Many brachycephalic dogs have difficulties with breathing, but many also show frequent vomiting or regurgitation, or both. In this month’s JSAP, Dr Kaye and colleagues show evidence that airway and GI problems may be linked, especially in French Bulldogs. It is easy to see how reduction in intra-thoracic pressure during inspiration against a poorly opening upper airway might induce reflux of fluid from stomach to oesophagus. From their study it appears that this mechanism might be responsible for some of the GI signs observed in French Bulldogs because regurgitation and vomiting tended to regress following airway surgery. Interestingly, these effects seemed less obvious in English Bulldogs and Pugs, suggesting that there may be different mechanisms responsible for the GI signs between breeds. Nevertheless, perhaps airway surgery deserves extra consideration in brachycephalic dogs that can’t keep their food down!
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