BOAS & Surgery with Dr Belinda

We offer BOAS surgery at Maroochydore

If you live on the Sunshine Coast you may wish to organise an appointment with Maroochy Animal Hospital about your brachy dog. We are fortunate to have in residence Dr Belinda Gotley, BVSc (Hons), who has been performing this corrective technique since 2018.

Belinda is an expert in her field and utilises the latest equipment, techniques, and medications. In addition our nursing staff are highly trained in the anaesthetics and recovery care of our brachy patients for great outcomes in our BOAS patients.

Which Breeds Are Brachycephalic?

Brachycephalic dogs, often referred to as “squishy-faced” dogs or “brachy”, include breeds such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, American Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers. These dogs have been selectively bred to have very short noses, which compresses the soft tissues in their nasal and oral cavities into a smaller area. This results in a reduced airway, making it more difficult for them to breathe.


What is BOAS?

BOAS – Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome.

This is commonly caused by a combination of:

  1. Stenotic nares or pinched, narrow nostrils
  2. An elongated or thickened soft palate- so that the loose floppy excessive tissue of the palate gets sucked in to almost cover the airway opening or larynx.
  3. Enlarged tonsils that bulge out of the sides of the throat to reduce airflow rather than being tucked neatly inside slits or crypts.
  4. Everted laryngeal saccules – 2 membranes that usually line a little fold inside the airway opening that can be sucked out permanently due to their difficult breathing like 2 little balloons obstructing air flow.
  5. Tracheal hypoplasia or narrow trachea/windpipe.

This is often compounded by being overweight. If this condition is not corrected, over time these dogs can develop laryngeal collapse from the negative pressure breathing where the opening to the airway itself collapses inwards, at this point their breathing becomes very strained and may not allow enough oxygen in.

What are the common symptoms?

Nasal or snotty noises when breathing, a raspy or vibrating noise from the back of the throat when breathing, snoring, poor sleep, sleeping sitting up, vomiting or regurgitation, inability to exercise or play for long without getting overheated, tired or panting excessively.

Would your Bracky dog benefit from surgery?”

Dr Belinda can provide a consultation for assessment and an estimate of procedure costs. Dogs should not make any obvious noise when they breathe, and be able to exercise and play without getting very puffed.

What procedures are part of BOAS surgery?

We perform 5/5 BOAS surgery.

  1. Widening of the nostrils and inner nasal vestibule via Ala vestibuloplasty. We used to perform a wedge alarplasty but have found this new technique to be far superior in increasing airflow.
  2. Laryngeal saccules are removed to open up the larynx.
  3. The tonsils are removed.
  4. The soft palate is shortened. This may be done with a new technique the H- pharyngoplasty.
  5. The soft palate muscle is thinned.

It is also recommended that we take x-rays of the trachea for narrowing and the spine for deformities.


Before surgery


After surgery


Before palate surgery


After palate surgery

Positive results for your pup

BOAS surgery can significantly enhance your dog’s quality of life by improving their airflow and breathing capacity. Pet owners who have opted for BOAS surgery have been delighted with the positive changes it has brought to their pets’ lives. Post-surgery, dogs often have more energy, are much quieter, typically stop regurgitating, and exhibit a greatly improved sense of smell, allowing them to better explore their surroundings.

When can I have BOAS surgery performed?

We usually recommend BOAS surgery at 10-12 months of age but surgery can be performed earlier if there is severely obstructive breathing.

How do I organise an appointment?

Give the clinic a call and let them know you would like your pet reviewed for BOAS surgery suitability. Our reception will organise a time for Dr Belinda to consult with you and determine a recommended course of action and what the costs would be relevant to your pets case.