Stenotic nares is a congenital
disorder most likely to affect puppies with normally short or flattened muzzles. Breeds with normally short muzzles are called brachycephalic breeds; these include Pugs, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers, Scottish Terriers, Sealyham Terriers, and similar breeds. These types of breeds have a normally restrictive upper airway system and are prone to inheriting abnormally or severely narrow airways. In the case of stenotic nares, the nostrils are malformed with narrow openings, thus restricting the puppy's ability to intake air.
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom is difficulty breathing through the nostrils. The affected puppy will be seen breathing through his mouth rather than the nostrils.
What are the risks?
Most puppies will compensate by mouth breathing rather than nose breathing. It is not uncommon for affected puppies to have other congenital disorders as well as stenotic nares. All affected puppies should be evaluated carefully.
What is the management?
Surgery to open the nares is generally successful and will allow most puppies to live relatively normal lives.