This particular problem occurs in what is known as “brachycephalic” dog breeds; that is , those breeds with very short faces with almost no snout. These breeds include: Chihuahua, Bulldog, King Charles Spaniel, Pug, Boston Terrier, Maltese, Pekinese, ShiTzu, and Boxer, primarily.
Dog owners are familiar with the noisy respiratory sounds these breeds make – snorting and almost snoring as they breathe, even while resting. This is related to some anatomic abnormalities such as stenotic nares (narrow nasal openings), elongated soft palate, and a few abnormalities found in the trachea, larynx and pharynx. Some dogs can have one or two or several of these abnormalities – the condition worsens the more abnormalities present.
This condition has similarities with “sleep apnea” in people, because in severe conditions, dogs can’t get adequate oxygenation, which can affect the overall health of the pet.
The correction involves surgically resecting the elongated soft palate, primarily, plus repairing any of the other abnormalities.
When addressed early enough in the pet’s life, significant improvement is made in the quality of life.
As with any airway problem, it is important to do a thorough examination, including radiographs of the chest. Sedation may be needed to evaluate the throat and upper airways.
VIP stands for Very Important Pets, and ALL pets are important! Whether a person owns a dog, cat, bird, reptile, rabbit, hamster or horses and other large animals, their pet is an integral part of their daily life and are considered part of the family. For this reason, VIP considers it a privilege to have people trust us with their pets. We are dedicated in providing the latest in veterinary medical and surgical techniques and care with the purpose of keeping pets healthy.
VIP Veterinary Services is located at 26111 Bouquet Canyon Road, D-5 in Santa Clarita. Please call us at 661-222-PETS(7387)
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