Prognostic indicators of short-term outcome in dogs undergoing surgery for brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome

14 Nov 2020

Seneviratne, M., Kaye, B. M., Ter Haar, G.

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The aims of this study were to assess the impact of epidemiological variables, severity of presurgical respiratory signs, diagnostic findings from pharyngeal and laryngeal examination using a new grading scheme and CT scan images, on postsurgical outcome in dogs undergoing surgery for brachycephalic obstruction airway syndrome (BOAS).


An owner-based questionnaire was used to grade dogs based on their respiratory signs before surgery and at least six weeks after surgery. Epidemiological data and results from presurgical pharyngeal and laryngeal examination and CT scan findings for 75 dogs undergoing airway surgery were collected from the medical records.


70.7 per cent of dogs showed an improvement in respiratory signs following rhinoplasty and palatoplasty. This improvement was associated with the severity of inspiratory efforts and the Poncet score on presentation, but not with any other clinical sign or anatomical abnormality found during BOAS assessment, nor by the degree of craniofacial shortening as determined by CT-scan. Presurgical snoring was positively associated with the degree of narrowing of pharyngeal dimensions.


Dogs presenting with clinical signs of BOAS benefit from rhinoplasty and palatoplasty alone. The degree of narrowing of pharyngeal dimensions appears to be associated with severity of snoring while soft palate length alone was not.