General information on Cleft Palate
Cleft palate is a birth defect. It is caused when the fleshy tissue that separates the oral and nasal cavities, the palate, is defective or elongated and allows for a passageway between the two cavities. This allows for food and liquids to be passed between the two cavities. The palate can be lacerated as well or traumatized which can also create this passageway. Puppies that are born with defect have difficulty creating enough suction to nurse and as a result rely on tube feeding. Many of them get pneumonia because of this problem. A cleft palate can occur randomly in all breeds. Untreated, a cleft palate can cause difficulty breathing, increased airway noise, and upper airway diseases.
Symptoms of Cleft Palate
Some of the symptoms of a cleft palate may be food and liquids coming out of the dog’s nose when eating, anorexia, malnourishment, coughing, gagging, difficulty breathing, increased airway noises, and a secondary upper airway disease.
Treatments for Cleft Palate
The treatment for cleft palate is surgery. The dog should be of at least three months of age before the surgery is performed. If the palate is elongated, the dogs should be between four and twenty-four months of age for the surgery to be performed. If the palate defect was caused by an injury, it should be corrected as soon as possible. The surgery is complex and there is a high complication rate, so the surgery should preferably be done by a veterinarian with experience performing the surgery.
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Cleft Palate - personal experiences
Cleft Palate experience by - Courtney
Not true!!! Operations are NOT the only way to go. With love and care and common sense, I have a two year old whippet that has a cleft. She is fine, she eats hard and soft food, actually she eats everything!!!!. She is happy and healthy and spoiled. A surgery would have been the worst thing for her. I did research and took the time to interview many vets and breeders for information. I believe that the practice is COSMETIC as the dog does not know it has a problem, and they adapt very well.
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