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Laryngeal collapse is a progressive condition characterised by a loss of cartilage rigidity which allows medial deviation of the rostral laryngeal cartilages (Pink and others 2006, Torrez and Hunt 2006, White 2012). The condition is usually considered to be secondary to chronic upper airway obstruction, most commonly in brachycephalic airway syndrome (BAS) due to the excessive intraluminal pressure changes during the respiratory cycle. These pressure changes lead to cartilage fatigue, and repetitive cartilage deformation results in obstruction of the rima glottidis (Pink and others 2006). Direct trauma may also disrupt the laryngeal cartilages thereby allowing medial collapse (Fossum 2013).
The breeds most commonly affected by BAS include the English and French bulldog, Boston terrier, pug, pekingese, shih tzu and boxer (Poncet and others 2006, Torrez and Hunt 2006, Riecks and others 2007, De Lorenzi and others 2009, Mercurio 2011, Johnson and others 2013). The primary features of BAS occur as a result of the rostrally shortened skull exhibited by these breeds (Pink and others 2006, Fasanella and others 2010). The compressed nasal passage is associated with a relatively elongated and thickened soft palate, abnormal nasal turbinates and distortion of the pharyngeal soft tissues. Primary features also include stenotic nares and a hypoplastic trachea (Pink and others 2006, Torrez and Hunt 2006, Riecks and others 2007, De Lorenzi and others 2009, Fasanella and others 2010). Affected animals may possess one or more of these abnormalities which all contribute to …