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MT18-010: The Effects of Brachycephalic Conformation on Cardiopulminary Health in Cats

Serious airway and cardiopulmonary disorders in brachycephalic (BC) dogs contribute to life-threatening disease. Despite suffering similar conformational deformities, BC cats remain largely unstudied as a population at significant risk for systemic and quality of life issues. Mounting evidence suggests BC also develop health problems related to conformation. It is critically important that the potential for such disorders in BC cats be thoroughly investigated.

To evaluate the respiratory tract by head, neck, and thoracic computed tomography (CT), direct and endoscopic examinations, and computational fluid dynamics; cardiopulmonary status by pulse oximetry, arterial blood gas analysis, cardiac biomarkers, and echocardiography with and without contrast; and the efficacy of ala vestibuloplasty by comparison of these diagnostics pre- and postoperative.

BC cats suffer from cardiopulmonary afflictions as a result of airway and other conformational deformities, and the severity of clinical signs is proportional to the severity of brachycephaly. Surgical treatment will result in reduction in clinical signs and improvement in nasal airflow and measured cardiopulmonary parameters.

Diagnostic studies will provide data concerning airway and cardiopulmonary pathology and identify cats in need of nares surgery. Surgical treatment will result in immediate and long-term clinical improvement in signs and measured parameters.

This study will define the feline BC syndrome concerning airway and cardiopulmonary problems. Defining methods for diagnosis and options for treatment will provide invaluable insight for owners and veterinarians and will be a critical step in improving the quality of life of BC cats.

Grant ID: MT18-010

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2018

Amount awarded: $31,696

Investigator: Heidi Phillips, VMD, ACVS and Hadley Gleason, VMD; Univeristy of Illinois