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Animal Care Library

Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems. Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems. Use our Animal Care Library for quick, easy access to our most common animal care problems.

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Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) Species: dogs

Pugs, Frenchies, Dogue de Bordeaux, Bulldogs, Bostons, Boxers, Persians… these are just some of the breeds that are part of what we call “brachycephalics”. What this means is that they all have shortened snouts to give them that distinctive look so many find adorable! Unfortunately, this can come with some very unfortunate side effects which can have serious health consequences. Brachycephalic airway syndrome, or “BOAS”, describes a series of anatomical issues that lead to these pets having difficulty breathing. This can vary from snoring, interrupted sleep/chronic fatigue, reduced exercise and heat tolerance, sleeping with their mouths open, or even full airway obstruction! But why is this so? These animals are often born with one (or all!) of the following primary conditions: These anatomical changes all work together to essentially reduce the space air can flow through, increasing the pressure within the airways, making it harder for these animals to breath. You can think of this like trying to breathe through a straw. Now, just like if you put too much pressure on a straw, the structures around it can start to collapse or suck inwards.

These are what we see as secondary changes, which unfortunately only worsen the situation:

So what can we do about it?

Some responsible breeders are attempting to deselect for many of these health defects, but it will be quite some time before we see the end of these problems, if ever. In the meantime, we would recommend the following:

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