Results of owner questionnaires describing long-term outcome in Norwich terriers with upper airway syndrome: 2011-2018

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Background: Norwich terriers are affected by an upper airway syndrome (NTUAS) but little is known about outcome in affected dogs. Objective: To determine outcome in dogs with NTUAS using owner questionnaires. Animals: Thirty-four client-owned dogs. Methods: At 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. Results: Dogs 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 Importance: Despite variable severity of NTUAS scores, owners reported excellent QOL for most Norwich terriers examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • anatomy and pathology
  • endoscopy
  • laryngeal//pharyngeal inflammatory disease
  • larynx
  • pharynx
  • respiratory tract
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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