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Open Access Research article

Glottic and skull indices in canine brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome

Roberta Caccamo1*, Paolo Buracco1, Giuseppe La Rosa2, Matteo Cantatore3 and Stefano Romussi4

Author Affiliations

1 Department for Veterinary Science, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Turin, Grugliasco, Italy

2 Veterinary Practitioner, Turin, Italy

3 Hospital for Small Animals, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Veterinary Centre, Roslin, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK

4 Department for Veterinary Sciences and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:12  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-12

Published: 11 January 2014



Forty dogs presented for brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome with laryngeal collapse not over 1st degree (saccule eversion) underwent glottis endoscopic and radiographic skull measurements before surgery. Fifteen Pugs, fifteen French and ten English Bulldogs were included. The goals were prospectively to compare three common brachycephalic breeds for anatomical differences regarding glottis and skull measurements, and to assess if any correlation between glottis and skull measurements was present. Linear measurements were used to obtain glottis and skull indices. Correlations between glottis and skull indices and glottic measurements were evaluated. Finally, glottis indices were compared among the three breeds.


No correlation was found for glottis and skull indices. The glottic index differed among the three breeds (smaller in Pugs and higher in English Bulldogs), ultimately representing a morphologic indicator of the different larynx shape in the three breeds (more rounded in English Bulldogs, more elliptical in Pugs and in-between in French Bulldogs).


The lack of correlation between skull/glottic indices does not support skull morphology as predictor of glottic morphology. As Pugs had the lowest glottic index, it may be speculated that Pugs’ original narrow glottic width may predispose to further progressive respiratory deterioration more easily than in the other two breeds.

Canine brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome; Skull measurements; Glottic measurements; Glottic index; Laryngeal collapse