Reminder: Login to access new features and members-only content!

Register to be a member of our community. Its easy!

Register a new account

Already a member?

Log In here!


Did you find our content interesting or helpful? Help support the IPFD enhance health, well-being and welfare for dogs everywhere.

Jump to content

Current thinking about brachycephalic syndrome: more than just airways

    "Brachycephalic syndrome (BS) describes the result of hereditary abnormalities occurring in dogs and cats from selective breeding for shorter heads and dorsorotation of the face. Although respiratory problems are the best recognised of the problems associated with BS, the problem is not limited to the respiratory tract, writes Kathryn M Pratschke, North East Veterinary Referrals, Northumberland Business Park West, UK"


    See the article which was published in the Veterinary Ireland Journal I Volume 5 Number 11



    BS is a complex mixture of hereditary defects that progress with time to induce secondary changes some of which are not treatable. Selective breeding for a flat-faced conformation has played a significant role in promoting and perpetuating this disease. Traditionally, BS was considered to involve predominantly the airways, hence the use of terms, such as brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. However, these patients can suffer adverse effects on several body systems including digestive, skin and eyes in addition to having sleep disorders, exercise and heat intolerance. For this reason, it may be more appropriate to move towards using a broader term such as BS.

    The degree of airway obstruction can be alleviated through surgery, which in some cases will be life saving. These patients are challenging anaesthetic candidates, requiring a careful and efficient approach from all staff involved. It is also important to take account of all morbidities present so that all necessary treatment can be provided and a realistic prognosis discussed with clients. Better success is achieved by treating patients early, rather than once severe secondary changes have developed. Unfortunately, there is a serious issue with inability on the part of clients, and perhaps also some clinical signs of BS as being a genuine problem. All too often, something that is truly abnormal is perceived as normal for the breed. This means that assessment and treatment may not be provided in a sufficiently timely manner, and the prognosis consequently suffers. Although there is growing awareness of the potential welfare issues involved, there is clearly still a requirement for education of veterinary professionals, dog breeders and the wider public.



Edited by Ann Milligan

  Report Entry

User Feedback

Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.