What is BOAS?
Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) is a health condition that affects certain dog breeds with short noses and flat faces, such as Bulldogs, Pugs, and French Bulldogs. These breeds are known as brachycephalic breeds. BOAS is a result of the anatomical abnormalities in these dogs' upper airways, including narrowed nostrils, elongated soft palate, and other structural issues in the throat region. The anatomy of the animal restricts the ability of the dog to oxygenate themselves and reduces the ability to regulate their body temperatures.
What are the symptoms of BOAS?
Due to these abnormalities, dogs with BOAS often experience difficulty breathing, especially during physical activities or in hot weather.
Common symptoms include:
- noisy breathing,
- and laboured breathing.
In severe cases, BOAS can lead to respiratory distress and significantly impact the dog's quality of life.
What are the areas of concern for these pets?
Typically there are 4 areas involved in the syndrome:
- The nasal folds where the nostrils open,
- the soft palate at the back of the throat,
- the laryngeal saccules (small sacs in the opening to the windpipe which are normally hidden from view),
- and the tonsils.
Abnormalities in these areas can lead to increased turbulence in airflow and increased respiratory effort which can in turn cause secondary issues such as regurgitation.
How can we support pets with BOAS?
Management of BOAS may involve lifestyle changes, weight management, and sometimes surgical procedures to improve the dog's breathing and overall well-being. It's crucial for potential dog owners to be aware of these breed-specific health issues and to choose responsible breeders who prioritize the health of their animals.
Contact us or fill out the form below to schedule a breathing assessment for your dog
What is the Respiratory Health Grading Scheme?
The Respiratory Health Grading Scheme, a collaboration between The Kennel Club and the University of Cambridge, is dedicated to evaluating Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, and Pugs for BOAS.
This initiative serves a dual purpose: it informs dog owners about their pet's BOAS status while offering guidance to breeders on reducing the risk of producing affected puppies.
Here at CityVets our lead surgeon, Ed Pattison, conducts Respiratory Function Grading assessments on these breeds and offers surgical options to those individuals whose anatomy causes respiratory issues.
For breeds under the scope of the Respiratory Health Grading Scheme, it is advisable to breed from two dogs that have both undergone assessments through the scheme. This approach provides critical information to reduce the likelihood of producing BOAS-affected puppies. If you plan to acquire a puppy of these breeds, ensure that both parents have been tested under the scheme.