Stenotic nares refers to the two nostrils having a much smaller opening than normal nosed dogs. Very simply, look at a Labrador or a Kelpie’s nose and you will get an idea of how nice and wide nares should be to enable a dog to get the air they need to breathe properly.
Now look at your own dogs nares if you own a brachycephalic breed and use this guide as an example. You can very quickly decide if your dogs nostrils are as open as a normal nose dog (which is very rare) , or 1/4, 1/2 or 3/4 narrower than normal. In fact many brachycephalic dogs have severely stenotic nares – almost closed! Then try this simple test:
Pinch your own nose off about the same amount – 1/2 or 3/4 (often it will be almost closed in many cases), then breathe with your mouth shut for one whole minute. Don’t stop after 30 seconds, stay the course for one whole minute. Then release your nose.
How relieved do you feel once you’ve done this? Now think…Why would anyone commit the dog they love to this for life when it’s so easy to correct? Our clinic see’s many dogs still have stenotic nares after they have been desexed which means that veterinarians have missed the opportunity to provide this simple correction early on. Opening the nose at desexing, while in experienced brachycephalic surgeon’s hands, is quick, easy, and costs only $190 if it is done at that time. This then gives a significantly more comfortable life in itself.
Hence our question is this:
Why is any dog with stenotic nares ever desexed without opening up their nares for the comfort of the dog?
Unfortunately the answer lies with the fact that most general practitioners do not offer this, preferring to do the desexing themselves (as they may not have the skill to widen nares), and not offering or recommending to you – the owner of the dog, that as a bare minimum you should get his/her nares done at desexing.
From here on we encourage you to look at all these breeds noses, and if anyone you know has a dog that has not yet been desexed, help educate them (as their vet likely won’t!) and don’t let them desex their dog without understanding that they have an opportunity to give a great gift to their dog for the rest of their life for almost no cost, and virtually zero downside.