Brachycephalic syndrome (BS) in dogs is characterized by the combination of primary and secondary upper respiratory tract abnormalities and may result in significant upper airway obstruction. It can trigger inspiratory dyspnea, culminating in secondary respiratory distress, soft tissue edema, upper airway obstruction, turbulent airflow, inspiratory noise, and even death. These changes lead to increased resistance of the air passages, which can cause elevation of pulmonary pressure and clinical manifestations attributable to pulmonary hypertension. The consequence is right-sided cardiac remodeling (Cor pulmonale) with possible progression to right congestive heart failure. To investigate the effects of BS on the cardiovascular system, 28 animals were recruited for a prospective study and assigned to either the Brachycephalic Group (BG), composed of 22 French bulldogs with BS or the Control Group (CG), which was composed of 6 healthy Beagle dogs. All animals underwent a detailed physical examination, as well as laboratory analyses, electrocardiography, echocardiography, chest radiography and indirect measurement of systemic arterial blood pressure. The most relevant finding was a lower PaO2 (90.6±12.9mmHg) in BG as compared to CG (104.9±5.2), (p≤0.05), possibly attributable to hypoventilation due to anatomical alterations.
Cardiorespiratory evaluation; brachycephalic syndrome; dogs; Cor pulmonale; pulmonary hypertension; heart failure; French Bulldog; hypoxemia; clinics