ISSN 2398-2950      

Brachycephalic airway obstruction

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Contributor(s):

Vetstream Ltd

Synonym(s): Brachycephalic upper airway obstruction syndrome, BAOS, BAS, BUAOS


Introduction

  • Cause: congenital anatomical defects present in brachycephalic breeds.
  • Signs: mouth breathing, stertorous breathing, collapse when playing, cyanosis.
  • Diagnosis: breed, signs, radiography and advanced imaging, endoscopic examination.
  • Treatment: surgical correction of underlying defects.
  • Prognosis: good in mild-moderate cases with surgery.
Print off the owner factsheet on Brachycephalic upper airway obstruction syndrome (BUAOS) Brachycephalic upper airway obstruction syndrome (BUAOS) to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Syndrome comprising one or more of the following defects:
    • Elongated soft palate.
    • Everted larngeal saccules Larynx disease.
    • Collapsed larynx.
    • Stenotic nares.
    • Hypoplastic trachea.
    • There may also be a contribution from intranasal stenosis due to abnormal conchae and from nasopharyngeal turbinates.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Obesity.
  • Hot weather.
  • Exercise.
  • Excitement.

Pathophysiology

  • Airflow through airways is impeded due to abnormal anatomy   →   noisy breathing and inadequate oxygen intake to meet increased demands.
  • Restricted airflow   →   increased inspiratory effort   →   increased negative pressure within airway and eversion of laryngeal saccules, in severe cases laryngeal collapse. Both changes exacerbate the problem.
  • Increased respiratory effort may   →   upper airway edema   →   further obstruction to airflow and vicious cycle is set in motion.

Timecourse

  • Weeks to months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Corgozinho K B, Pereira A N, Cunha S C et al (2012) Recurrent pulmonary edema secondary to elongated soft palate in a cat. J Feline Med Surg 14 (6), 417-419 PubMed.
  • Hammond G, Geary M, Coleman E et al (2011) Radiographic measurements of the trachea in domestic shorthair and Persian cats. J Feline Med Surg 13 (12), 881-884 PubMed.
  • Mercurio A (2011) Complications of upper airway surgery in companion animals. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 41 (5), 969-980 PubMed.
  • Engberg (2010) Brachycephalic cats - is it too late for the Persian? J Feline Med Surg 12 (1), 55 PubMed.
  • Keyes M (2010) Brachycephalic cats - is it too late for the Persian? J Feline Med Surg 12 (1), 55 PubMed.
  • Ginn J A, Kumar M S A, McKiernan B C et al (2008) Nasopharyngeal turbinates in brachycephalic dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 44 (5), 243-249 PubMed.
  • Aron D N, Crowe D T (1985) Upper airway obstruction. General principles and selected conditions in the dog and cat. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 15 (5), 891-917 PubMed.

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