A very common airway problem seen in small dogs and some bigger dogs is a syndrome termed Brachycephalic Upper Airway Syndrome (BUAS). This disease process affects brachycephalic dogs due to the development of their skull structure. These dogs can be thought of having the same anatomy as a longer nose dog, just in a much smaller area. As one could image, this can cause difficulty in the passage of air as it traverses through the nasal passage and into the naso- and oropharynx causing an increased pressure.
Common breeds that are affected and grouped into the breed type(brachycephalic) range from the Bulldog to the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Dogs that are affected by BUAS can present with many different symptoms that all involve the passage of air and include snoring, stridor, exercise intolerance, apnea and even gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting and regurgitation. There are factors that can worsen the signs such as weight gain, allergies, environment conditions etc. Factors that can be controlled should be addressed.
In the next segment we will look at the physical features of dogs that have brachycephalic upper airway syndrome. Feel free to ask questions.