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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16527
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a Brussel Griffon, male. He is a rescue so s age is

Customer Question

I have a Brussel Griffon, male. He is a rescue so his age is uncertain but likely to be about 9 or ten
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 2 years ago.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am still waiting to discuss the question I had.
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that you are concerned about your older, male Brussels Griffon, but I don't see any sort of history or question regarding him.

I'd like to help, so if you could give me some history regarding your concern and exactly what your concern is that would be very helpful.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My brussel griffon, Oscar, is from a puppy mill, he was a sire. He was rescued and we gauge his age to be around 9 or 10. He has a very short snout and as with such a condition, yes, he does snore and snort. Lately he has started to make a wheezing sound on his in-take of breath when he is excited. That doesn't concern me so much as the last couple of days, while on an outing, he has exhibited signs of really having to pull hard on each in-take of breath. I immediately put him in the car with the air conditioning on and it started to diminished. I drove home (short ways), and carried him into the house where I have air-conditioning. About 20 minutes later his breathing was much improved. I guess what concerned me was he was laying on his side and each in-take of breath seem to make his whole body move to get it. I think my question is given he is 9 or 10, it this something I should just adjust his activity for or take him to the vet?
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.

Hello again, thank you for the history on your fellow, and I can understand your concern for him.

His inability to effectively take in air is definitely a concern, and because things have suddenly changed for the worse for him in a short period of time I do think this is something that should be looked into further.

Snub nosed breeds do have breathing challenges due to their conformation, called brachycephalic syndrome. These issues include an overlong soft palate, stenotic (small, closed in) nares, and parts of the larynx that evert out when breathing called everted laryngeal saccules. But when we see a sudden change as you have that means we have other complicating factors.

That can include a reaction to respiratory irritants (cigarette smoke, pollens, air fresheners), viral, bacterial, or fungal infection, dental disease affecting tooth roots which cause nasal inflammation, nasal polyps or a tumor.

Dogs that don't have their brachycephalic syndrome problems corrected surgically can suffer from exercise intolerance and easily suffer from heatstroke because they cannot breathe properly. Long term they can suffer from tracheal collapse and secondary heart disease from their struggle to exchange oxygen.

You should plan on adjusting his activity, but a veterinary visit to look for complicating factors and treating them as we are able can go a long way to making him more comfortable and improving his quality of life.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.