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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Elongated Soft palate

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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

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.

Causes

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

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.

Treatment

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.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

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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