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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Elongated Soft palate




Condition Overview

The soft palate is a flap of mucosa that closes off the nasopharynx during swallowing. Normally, it touches or slightly overlaps the epiglottis.


Symptoms include snorting, snoring, stridor, gurgling and gagging. The obstruction is worse with exercise. In time, stretched ligaments in the larynx lead to labored breathing and laryngeal collapse.


In dogs with an elongated soft palate, the palate overlaps the epiglottis to a considerable degree, partially obstructing the airway during breathing.


Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.


An elongated soft palate is treated by surgically shortening the palate so that the edge opposes or slightly overlaps the epiglottis. Results are good if the operation is done before destructive changes occur in the larynx.


There is no prevention for this condition.


Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +


Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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