Brachycephalic Syndrome in Dogs: Meet Churchill, a handsome 2 and a half-year old English bulldog. He presented to Miami Veterinary Specialists for an evaluation of increased respiratory efforts and rate when he becomes excited. He was diagnosed with brachysephalic syndrome, which is a very common syndrome in “short-headed” dogs like Churchill. Breathing complications are present because of the shape of their head, muzzle and throat. These dogs have been bred to have short muzzles and noses, causing the breathing passages to be undersized. Churchill’s breathing complications were caused because he had the following:
1. Elongated soft palate: his soft palate was too long, interfering with the flow of air into the lungs.
2. Stenotic nares: Churchill’s nostrils were too narrow, making it very difficult to breathe through his nose.
3. Stenotic trachea: the size of his trachea was very narrow, not letting the air flow easily into his lungs.
Surgical and non-surgical options were discussed with Churchill’s owners. It was decided that surgery was necessary to fix his brachysephalic syndrome. Today, Dr. Christopher Potanas, with the help of Dr. Samson Daniel, performed a successful soft palate and nares resection. Now that the surgery is completed, he will be able to breathe better in no time!
Churchill seems to be recovering very well, but before going home he needs to stay with us under medical observation for two more days. We are happy to know that Churchill will now breathe easily as he will no longer have to contain his excitement!