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BOAS Brachycephalic Obstuctive Airway Syndrome 

BOAS stands for Brachycephalic Obstuctive Airway Syndrome and is a disease seen in dogs with short noses and flat faces.

The face shape prevents normal airflow through the nose and throat and stopsdogs breathing normally.

BOAS is a severe, life threatening condition. BOAS also contributes to other diseases including tracheal collapse, oesphageal reflux and hiatal hernia all of which can negatively affect a dogs quality of life but also be life threatening.

Brachycephalic dogs often have an elongated and thickened soft palate that is squashed at the back of the throat, stenotic nares (narrow openings to the nostrils) and sometimes secondary changes (oedematous/everted laryngeal saccules), enlarged tonsils and secondary laryngeal collapse.

Sadly, breeding for a certain look of dog has caused these problems and surgery aims to correct this.

Signs of BOAS:

SnoringPanting excessively, Reverse Sneezing, Regurgitation, Difficulty Swallowing, Waking up in the night (sleep apnoea)

Overheating, Exercise intolerance

Surgical Procedure

The nares are opened by excising a wedge of tissue from the nostril. This allows better, less turbulent airflow.


The soft palate is shortened and reduced in thickness by performing a folding flap palatoplasty. If the saccules are inverted or the tonsils enlarged at the back of the throat, they are removed.


All surgery can have complications, and although rare, difficulty with breathing in recovery is more likely in bracycephalic breeds.

Complications include aspiration pneumonia, wound dehiscence and inflammatory airway disease that may require additional treatment including placement of an emergency tracheostomy tube and then transfer to a 24 hour care facility.


The cost of this intensive care if required is not included in the surgical fee here.

Surgery will not completely reverse BOAS but greatly improves the quality of life in our brachycephalic breeds and reduces the risk of developing life threatening complications in the future.

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