Stenotic Nares Disorder Made Simple

Stenotic nares (pinched nostrils) is a frequent deformity found most commonly in brachycephalic dogs, including pugs. Because of their anatomy, pugs have an increased struggle to airflow through their upper respiratory tracts – the mouth, nose and larynx.

Stenotic nares are determined by congenital malformation of the cartilages of the nose, related to selective breeding of dogs with short noses. Although stenotic nares are there at birth, clinical signs of respiratory trouble often do not begin until the pug is several years old. Either male or female pugs may be affected.

Increased airway opposition from brachycephalic syndrome over an extended period can lead to increasing respiratory problems. While the pressure of the growing effort to inhale repeatedly draws the air in, the larynx losses strength. In the long run, the larynx collapses, causing the pug to be powerless in inhaling a satisfactory amount of air into the lungs. Affected pugs often turn blue (cyanotic) and can die.

1) Noisy breathing (especially when the animal breathes in)
2) Exercise intolerance and permanent fatigue
3) Cyanosis (blue appearance of the gums, due to lack of oxygen)
4) Fainting

For stenotic nares disease, there are 2 different treatments: medical supervision or surgical therapy.
If you go for medical supervision, be sure to observe any evidence of aggravation of the clinical signs. If your dog has trouble breathing or blue gums, or if he collapses, see your vet right away.

If surgical therapy is done, special care may not be required; however, you should always check your pet for recurrence of clinical signs.

Because stenotic nares is a congenital (present at birth) anatomic disorder, preventing it is impossible. Little is known about the inheritance of this state.

Last updated by Twirly the Pug Aug 24, 2008.

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