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"Mica" - Shih Tsu Puppy with Stenotic Nares

Mica: before surgery

Patience is a virtue, but sadly not one of mine! Consequently, over the years I have tended towards the surgical aspect of veterinary medicine. The principal rationale being that within a matter of hours I can radically improve the quality of my patients' lives.

Whilst the bulk of my operations are involved with the treatment of disease I reserve some of my greatest satisfaction from those patients who benefit from plastic surgery.

Now I am not talking of improving their confidence by restoring or creating fine features like my human colleagues. Rather by altering physical features which would otherwise compromise their health. Sadly just as human fashion can impact our own lives the fashion of selective dog breeding has resulted in the most diverse variation of physical features in any species on the planet. The desirability of some of those features aren't always compatible with health and vitality!


Hover your mouse over the image to see the effect of the surgery.

A number of breeds are noted for their flattened facial features which can unfortunately impact adversely on their respiratory tract. The most obvious of which is a condition known as "stenotic nares" which defines the narrowing of the nostrils to a point where airflow has become restricted.

Clearly, to any of us who have experienced the "blocked" sensation which comes with a "cold" caused by the inflammation of the lining of the respiratory tract this is not a good thing!

Fortunately for those who are severely affected there is a very neat piece of plastic surgery that can open these airways to some extent thereby improving that "blocked" sensation. I'm afraid that simply sucking a lozenge isn't up to the task in this instance!

"Mica" a Shih Tsu puppy was one such patient who at the early age of 4 months is now able to "breathe more easily".

Whilst there is always a great sense of satisfaction in helping those who have been victims of fashion I am assured by my friends that I needn't be concerned about being one myself! I've never really been sure whether that is good or not - however I am pleased to hear that after a 15 year absence tank tops are back in!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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