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Elongated soft palate

A dog with an elongated soft palate (the soft part of the roof of the mouth) has a soft palate that is too long for the length of the mouth. The excess length partially blocks the entrance to the trachea (windpipe) at the back of the throat. Clinical signs include respiratory signs (breathing difficulties, snoring, stridor, snorting) gagging, and sometimes the gagging will induce vomiting.

An elongated soft palate is diagnosed on clinical signs, video scope, or looking down the throat when your dog is sedated or under a general anesthetic.

Surgery is needed to shorten the soft palate. The soft palate is resected at a level where it will barely make contact with the epiglottis. Surgical scissors are used to resect the palate and absorbable sutures are placed into the remaining tissue.

The first video shows how the soft palate flops back and forth over the epiglottis and the second video shows how the dog’s ability to inhale and exhale has greatly improved. These videos were taken using a video vetscope by Louis Gotthelf, DVM of Montgomery, AL

If you would like to know if your dog/cat will benefit from this procedure you are welcome to visit us for a consultation.

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