these signs were considered “normal “for a bulldog.
Specialists had worked on Winston’s vomiting for 6 months without result before he came to see us. Post BOAS surgery the vomiting was 95% improved. Snoring and exercise noise were also significantlyreduced, and exercise tolerance massively improved. This is a classic example of our recommendations not to bother working up vomiting unless still of concern after airway correction, as it’s almost always related to restricted airways.
Winnie was a classic severe hypoplastic trachea that most surgeons recommend euthanasia. Although the prognosis for severe hypoplastic trachea is poor, with very high risks, Winnie’s owner was keen to try anything if there was a chance. Clearing out as much of her airway restrictions as we could, Winnie came through with flying colours and is leading a very healthy life.
Told by the breeder surgery is not needed (almost ubiquitous but very poor advice by most breeders), Harry’s owner noticed huge differences in exercise ability and quality of life post routine airway improvement at desexing at 8 months of age. There were huge reductions in snoring, exercise noise and most importantly, a significant improvement in exercise ability, even though he was considered “normal” by the breeder, and the owner himself. We commonly find people believing their dogs exercise “really well with no concerns at all”, then have twice as much energy post airway maximisation.
Across the board improvement in snoring, exercise tolerance and especially vomiting, from two times weekly to almost nothing and a doubling of exercise ability, Maggie was left very late in life at 3 years of age rather than 12 months, so was lucky to get such a result.
Marley had early BOAS surgery with little response, then spent a year at specialists trying to work up why he was vomiting. A typical case of why we start by keeping everything simple, Marley had only had 2/5 airway correction, hence we started with a revision 5/5 surgery. He needed all 5 aspects done (and re done) and his improvements across the board were dramatic (including vomiting). His case highlights the option of just doing appropriate 5/5 airway correction before spending 12 months in and out of specialists doing exhaustive tests to try to work out what’s going on.