Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Evaluation of a treadmill-based submaximal fitness test in pugs, and collecting breed-specific information on brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome

Despite efforts of veterinarians and breeders, brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome (BOAS) is still a common problem in pugs, underlining the need for objective tests to identify and prevent breeding with affected dogs. In the current study, a submaximal, treadmill-based fitness test was evaluated as a tool to identify signs of airway obstruction not recognisable under rest conditions. In addition to this, different body conformation and measurements were assessed regarding their association with BOAS. A total of 62 pugs and 10 mesocephalic dogs trotted with an individual comfort speed on a treadmill for 15 min. Before and during the examination, dogs were examined for signs of respiratory distress, and a functional BOAS grading was applied. The influence of body conformation on BOAS grading was tested in a univariable and multivariable logistic regression model. During exercise, more respiratory noises were observed, and existing respiratory noises became more apparent in comparison to when at rest. In the multivariable logistic regression model, no factor had a statistically significant influence on BOAS classification. Submaximal fitness testing helped to identify signs of respiratory distress not apparent under resting conditions, and could be a valuable addition for identifying dogs with BOAS. Performing testing on a treadmill facilitates continuous observation of the patients, and enables standardisation of the test regarding the test environment, as well as provides an uninterrupted, steady workload.


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