Certain dog breeds are more prone to health issues. A common problem in certain dogs is narrow nostrils and airways. At Arrow Animal Hospital in Los Lunas, NM, we can help. Our veterinary team can diagnose and treat these health issues in your pet.
If you have a dog who is brachycephalic, this means that the dog has shortened skull bones. This gives the face, particularly the nose, an appearance of being somewhat "pushed in." Since the face and nose have shorter bones, the relationship with other soft tissue structures are affected. This condition can cause stenotic nares, which are nostrils that are abnormally small or narrow. Some of these changes can lead to physical problems for the dog. The breeds that tend to have this condition include French and English bulldogs, Boston Terriers, Boxers, Chinese pugs, Pekingese dogs, Lhasa Apsos, Bullmastiffs, and Shih Tzus.
Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a set of upper airway abnormalities that often affect these dogs. These can include extended nasopharyngeal turbinate, laryngeal collapse, an elongated soft palate, a hypoplastic trachea, stenotic nares, and everted laryngeal saccules. A dog who has this condition could have a combination of these abnormalities.
Soft Palate Surgery
Dogs with stenotic nares have very narrow nostrils, which causes the amount of air that can flow into them to be restricted.
When a dog has this condition, surgery is often the treatment of choice. This is the case whenever the abnormalities interfere with the dog's ability to breathe. If the dog has stenotic nares, these can be surgically corrected with the removal of a wedge of tissue from the nostrils. This will allow for better airflow through the nostrils. If the dog has an elongated soft palate, this can be shortened surgically to a length that is considered more normal.
The success of the surgery will depend on a few different factors. The earlier that you visit our vet for treatment of the abnormalities, the better the potential outcome will be. The condition gets worse over time, and other abnormalities may pop up as well. If stenotic nares or an elongated soft palate are corrected early, this will significantly improve the airway function of the dog. It could even prevent development of further complications, such as everted laryngeal saccules.
When you bring your dog to our vet for this condition, we will do a thorough examination. The treatment choices depend on how many abnormalities your dog has, as well as the age of the dog when it is diagnosed. Dogs who are less than two years of age when the surgery is performed usually have a better prognosis after the surgery than older dogs. Dogs who have hypoplastic tracheas will have a prognosis that is variable, while those who only have stenotic nares and an elongated soft palate will have a better prognosis than dogs who have more defects.
Schedule an Appointment with Our Vet in Los Lunas, NM
If your dog has stenotic nares or other health conditions, we can help. At Arrow Animal Hospital in Los Lunas, NM, our vets can diagnose your dog and provide the proper treatment. This may include soft palate surgery. We can answer any questions you have about these conditions or the surgery. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, call us today.