Jay’s Breathing Issues


Gorgeous 9-month-old Scottish Fold cat Jay was referred to us for further investigation and treatment of severe nasal stenosis because he was having problems breathing and had regular sneezing episodes.

Severe nasal stenosis means that the nares (nostrils) are very pinched or narrow, making it hard for the pet to breathe, so they may do a lot of open mouth breathing and panting. This condition is part of the brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome (BOAS) that is common in short-nosed dog and cat breeds. Severely stenotic nostrils in cats is rarer than certain dog breeds.

Jay was put under general anaesthesia under the watchful eye of our specialist-led anaesthesia team and Phil Franklin one of our Post-Residency Clinicians in Small Animal Surgery performed an upper airway examination, Rhinoscopy and then surgery.

The upper airway examination revealed that Jay’s soft palate was a normal size, and his larynx (voice box) was also normal. The Rhinoscopy, which is an endoscopic procedure where the surgeon uses a flexible or rigid scope with a camera which is gently inserted into their nasal cavity, with Jay you could see marked narrowing of his external nostrils and of the nasal vestibule.

Jay’s nostrils and nasal vestibules were enlarged by an ala-vestibuloplasty surgical procedure. The operation went really well, and Jay recovered in the wards with our nursing teams helping him with his recovery.

The main duties of the nurse when caring for patients recovering from such surgery includes regularly checking their respiratory rate and oxygen saturation levels, supplementing this with oxygen if needed and checking their levels of pain and administering analgesia.

Cats normally like to eat because of the smell of food, so making sure they are eating can be challenging because of the area where the surgery was performed can become inflamed so feeding something smelly and appetising will encourage them to eat.

His owners were really happy with the results reporting that the operation had completely cured Jay’s clinical signs and he now didn’t have any problems breathing.