Description of original endoscopic findings and respiratory functional assessment using barometric whole-body plethysmography in dogs suffering from brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome.

Research paper by Frédérique F Bernaerts, Jesús J Talavera, Jérôme J Leemans, Annick A Hamaide, Stéphanie S Claeys, Nathalie N Kirschvink, Cécile C Clercx

Indexed on: 28 Oct '08Published on: 28 Oct '08Published in: The Veterinary Journal


The clinical features of brachycephalic airway obstructive disease in 11 brachycephalic dogs are described in this study. The respiratory strategy was assessed before (n=11) and after (n=6) surgery using barometric whole-body plethysmography (BWBP), with the relationship between BWBP variables and the severity of the clinical signs assessed by the use of a respiratory score based on clinical, radiographic and endoscopic findings. Partial collapse of the left main bronchus was a common finding not previously described as part of the brachycephalic airway obstructive disease syndrome. Epiglottic cysts, laryngeal granulomas and nasopharyngeal turbinates in English Bulldogs were other previously unreported findings. No significant correlation between the respiratory score and any of the BWBP variables was detected. Compared to healthy dogs, brachycephalic dogs had a significantly lower Te/Ti ratio (expiratory time over inspiratory time), peak inspiratory flow (PIF) per kg bodyweight (BW), significantly higher peak expiratory flow (PEF) per kgBW, PEF/PIF, and enhanced pause. These variations are compatible with upper airway obstructions primarily in the extrathoracic airways. Following surgery, a significant decrease in PEF/PIF was detected. The study showed that BWBP could be used to characterise the respiratory strategy in brachycephalic dogs before and after surgery.