Brachiocephalic Syndrome

So - after a few more months on antibiotics, the pneumonia seems to be clearing up. In the mean time, our regular vet (we have been to about 4 different vets at this point) - does some X-rays and is concerned that not only does Stella have Brachiocephalic Syndrome (common to dogs with smooshed in faces) - but that she also seemed to have a very small trachea. He recommended taking her in for surgery so they could widen her nostrils and shorten her soft pallet - hopefully making it easier for her to breathe, and hopefully, manage her food and airways better. Her current X-rays looked good enough to consider surgery - so we booked it. They told us that with English Bulldogs, the worst part is that during surgery, the breathing tube can cause that already small compact area to swell, and when they are coming out of surgery, they can have trouble breathing and require a trachea tube to be put in. Yes - at this point I am seriously wondering why we ever got a English Bulldog - and thats not even taking into account the costs so far - I will save that for a separate post.

So - surgery day arrives, we barely make it there between the road rage, traffic and crying during the drive (if you know Amy you would understand) - luckily Stella had no idea any kind of drama was happening in the car. She snoozed in the back the whole way to the hospital.

So - as we had hoped - she came through the surgery great. I was only after we picked her up that the vet tech told me about half of all English Bulldogs need trachea tubes put in after surgery. I am really glad she hadn't shared that with me before hand. Of course now I am terrififed of any future surgeries.

We took our baby home to recuperate the day after surgery - and within a week she was good as new. She was quieter in general - less snoring - and seemed less burdened when breathing. However, we learned from our vet that Stella had another condition which he could do nothing about - called Hypoplastic Trachea Syndrome - where her trachea is abnormally small. Unfortunately - this is hard to detect when choosing a puppy, and un-treatable by the vets. It will probably shorten her life, eventually her trachea will give out and collapse, and the vet told us to trim about 2 years off their already short life spans of 8-10 years. Our poor Stella, we were told to never let her exercise or play or get out of breath.

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