Elongated Soft Palate

The Elongated Soft Palate

One of the most common forms of airway obstruction in brachycephalic breeds is due to an elongated soft palate. The soft palate is an extension of the hard palate which forms the roof of the mouth.

The purpose of the soft palate is to serve as a mobile flap preventing food and water from entering the nasal passages during swallowing.

A soft palate that is elongated will either hang in front of the airway or will fall into the larynx during inhalation. Dogs affected by chronic airway obstruction (CAO) tend to breathe rather noisily when excited. Characteristics of an elongated soft palate are as follows:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Snoring
  • Snorting
  • Gagging to attempt to clear their airway
  • Vomiting of foam and or siliva while eating or drinking

These characteristics become even more pronounced when the dog is hot or during periods of exercise. The harder the dog breathes, the greater the swelling and elongation of the soft palate. Most often an elongated soft palate is difficult to positively confirm.

While the dog is under general anesthesia, surgical correction is usually done at the same time.

  Do not use Ace as a anesthetic..