BOAS Corrective Surgery

What is BOAS?

Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome, i.e. the so-called BOAS is a number of anatomical abnormalities and the resulting clinical symptoms, occurring in dogs and cats characterized by a significant flattening of the muzzle, and closely related to the extreme shortening of the facial part of the skull.

The mentioned defects resulting from selective breeding include, among others:

  • narrowing of the nostrils
  • hypertrophy of the soft palate
  • eversion of the laryngeal pouches, hypoplasia of the larynx
  • hypertrophy and eversion of the tonsils
  • collapse of the trachea +/- bronchi
  • tongue hypertrophy
  • distortion of frontal sinuses
  • nasolacrimal duct anomalies
  • malocclusion and dental defects.

The above-mentioned defects may occur individually or several each. All of them are congenital and progressive, which means that they progress over time, leading to an exacerbation of symptoms at some point. Additionally, over time, one anomaly may cause another – e.g. narrowing of the nostrils, due to chronically increased negative pressure in the respiratory tract, may lead to the collapse of the trachea.

Predisposed breeds

Breeds that are particularly predisposed include:

  • french bulldog
  • english bulldog
  • pug
  • shih tzu
  • pekingese
  • boxer
  • chihuahua
  • persian cat
  • himalayan cat
  • exotic cat
  • british shorthair cat
  • scottish fold.

Symptoms of BOAS

Most common symptoms of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome include:

  • exercise intolerance (getting tired quickly)
  • intolerance of high temperatures
  • snoring
  • noisy breathing
  • frequent breathing with the mouth open
  • shortness of breath
  • increased work of the abdomen while breathing
  • increased salivation
  • gastrointestinal reflux
  • pouring down
  • tendency to vomit
  • gases.

Treatment of BOAS

Pharmacological treatment is often ineffective and does not provide lasting results. There is only one form of a proper traetment – surgery. This is the only way to reduce breathing resistance and restore proper air flow in the respiratory tract. As a result of surgical intervention, the general health condition and quality of life of the animal affected by the syndrome significantly improve.

The most frequently performed procedures include correction (widening) of the nostrils – the so-called rhinoplasty, and shortening of the soft palate (removal of excess tissue). At SaskaVet it is possible to perform both.

The earlier surgical treatment is undertaken, the greater the chance of stopping the development of secondary abnormalities.

You should also realize that a single surgery may not bring the expected results – sometimes several procedures are needed to achieve a satisfactory result.