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Welcome to Lake Howell Animal Clinic

"Your pet’s health and well-being is our number one concern."

Your Dog, Cat, and Exotics Veterinarian in Maitland, FL
Call us at (407) 628-8000

Veterinary Services:

  • Medical Care
  • Dental Care
  • Orthopedics
  • Surgery
  • Spay/Neuter
  • Critical Care
  • Vaccinations
  • Boarding
  • Diet & Nutrition
  • Referrals
  • Education

Brachycephalic Syndrome

Brachycephalic syndrome is a group of anatomical abnormalities that are common in “short-nosed” or “flat-faced” breeds.  Animals may have one or more of the following abnormalities:

  • Stenotic nares: narrow nostrils

  • Elongated soft palate: soft palate extends into the back of the throat and blocks the airway.

  • Everted laryngeal saccules: These are small structures in the larynx. Due to the increased breathing effort, these get sucked into the airway, restricting the air flow even more

  • Collapsing or narrowing trachea: The trachea is narrow or flattened.

Breeds commonly associated with this syndrome are English bulldog, Pugs, Pekingese, Shih tzu, Boston terrier, Shar Pei, King Charles cavalier spaniel and Lhasa Apso. In cats, the Himalayan and Persian breeds are brachycephalic.

Pets with brachycephalic syndrome are predisposed to any of the following problems:

Increased susceptibility to heat stroke
Inability to exercise
Increased anesthetic risk

Clinical signs or symptoms:

  • Respiratory effort

  • Noisy breathing, snorting or snoring

  • Exercise intolerance

  • Heat intolerance

  • Coughing, especially when excited

  • Collapse

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Skin fold infections

  • Eye problems

  • Dental and periodontal disease


  • Complete physical exam by your veterinarian

  • Bloodwork, including blood gases if possible

  • Radiographs of upper airways

  • Bronchoscopy (endoscopy of airway)

  • Bacterial culture from the airway


Most options for treatment are surgical. Surgical procedures are performed from “front to back” or from the nose inward. With surgical laser technology, these procedures can be performed with a minimal amount of bleeding and no need for sutures.  Early diagnosing and treatment of brachycephalic syndrome increases the level of success since the condition can worsen with time and cause other abnormalities.

Nydia Melissa Perez, DVM 9/11