The Brachicephalic Symdrome

This congenital and hereditary problem develops in brachycephalic dogs, that is, dogs that have a larger head and a flattened muzzle. The breeds most at risk are therefore the Bulldog, Pug, Pekingese, Boxer, Boston Terrier, Shar Pei, some Shih Tzu and some Lhasa Apso.

The abnormalities found in this syndrome are stenosis of the nostrils and elongation of the soft palate.

In the first case, the patient's nostrils are partially or completely blocked, which prevents air from circulating properly in the respiratory system. The animal is continually out of breath and is forced to breathe through its mouth.

In some patients, this problem is combined with an excessively long soft palate. This organ has the function of blocking the esophagus or the trachea, depending on the activity of the dog. In affected dogs, the abnormally long veil remains stuck and blocks the passage of air in the trachea, thus causing noises and breathing difficulties (snoring, snorting), a higher risk of heat stroke, intolerance to exercise and increased cardiac effort.

These abnormalities are corrected surgically. It is possible to remove part of the nostrils and the soft palate to clear the airways. The surgery is done by laser to limit pain, allow better healing and reduce bleeding.

Healing is relatively quick, and surgery has a high success rate. You will then be able to see a huge improvement in the quality of life of your animal.


Catherine Lapierre, Technicienne en santé animale certifiée