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TDK conference 2015

The relationship between clinical signs, respiratory lesions and histopathological findings in dogs that underwent surgical correction of brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome
Császár Júlia Judit - year 6
SzIU, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Department and Clinic of Surgery and Ophtalmology
Supervisor: Tibor Németh DVM


As brachycephalic breeds such as pug, English bulldog, French bulldog, Boston terrier, Pekingese and Shih-tzu, have been gaining an increasing popularity worldwide, the clinical significance of Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS), one of the diseases mostly and typically affecting these breeds, have also risen.

The BAOS is characterised by congenital primary anatomical features (e.g. stenotic nares, elongated soft palate, abnormally dense nasopharyngeal turbinates and tracheal hypoplasia) which shortly contribute to the development of consecutive secondary changes, such as laryngeal and pharyngeal oedema, laryngeal collapse, and the enlargement of the tonsils. The primary lesions along with the secondary problems result in significant narrowing of the airway.

As a progressive disease, BAOS needs early surgical intervention. Concerning surgical suggestions, there is a controversy in the literature whether it is beneficial to excise the everted laryngeal saccules (causing grade I laryngeal collapse) as well as the enlarged tonsils, added to the routine soft palate and rhinoplasty.

A total of 26 brachycephalic dogs (14 French bulldogs and 12 pugs) have been included in our retrospective study. Patients underwent surgical correction of BAOS at the Clinic of Surgery and Ophtalmology at the Faculty of Veterinary Science, Szent István University, between 2013 and 2015.

We hypothesised that the severity of the clinical condition, the upper respiratory lesions examined by laryngoscopy, and the histological results of the excised tissue samples show correlation, and furthermore, eversion of laryngeal saccules and enlargement of the palatine tonsils are reversible, making surgically excision unnecessary.

A thorough medical history was taken before surgery as well as telephone interviews were conducted with owners of the dogs in order to get a comprehensive image of the animals’ condition prior to the surgery, and 2 and 6 weeks postoperatively. A clinical categorisation method (published by Poncet et al in 2005) was used to stage clinical severity (Grade I, II and III as mild, moderate and severe). Laryngoscopic assessment was used for staging laryngeal collapse, soft palate elongation and tonsilar enlargement, also varying from Grade I to Grade III.

Surgery consisted of folded flap palatoplasty, which not only shortens the soft palate but also reduces the thickness of it. We excised the everted laryngeal saccules and performed bilateral tonsillectomy, as well as using horizontal wedge resection to widen the stenotic nares. The excised part of the soft palate, laryngeal saccules and the tonsils were submitted to histopathological evaluation.

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