How can I tell if my pet has nasopharyngeal stenosis?
The clinical signs of nasopharyngeal stenosis (NPS) typically occur shortly after a general anaesthetic and include nasal discharge, increases noise when breathing, open mouth breathing and struggling to breath when eating.
How is nasopharyngeal stenosis diagnosed?
The clinical signs and history are suggestive of NPS but definitive diagnosis is achieved using a combination of CT scan and nasopharyngoscopy, where a camera is passed into the mouth and then retroflexed backwards to examine the nasopharyngeal region.
How is nasopharyngeal stenosis treated?
Cats, in particular, may respond favourably to balloon dilation alone. Using a combination of endoscopy and fluoroscopy the balloon is passed over a guidewire via the nose to the region of the NPS. Under fluoroscopy, the balloon is dilated to open the stenosis. The ideal balloon size is determined from measurements obtained in the CT scan.
In dogs, the response to balloon dilation alone is often unrewarding so stent placement is also recommended. The stents can either be permanent or temporary.
The prognosis for dogs and cats with NPS is good. Complications seen with these procedures are relatively uncommon but can include re-stenosis, stent compression, stent movement, irritation/reaction around the stent and chronic infections.