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Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a common condition that affects flat-faced breeds of dog. The condition refers to a range of issues they can have with their breathing and across the Animal Trust group, we are seeing an increased number of dogs with the syndrome. Here is more of one pet’s story.

French Bulldogs are one of the flat-faced breeds of dog who are prone to suffering from BOAS and owner, Mr Jones discusses first noticing symptoms in his 1-year-old Frenchie, Loki.

‘’Loki’s breathing gradually began to get very noisy and on occasion, he was struggling to breathe properly’’; says owner Frank Jones. He continues to add that Loki would become very lethargic after just 10 minutes of exercise and he had experienced an episode of collapse after running.

After noticing these symptoms in Loki Mr Jones booked him a free consultation at Animal Trust Birkenhead, where Loki was examined by one of the surgeries vets. Following his consultation, the vet recommended that Loki undergo BOAS surgery, which would see his symptoms greatly improve.

Commenting on the case, Loki’s vet said; ‘’BOAS is a common condition in French Bulldogs, British Bulldogs and Pugs. This is due to the fact that their nasal cavities are compact inside their short snout, which causes increased resistance to airflow.’’

The vet continues; ‘’The flat faces of these breeds means that their soft palate is to long and thick and this forces obstructions to form at the back of their throat, which in turn leads to noisy breathing and/or snoring — two of the more common symptoms.’’

BOAS surgery birkenhead
Boas Surgery Success Birkenhead

The majority of dogs who are affected by brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome will experience symptoms between the ages of one to three. The most common signs to be aware of include;

  • Noisy breathing
  • Snoring
  • Lameness/disinterest in exercising
  • Collapse or fainting

For a dog suffering from symptoms of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome, there are multiple forms of treatment. These include; weight loss, medication and walking them on a harness. In more severe cases surgery is the recommended option and this was preferred in Loki’s case.

Commenting on his surgery, Loki’s vet said; ‘’We performed a soft palate resection and rhinoplasty on Loki, which will help relieve him of his breathing difficulties.’’

During surgery, a section of cartilage at the front of the nose is removed which helps to improve the airflow through the nostrils, and the soft palate is shortened to reduce obstruction in the throat.

Owner Mr Jones adds; ‘’Loki has recovered really well from his surgery and I am so pleased with his progress. Consultations and all follow-ups with the vet have always been free of charge too and this has helped to give peace of mind.’’

Learn more about BOAS and book a free consultation at your local Animal Trust surgery if you are concerned about your pet.

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