Brachycephalics; AKA squishy-faced breeds

Let’s talk brachycephalics (AKA squishy-faced breeds)...


This includes, but not limited to;

- Bulldogs (incl. Frenchies)

- Pugs

- Boston terriers

- Pekingese

- Shih tzu

- Boxer

- Japanese chin

- Griffon bruxellois

- Cavalier king charles 🐶

All these breeds can be predisposed to developing Brachycephalic Obstructive Airways Syndrome (BOAS). There are 5 main components to this syndrome, some of which are primary changes and some are secondary changes. Additionally, some of these can be treated, whereas some cannot. In extreme circumstances, BOAS can lead to laryngeal collapse (which can be life-threatening to our furry friends).


Intervention prior to these secondary changes and clinical signs/deterioration and can vastly improve the quality of life of these beautiful breeds: reduce snoring, improve exercise tolerance, reduced exercise noise and in some cases, reduced/resolved regurgitation (if this is occurring).


1️⃣ Stenotic nares (squashed/small nostrils). Primary change which can be surgically treated to open the nares.

2️⃣ Elongated soft palate (soft palate too long and extends down into the airways). Primary change which can be surgically treated to shorten the soft palate. Pictured here below, is this little guy having his soft palate shorted under anaesthesia 👍🏼


3️⃣ Everted laryngeal saccules (small membranes which can evert with increased negative pressure in the airways). Secondary change which can be surgically treated to remove the everted saccules.

4️⃣ Hypoplastic trachea (smaller than normal diameter of the trachea). Primary change that cannot be surgically corrected but important to be aware of.

5️⃣ Caudal aberrant turbinates and/or hypertrophic intranasal turbinates (abnormal bony scrolls in the nasal passage that create abnormal airflow). Primary change that cannot be surgically corrected but important to be aware of. 👉🏼 There are other associated conditions with these breeds, but we will save this for another day 😊


Let us know your thoughts by sending us an email (infothevetsociety@gmail.com) if you have had any experience with these breeds (owners or veterinarians 🐕❤️)

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