Objective—To detect abnormalities of the lower respiratory tract (trachea, principal bronchi, and lobar bronchi) in brachycephalic dogs by use of endoscopy, evaluate the correlation between laryngeal collapse and bronchial abnormalities, and determine whether dogs with bronchial abnormalities have a less favorable postsurgical long-term outcome following correction of brachycephalic syndrome.
Design—Prospective case series study.
Animals—40 client-owned brachycephalic dogs with stertorous breathing and clinical signs of respiratory distress.
Procedures—Brachycephalic dogs anesthetized for pharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy between January 2007 and June 2008 underwent flexible bronchoscopy for systematic evaluation of the principal and lobar bronchi. For dogs that underwent surgical correction of any component of brachycephalic syndrome, owners rated surgical outcome during a follow-up telephone survey. Correlation between laryngeal collapse and bronchial abnormalities and association between bronchial abnormalities and long-term outcome were assessed.
Results—Pugs (n = 20), English Bulldogs (13), and French Bulldogs (7) were affected. A fixed bronchial collapse was recognized in 35 of 40 dogs with a total of 94 bronchial stenoses. Abnormalities were irregularly distributed between hemithoraces; 15 of 94 bronchial abnormalities were detected in the right bronchial system, and 79 of 94 were detected in the left. The left cranial bronchus was the most commonly affected structure, and Pugs were the most severely affected breed. Laryngeal collapse was significantly correlated with severe bronchial collapse; no significant correlation was found between severity of bronchial abnormalities and postsurgical outcome.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bronchial collapse was a common finding in brachycephalic dogs, and long-term postsurgical outcome was not affected by bronchial stenosis.