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During this hot weather, it is especially important to look after our furry friends and keep them cool. There are some breeds and conditions that need extra care in this heat. 

The brachycephalic breeds (flat faced) are especially prone to overheating and find it difficult to cool down. Their breathing often deteriorates in the warmer weather and becomes very noisy. Owners worry about taking them out for walks. This is known as Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). Some of these breeds (French Bulldogs, Pugs and British Bulldogs) can benefit from surgery to open up their airways, making it easier for them to breathe and to cool down. Many of them will have an elongated (overly long) soft palate, stenotic (narrow) nostrils, everted laryngeal saccules, enlarged tonsils and a narrow trachea (windpipe). Surgery can help alleviate some of these problem areas by shortening the soft palate (palatoplasty) and widening the nostrils (alarplasty); this allows better airflow through and makes for a happier, more active dog.

Another disease that often becomes obvious in warmer weather is laryngeal paralysis. We see this commonly in older large breeds like Labradors, where the cartilage of the larynx (voice box) does not open and close normally during respiration, which results in difficulty in breathing. They can’t walk as far and their breathing becomes laboured and noisy, with sometimes a change of bark. In severe cases dogs may develop respiratory distress and collapse.  Surgery can help with this by opening up one side of the larynx to allow normal airflow through. Breathing is greatly improved following surgery and they should not get into a breathing crisis again.

These two surgeries are now being offered by our soft tissue surgeon Alison Kennair. This expands our peripatetic service and adds soft tissue surgery. 

Alison is part of the team setting up Bridge Referrals. She has been working in a referral centre for several years, with her main caseload being in soft tissue surgery and neurology.

Other common soft tissue surgeries we can offer during our peripatetic period before we open in October are:

  • Total ear canal ablation (TECA) and ventral bulla osteotomy (VBO) for ear disease
  • Salivary gland rupture (mucocoele)
  • Thyroidectomy
  • Cystotomy
  • Urethrostomy
  • Prostatic surgery
  • Gastrointestinal foreign body removal
  • Perineal hernia
  • Anal gland removal/ anal sac carcinoma
  • Splenectomy
  • Diaphragmatic rupture

For any help or advice on a case please email [email protected] or call 0191 5808330