The Cambridge BOAS research group consists of veterinary clinicians and biological scientists, investigating respiratory disorders in brachycephalic canine breeds.
Extreme brachycephaly, or shortening of the skull with a flattened face, is seen in a number of increasingly popular breeds, including bulldogs, French bulldogs, and pugs. The short skull is often accompanied by obstructions in the upper respiratory tract, which result in the Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS). We are currently investigating respiratory function in brachycephalic breeds by using the non-invasive technique of whole-body barometric plethysmography (WBBP). We are also conducting studies on the association between disease progression and brachycephalic skull dimensions. DNA samples are also being collected to define the genetic basis of BOAS. The ultimate aim of this research is to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic dogs by reducing the incidence of severe BOAS.
Moreover, we provide a soft tissue referral service that includes upper airway surgery for dogs with severe BOAS. In some affected dogs that only have a partial response to the traditional airway surgery, we perform laser-assisted turbinectomy (LATE).