Syncope associated with swallowing in two British Bulldogs with unilateral carotid body tumours

Phan A, Yates G, Nimmo J, et al.

Aust Vet J 2013;91:47-51.

Carotid body tumours were diagnosed in two British Bulldogs that each had a history of syncopal episodes induced by eating, drinking or pulling on the leash. In both dogs, a cervical mass was identified using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging, with carotid body tumour (CBT) being the histopathological diagnosis. A heart base mass was also identified in one dog by both CT and echocardiography. Swallowing syncope has been reported in the human literature in association with cervical mass lesions, but this is the first report in dogs. The present cases emphasise the value of advanced imaging of the head and neck in dogs presenting with clinical signs of syncope associated with swallowing and the importance of careful manipulation of the neck in patients with CBTs.