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Brachycephalic Syndrome

By: Dr. David Diamond

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Related diseases or disorders that mimic the signs of brachycephalic syndrome:

  • Laryngeal disease. Laryngeal paralysis is a relatively common neurologic disorder of dogs that lead to inability to open (abduct) the muscles of the larynx (voice box). Laryngeal collapse is a very severe, end-stage condition of the larynx caused by chronic increased inspiratory effort and subsequent weakening of the laryngeal cartilages that would normally hold the walls of the larynx out of the airway.

  • Upper respiratory cancer or mass lesions. Tumors, masses or foreign material lodged within the nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx or trachea (windpipe) can cause respiratory difficulty as the air passage is partially obstructed by the mass.

  • Tracheal collapse. Usually found in small breed dogs, tracheal collapse is caused by weakness of the cartilage rings that normally hold the trachea open during breathing leading to a severe "honking" cough and dyspnea (difficult breathing).

  • Bronchial obstructions. These are caused by primary bronchial collapse that compresses the left bronchus (airway).

  • Heart failure. Heart failure with development of fluid accumulation in the chest or lungs can lead to breathing difficulties.

  • Pulmonary (lung) disease. This is ineffective oxygenation of the blood caused by lung disease and can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing. Examples include bronchitis, pneumonia and lung cancer.

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