Categories : Interesting Cases


Abby is a happy young pug who was unable to run. This was because her airway was too small for her to be able to breathe well enough to go faster than walking pace.

She snored very loudly and would often choke and wake up.

Her condition is called brachycephalic airway syndrome, and it affects all short nosed dogs to varying degrees.

To help her airway problems, we made her nostrils bigger, removed 1.5 cm of redundant tissue from the back of her soft palate, and removed her laryngeal saccules.

Narrow nostrils before surgery
Narrow nostrils before surgery
One nostril done
One nostril done
Both nostrils done
Both nostrils done
Throat surgery showing site of laryngeal saccules below tube
Throat surgery showing site of laryngeal saccules below tube

The laryngeal saccules are little sacs located in the wall of the larynx.

When there are excessive negative airway pressures they can pop into the airway like little bubbles and restrict airflow.

The soft palate is sucked into the airway when these dogs breathe in, causing them to choke.

Resected soft palate and 2 little laryngeal saccules
Resected soft palate and 2 little laryngeal saccules

The saccules look tiny, but before removal, they are like inflated bubbles, which further block the airway.

Abby just two days after surgery. She is already much quieter. The day after surgery, her owner tripped over her in the dark because she was sleeping silently and not snoring.

Dogs with these short noses often get into difficulties breathing. Many owners are unaware that the dog could be much more comfortable and able to have a happier, more active, life after surgery.

Each case is different, so it is important to examine the airway of these dogs under anaesthetic and plan which procedures need to be done, in order to get the best outcome for each patient.

2 weeks after surgery Abby can go for long walks ( without being carried)

She is happy and wants to walk and run more.

7 Responses to “Abby The Pug”
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  1. Well done. Love to read the happy stories for our furry buddies. I’ve pet sat for pugs and they do snore quite loudly. Be nice to see these short nose breeds get some relief in the future from breading out this issue. Not quite sure what that would mean exactly, but I think extremes in short nose, short legs, long body, long legs, baggy skin etc… is something that should be examined with the health issues that are attached to them.

  2. I hope that, after reading this fabulous story, more dog owners have checked their short-nosed dogs. Dogs are our best friends after all. You do not like to see your best friend so short of breath. Do you?

  3. Glad that the dog could be helped. It is sad that they are purposefully bred with problems, though. I had a friend who had a bulldog which needed an operation on its eyelids before it could see properly and which had awful breathing problems, all because of the kennel club’s ruling as to what constituted a desirable standard. Lovely to have a vet that explains everything so well, though. The images really help. Great reading. Thank you.

  4. You have got to love a happy ending. The quality of life for Abby has just shot through the roof. Great share thanks 🙂

  5. Aren’t vets amazing?! I am always fascinated by things like this, even though I don’t have a dog. I am a sucker for nature programs too 🙂 Good to see a great result here!

  6. Lucky little pug to get this treatment. It’s great to see her being able to walk and run more or less normally afterwards

  7. So happy for this sweet baby! It’s a shame that breeders care more about looks than what is best for the breeds.

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