Brachycephalic Specific Surgery
What is Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome?
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome is the term given to the effects that the shortened head of these animals has on the passage of air through the upper airways. The signs can vary in severity from mild snoring or snorting noises to severe breathing problems.
Animals suffering from clinically significant BOAS can struggle to breathe during exercise and may suffer collapse due to lack of air. The reliance of dogs on panting to cool themselves also makes animals suffering from BOAS very susceptible to overheating and developing potentially very serious breathing difficulties in hot conditions.
Brachycephalic breeds include those breeds of dogs and cats that have an obvious, characteristic short or squashed nose appearance. Any breed of dog or cat with a brachycephalic head conformation can be affected:
- English Bulldog
- French Bulldog
- Dogue de Bordeaux
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Lhasa Apso
- Shih Tsu
Common Brachycephalic problems include:
• Narrow nares (nostrils)
• Overlong palate
• Secondary effects such as collapse of the larynx (voice box)
While dogs are commonly presented to vets with clinically significant problems resulting from BOAS, cats are rarely presented for treatment. This may partly be a reflection of the more sedentary lifestyle of some cats compared to dogs. Most cats that are presented only require treatment for narrowed nares.
Narrowed nares can dramatically increase the resistance to air flow into the nose of brachycephalic breeds. This, combined with the tendency for the cartilage supports of the nares to collapse during inspiration, requires a much larger effort than normal in order to breathe.
An overlong soft palate can partially obstruct air flow into the trachea and also cause turbulent airflow in the area of the larynx. Both of these effects further increases the effort required for an affected animal to breathe in, and can cause significant inflammation of the upper airway.
• Overlong Soft Palate
The excess length of the soft palate can be reduced by surgery in order to reduce the interference with air flow into the larynx (voice box).
• Stenotic Nares (narrowed nostrils)
Removal of a section of the cartilage of the front of the nose or a section of skin next to the nose can improve the airflow through the nares.
Entropion in Dogs
Entropion is an uncomfortable or painful condition in which the eyelids roll inward, allowing the eyelashes (or other hair) to rub against the cornea and irritate it. The upper and/or lower eyelids can be involved, and the condition can occur in either one eye or both.
Entropion can also occur as a secondary condition as the result of scaring in an eyelid infection. The most common signs include an excessive amount of tears from the affected eye, rubbing, and sensitivity to light.
Predisposed breeds include:
- Bull Mastiffs
- Cavalier King Charles
- Chow Chow
- Cocker Spaniel
- English Bulldogs
- Golden Retrievers
- Great Danes
- Irish Setters
- Labrador Retriever
- Chinese Shar-Pei
- Saint Bernards, and others
Also known as Prolapsed Third Eyelid
The prolapse of the third eyelid lacrimal gland is commonly called Cherry Eye. The third eye is present in many animal species including dogs and cats (it is also called the Nictitating membrane) which serves as an additional layer protection to the eye. It contains a special tear producing lacrimal gland. This gland produces the liquid film protection of the eye.
Sometimes the gland pops out from its location, a condition called Cherry Eye.
What are the clinical signs of Cherry Eye?
Clinically it appears as a swollen red mass on the lower eyelid, near the nose. It can be quite large and can cover 3/4 of the cornea (common with English BullDogs).
The gland can be surgically replaced or re-attached.
Why Might this Procedure be Necessary?
When an eyeball is damaged to the point where there is no chance of regaining vision and is painful, the removal of the eye is indicated to alleviate the pain.
The conditions that frequently trigger a decision of enucleation include:
- Deep trauma
- Severe infections
- … and more
These diseases concern brachycephalic breeds more frequently than other breeds due to their flat face and overly exposed eyes. The surgery carries a very good prognosis with no or very rare complications.
A liver tumor is an anarchic and unregulated proliferation and replication of cells in the liver. The liver organ has a high regenerative capacity. The removal of one lobe doesn’t compromise the overall function of the organ– which is to cleanse the blood from toxins (such as medications), along with digestive functions (nutrient processing, bile production etc…)
There are different types of liver tumors, the possibility of removal depends on the stage and advancement of the initial tumor as well as its location. Right-sided tumors are for example more excisable than left-sided tumors.