2019 Volume 28 Issue 3 Pages 93-99
Clinical assessment of pharyngeal airway has not prevailed in dogs. Based on the findings that the craniocervical X-rays and fluoroscopy in 89 consecutive non-brachycephalic dogs with upper airway signs indicated caudal displacement of the larynx, excessive dorsal pharyngeal wall, descent of the tongue, and soft palate unified with the dorsal pharyngeal wall, we defined pharyngeal airway obstruction syndrome (PAOS) and reviewed clinical features, treatment, and outcome of PAOS. In this study, the median age of affected dogs was 9 years. Pomeranian (odds ratio, OR=18.7) and Yorkshire Terrier (OR=3.7) were significantly predisposed. The most common symptom was chronic cough (n=32), the representative signs were obese (BCS>4/5, n=58), snoring(n=53), tachypnea(n=52), sleep disordered breathing(n=40), persistent productive cough(n=39), dry cough(n=38). The most frequent final diagnosis was tracheal collapse (n=29), while 22 percent of these 89 dogs had no conventional diagnosis. In 46 dogs, body weight loss was instructed, and any upper airway signs significantly improved until 3 months in 86.7% of these dogs. Some severely affected dogs had persistent sleep apnea (n=11) or noncardiogenic pulmonary edema(n=9) on admission. In the latter, the 60-day survival rate was 66.7 %. PAOS is distinguished by individual pharyngeal structure, despite of breeds or the skull shapes. Clinician must identify PAOS and instruct body weight loss to pet owners as early as possible if the affected dog is obese.