Disease picture obstruction of the upper airways

Symptoms of pneumonia
Laryngitis disease

Disease picture obstruction of the upper airways


When the upper airways are obstructed, the airways become narrowed constantly or during forced breathing, which in turn makes breathing more difficult.

Disease origin and development

Upper airway obstruction is more common in brachycephalic breeds (dogs with short and wide noses, such as Pekingese) because these breeds have indentations in the nasal cartilage. Another characteristic of the breed is the extra-long soft palate (movable part of the palate), which makes it difficult to breathe in. Because of the forced breathing, there is then an inflammatory increase in the circumference of the soft palate.

Clinical picture – symptoms

The focus is on the breathing noise, which is more or less pronounced depending on the severity of the disease. It is especially audible during exertion and can lead to shortness of breath with blue discoloration of the mucous membranes. In addition, there is bloating of the lungs, which is initially reversible. Air bubbles can also appear in other areas, such as above the base of the heart or in the stomach, as an expression of shortness of breath.


If it is possible to remove the constriction surgically, the prognosis is very favorable and the dog can live symptom-free. Otherwise, in severe cases, the disease can be very distressing for the animal and even lead to heart and lung damage. We would also like to refer to the torture breeding paragraph §11b of the Animal Welfare Act. According to this, it is “forbidden to breed vertebrates or to modify them through biotechnological or genetic engineering measures if it is to be expected that in the offspring, the biologically or genetically modified animals themselves or their descendants are hereditarily missing body parts or organs for species-appropriate use or are unsuitable or transformed and cause pain, suffering or harm. ”

Read also:  Disease demodicosis

Acute bronchitisChronic bronchitisLaryngitisPneumoniaRhinitisTracheitis