Stenotic Nares

Breathing problems – Stenotic Nares

Stenotic nares are a congenital disorder most likely to affect cats & dogs with normally short or flattened muzzles. Stenotic nares are one aspect of brachycephalic syndrome and brachycephalic means literally “short head”. That means nose and face of brachycephalic breeds have a so called pushed-in appearance.

Certain breeds of dogs, like English & French Bulldogs, Shih Tzu, Boxer, Pug and Pekingese are the most well-recognized brachycephalic breeds. Stenotic nares are also seen in cats (Persian and related breeds).

One of the most common symptoms is mouth breathing. Mildly affected pets will make some increased noise when they breathe, or they may snore when they are sleeping. Severely affected pets have more pronounced airway noise and they appear to tire easily with exertion. Some even may collapse or faint after playing or exercising. Occasionally, affected pets might have other symptoms (coughing, retching or vomiting). In general the symptoms are often worse in hot or humid weather.

Surgery is the treatment of choice whenever the anatomic abnormalities interfere with the pets breathing. The earlier the abnormalities are corrected, the better – since the condition can worsen over time and may cause other problems. Early correction of stenotic nares will significantly improve the airway function and the quality of life of your furry friend.

We recently saw Wilma in our clinic who had serious problems with her restricted breathing. We performed stenotic nares surgery which went very well.

One photograph of her was taken during surgery when we had repaired one side and the other side is still in the original state.

Wilma is a different cat now as you can see on the other image one day after surgery! (She just got it a bit wrong with the purpose of the litter tray (!). We have been very happy with the outcome of the surgery and Wilma’s owner told us that her cat is a “happier, healthier and more contented cat” now.

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