BackgroundNorwich terriers are affected by an upper airway syndrome (NTUAS) but little is known about outcome in affected dogs.
ObjectiveTo determine outcome in dogs with NTUAS using owner questionnaires.
AnimalsThirty-four client-owned dogs.
MethodsAt initial assessment, owners were questioned about respiratory noises and exercise tolerance. A NTUAS score was prospectively constructed based on the number and severity of obstructive lesions detected endoscopically (range, 0-25). Owner questionnaires on respiratory noises, exercise tolerance, and quality of life (QOL) were obtained 2.2-9.3 years (median, 4.2 years) after endoscopy.
ResultsDogs ranged from 0.5 to 10.7 years of age (median, 4.75 years) at initial examination and no correlation was found between age and NTUAS score (median, 13; range, 1-25). Of 5 possible laryngeal abnormalities, 7 dogs had 1-2, 10 dogs had 3, and 17 dogs had 4-5 abnormalities (median, 3.5). Surgery was performed in 15 dogs, which had higher NTUAS scores (18.5 ± 6.3) than dogs that did not have surgery (7.7 ± 4.7, P < .0001). Scores for QOL ranged from 0 to 31 out of 40, with higher scores indicating worse QOL. Owner surveys resulted in QOL scores of ≤3 in 25/31 dogs (81%), with worse scores in dogs that had surgery performed (median 5, vs 0; P = .003). No correlation was noted between NTUAS and QOL scores, but age at follow-up was weakly associated with worse QOL.
Conclusions and clinical importanceDespite variable severity of NTUAS scores, owners reported excellent QOL for most Norwich terriers examined.