Brachycephalic dogs (BCD) are increasingly popular companion animals and widely recognized to suffer from respiratory compromise based upon their conformation; however, the actual percentages of BCD in veterinary ICUs are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate a canine ICU census, as well as the presence, development, and severity of respiratory compromise in BCD using syndromic surveillance.
Ten institutions provided surveillance data twice weekly over an 11-week study period. The total canine ICU census was 1254 dogs hospitalized during the days and times of the study period; of this population, 125 (10%) were BCD. Fifty-six (45%) BCD were hospitalized in ICUs because they were perceived to be at risk of respiratory complications while recovering from general anesthesia or had a nonrespiratory condition requiring ICU admission, with the remaining 69 dogs (55%) being treated for respiratory disease. Twenty dogs (16%) developed respiratory complications requiring ICU admission after initially being hospitalized for another condition. Four percent of dogs were supported with mechanical ventilation.
Syndromic surveillance was a useful method for evaluating the number of BCD in a veterinary ICU. Almost 1 in 5 BCD developed respiratory compromise after initial evaluation for an unrelated problem. Ongoing evaluation of the medical issues associated with brachycephaly is warranted.
Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, EarlyView.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents