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Exercise tests indicate severity of brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome in dogs

L. Lilja-Maula, A. K. Lappalainen, H. K. Hyytiäinen, E. Kuusela,

M. Kaimio, K. Schildt and others

CANINE brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is a complex respiratory disease related to congenitally flattened facial and skull anatomy; there is a high prevalence of BOAS among English bulldogs (EB). Currently, the severity of BOAS in veterinary practice is assessed subjectively and an easy, non-invasive, objective screening tool is needed to help breeders select healthier animals.

Given that exercise intolerance and impaired recovery due to malfunctioning thermoregulation are key features of BOAS, exercise tests could offer a feasible non-invasive screening test. This study aimed to evaluate exercise tolerance in EB and compare the results with the severity of BOAS in these dogs.

A total of 28 EB were included in the study and a veterinary assessment of BOAS severity was made on the basis of a clinical examination. Two exercise tests were carried out for each dog: a six minute walk test (distance measured) and a 1000 m walk test (duration measured). Heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and severity of respiratory noise were measured before and after each test. Ten healthy …

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