To assess the prevalence of bronchial wall thickening (BWT) and collapse in brachycephalic dogs with and without brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) and in nonbrachycephalic dogs.
85 dogs with no history of lower respiratory tract disease that underwent CT of the thorax.
Electronical medical records for March 2011 through August 2019 were reviewed to identify brachycephalic dogs with BOAS (BOAS group) and brachycephalic dogs without BOAS (BDWB group) that did not have any evidence of lower respiratory tract disease and had undergone thoracic CT. A population of nonbrachycephalic dogs of similar weight (control dogs) was also retrospectively recruited.
BWT was identified in 28 of 30 (93.3%; 95% CI, 80.3% to 98.6%) dogs in the BOAS group, 15 of 26 (57.7%; 95% CI, 38.7% to 75.0%) dogs in the BDWB group, and 10 of 28 (35.7%; 95% CI, 20.1% to 54.2%) control dogs. On multivariable analysis, only brachycephalic conformation (P < 0.01) and body weight (P = 0.02) were significantly associated with the presence of BWT. Bronchial collapse was identified in 17 of 30 (56.7%; 95% CI, 39.0% to 73.1%) dogs in the BOAS group, 17 of 26 (65.4%; 95% CI, 46.3% to 81.3%) dogs in the BDWB group, and 3 of 28 (10.7%; 95% CI, 3.1% to 25.9%) control dogs. On multivariable analysis, only brachycephalic conformation was significantly (P < 0.01) associated with the presence of bronchial collapse.
A relationship between brachycephalic conformation and body weight with BWT was established, with heavier dogs having thicker bronchial walls. However, further studies are required to investigate the cause. Bronchial collapse was also more common in dogs with brachycephalic conformation, which is in agreement with the previously published literature.