If your pet undergoes BOAS surgery here at Erina Heights Vet, most patients will be able to be discharged home the same day. Patients will be sent home with steroid anti-inflammatories, anti-nausea medication and pain relief. Occasionally, some patients will need to be transferred to one of the local emergency hospitals for overnight monitoring. Some patients require oxygen therapy and low doses of sedatives overnight to keep them relaxed. If the swelling does not resolve, a breathing tube may be left in for a few hours, or a temporary tracheostomy will be done, until the swelling in the pharynx subsides enough that the patient can breathe normally. This happens in a small number of cases – and is typically related to the severity of the condition.
In very severe cases, addressing the upper airway issues may not be adequate and the creation of a new permanent opening into the trachea in the neck area (called a permanent tracheostomy) may be the only solution. A permanent tracheostomy is required in less than 1% of cases.
The prognosis is good for young animals. They generally will breathe much more easily and with significantly reduced respiratory distress. Their activity level can markedly improve. Older animals may have a less favourable prognosis, especially if the process of laryngeal collapse has already started.
Overall, the surgery is very successful and improves your dog’s respiratory difficulties, exercise intolerance and their quality of life.
Early correction is the key to a better long term result.
If you would like more information about brachycephalic airway surgery, please book your dog in for a consultation with Dr Melissa Kozaruk – our BOAS surgeon.