Stenotic nares

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Before surgery
After surgery

Stenotic nares means the nares (nostrils) are pinched or narrow, making it more difficult for an animal to breathe, and resulting in a lot of open-mouth breathing and panting.[1] The condition is part of the brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome syndrome common to short-nosed dog[2] and cat breeds.[3] Dog breeds commonly affected by stenotic nares include Boston Terrier, Boxer, Bulldog, King Charles Spaniel, Lhasa Apso, Pug, and Shih Tzu. Stenotic nares is a congenital trait, meaning an animal is born with it. Veterinarians can perform a simple surgery to help widen the nares, which can be done at the same time as a spay or neuter surgery.


Several resection techniques exist to help correct stenotic nares including alar wing amputation (Trader's technique), punch resection, vertical wedge, horizontal wedge, alapexy, and laser ablation.[4] CO2 laser repair of the stenotic nares is bloodless, allowing a clear view of the surgical field and more precise surgical incisions.[2][5]


Since stenotic nares is congenital, there is no prevention other than breeding the trait out over generations.[6]


  1. ^ Brooks (DVM, DABVP), Wendy (May 5, 2021). "Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome in Flat-Faced Dogs". Veterinary Information Network.
  2. ^ a b Core, Daniel (April 2, 2014). "Laser Bloodless Repair of Stenotic Nares". Aesculight. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
  3. ^ Berns, Chanel N; Schmiedt, Chad W; Dickerson, Vanna M; Murphy, Sean M (December 27, 2020). "Single pedicle advancement flap for treatment of feline stenotic nares: technique and results in five cases". Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 22 (12): 1238–1242. doi:10.1177/1098612X20910539. PMID 32175790. S2CID 212729530 – via PubMed.
  4. ^ Keats (DVM, DACVS), Matthew M (April 1, 2012). "Brachycephalic airway syndrome, Part 1: Correcting stenotic nares". DVM 360.
  5. ^ Epperley (DVM), Lou Anne (March 22, 2012). "Surgical Lasers Aren't Just For Teaching Hospitals". Veterinary Practice News.
  6. ^ Ravn-Mølby, Eva-Marie; Sindahl, Line; Nielsen, Søren Saxmose; Bruun, Camilla S; Sandøe, Peter; Fredholm, Merete (December 16, 2019). "Breeding French bulldogs so that they breathe well—A long way to go". PLOS ONE. 14 (12): e0226280. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0226280. PMC 6913956. PMID 31841527. A lenient way to ensure that the prevalence of BS [Brachycephalic syndrome] is reduced among French bulldogs would be to avoid using dogs with severely stenotic nares for breeding. This would lead to progress, albeit at a very slow pace since dogs with moderately stenotic nares would have a negative impact on the progress. However, slow progress must be accepted to avoid a devastating reduction in genetic diversity within the breed.