The nasal cavities of 14 dogs and three cats were explored surgically using a ventral rhinotomy. The exposure achieved through this approach was considered to be equal to a dorsal rhinotomy. One animal died during the immediate postoperative period from perforation of a gastric ulcer. The other animals recovered well and had no significant complications. The long-term survival of the animals was consistent with previous reports for their diseases. Ventral rhinotomy is no more difficult than dorsal rhinotomy, has less patient morbidity and fewer postoperative complications, and is more cosmetically acceptable.