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.
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.
BB is an excellent example of cognitive dissonance that is part of owning a bulldog. Cognitive dissonance is the inability to see obvious concerns as they have been ‘normalised”. Believing BB was a totally healthy, fit and normal Bulldog, her owner still elected for “preventative airway correction“ before any signs developed, as that made sense to him. However, the difference post-surgery was astounding, with 80% more energy and a far happier dog. We all believe our brachycephlics have no problems, because that’s what the breeders want you to believe. BB’s story is common.
Told by two vets that there’s no need for surgery as snoring is “not that bad”, her improvements in snoring and exercise tolerance and happiness in life were significant. BB is another excellent example that significant improvements are likely in most dogs that are considered normal with no concerns. The fact that many seemingly “normal” dogs have significant improvements in happiness and life tells us we have a big problem with these breeds. All these breeds benefit from surgery, even if they don’t ‘need it’ to live.
At five years of age before doing airway correction, Clyde was lucky to get such a huge improvement. But no longer vomiting and with a huge improvement in exercise ability, his life is massively improved. The saddest thing is the five unnecessary years of vomiting, not enjoying toys and restricted exercise that he need not have endured had airway corection been done at 12 months of age. It’s never too late, but ideally consider preventative surgery, no reactionary.
Roxy is another dog that endured numerous years of subtle but unnecessary lethargy and exercise intolerance, only to be a new dog full of life after correcting her airways. As good a result as Roxy got, preventative surgery at 12 months would have meant 5 much happier years than she had.