High respiratory tract diseases are very frequent in dogs, particularly brachycephalic syndrome and laryngeal paralysis.
Dogs with brachycephalic morphology (English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug-dog, Cavalier King Charles, etc.) often develop laryngeal alterations caused by congenital anatomical deformities of the high respiratory tract, such as stenotic nostrils (picture in bottom left-hand corner), long soft palate and hypoplasic trachea. These anatomic deformities cause serious alterations of the function of laryngeal cartilages (laryngeal collapse). Dogs with such alterations suffer from the so called "brachycephalic syndrome" and show respiratory signs that are often progressively deteriorating. Among the most important clinical signs, we will find snoring, apnoea and, in the most severe situations, the appearance of gray-bluish mucosae (cyanosis); in some cases the disorder may lead to cardio-circulatory collapse and death.
In order to prevent the progression of the brachycephalic syndrome, it is advisable that the dog undergoes an endoscopic study of the larynx, during which it is possible to evaluate the laryngeal collapse. During the same anaesthesia, if indicated, plastic surgery with laser (diode laser) can be performed. Laser-surgery allows nostril enlargement (picture in the top right-hand corner), shortening of the soft palate and vaporization of cuneiform processes of the arytenoids cartilages. This surgical approach is necessary to stop progression of the laryngeal collapse in dogs with advanced disease (second grade laryngeal collapse). Laser-surgery allows a significant gain in quality of life in dogs suffering from brachycephalic syndrome, restoring a normal air flow through the upper respiratory tract.
Laryngeal paralysis is a serious illness, congenital or acquired, consisting in the absence of abduction (divarication) of laryngeal cartilages during inspiration. This problem, if not rapidly corrected, can cause severe respiratory distress until death. The resolution of this pathology is only surgical and it is often an emergency situation.
The most modern surgical techniques employs the laser (diode laser). This procedure allows laryngeal aditus enlargement, by creating an artificial passage for air through paralyzed cartilages. Laser-surgery is performed by using a mini-invasive intra-oral technique. It allows much less frequent complications compared to standard surgery. Moreover, laser-surgery reduces post-surgical hospitalization, with great benefit for the dog.