English Bulldog: Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS)

Airway obstruction syndrome (BAOS) usually occurs in all breeds of dogs with brachycephaly, of which the English Bulldog is the most affected. 

Brachycephaly is characterized in that the upper jaws and noses are shortened, but the soft tissues of the nose and throat remain unchanged. Therefore the tissues are compressed into a tiny space.

The following characteristics in the respiratory system are present at birth—features such as excessively long soft palate in relation to the head, trachea, and narrow nostrils.

A narrow space creates an obstruction in the airways, which causes difficulty in breathing. BAOS causes, snoring, heavy breathing sounds, and mouth breathing. If these conditions are not taken care of in the early stages of your doggies life, it can cause the collapse of the lungs and lead to death. 

NOTE: Dogs with BAOS cannot engage in intense physical activity, as they are very prone to heatstrokes and sleep disruption. It can also cause hyperventilation and abnormal panting.

Duration of the impact on well-being

It is a progressive condition for life. BAOS can affect puppies younger than six months of age.


Most English Bulldogs that show typical signs can be diagnosed with BAOS, as it is quite common. However, to make a specific diagnosis, an examination under anesthesia and x-rays, possibly endoscopy, is necessary. It is essential to know that subjecting your dog to anesthetic doses can be dangerous as it compromises the respiratory system.

Care and treatment

Once the vet diagnoses a dog with BAOS, there are these treatments:

– Surgical intervention: There are two procedures. Enlarging the nostrils so that there is greater airflow in the dog’s nostrils or shortening the palate. In some cases, veterinarians can remove excessive tissues in addition to the other procedures.

NOTE: Performing this procedure on your puppy before its first year is ideal. Preferably during the same time, the doggie is being sterilized since it is risky to have it done when the dog is older than one year.

-Drugs: Anti-inflammatory corticosteroids or bronchodilators. They do not eradicate the problem, but they help the issues.

-Caring for room temperature: This type of dog should avoid exercising at all costs in scorching environments, they must be constantly hydrated during the summer, and they cannot stay locked in cars when it is very hot. 

-Diet and moderate exercise: Your best friend’s diet should be regulated by a professional veterinarian(See:http://walkiepawsinc.com/how-to-feed-your-furry-friends/ ). A diet is vital to maintain an ideal weight, since being overweight, makes breathing difficult. Physical activity should be minimal and in warm temperatures. 

Now, it is crucial that if you have an English Bulldog or any other breed that is prone to contracting BAOS, consult your vet and give your doggie the treatment the veterinarian provides. Remember that the faster it is detected, the easier it will be to handle. Your pet will thank you for a healthier and happier life!

We hope you liked our blog! You may also like: How does coronavirus affect your pet?

At Walkie Paws, we make your pet feel at home. We offer pet care, boarding, park trips, and more. If you want to know more tips and tricks on how to care for your pets, we invite you to sign up for our blog.


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