Cleft Palate In Dogs: An Overview

Posted on: 2 August 2016

If you've recently added a puppy to your brood and have noticed that your furry friend is struggling to eat and grow, you may want to consider that your dog has a cleft palate. Below is an outline of cleft palate in canines, including causes, symptoms, and treatment options.

What is a Cleft Palate?

A cleft palate is an opening that occurs between the mouth and the nose, and it either affects the lip, also known as a cleft lip, or it affects the roof of the mouth.

There are a number of causes of cleft palates in dogs, though the most common is genetics. While certain breeds are more susceptible to being born with a cleft palate than others, there are other causes that can lead to the development of a cleft palate, such as poor nutrition of the mother, parasites, and viruses. Unfortunately, not all forms of cleft palate are immediately obvious, and this can lead to a number of issues.

What are the Symptoms of a Cleft Palate in Dogs?

If your dog has a cleft palate that affects the roof the mouth, you may not notice that your dog has a medical problem until your dog begins to display symptoms.

Common symptoms of a cleft palate include coughing or choking while drinking water, runny discharge from the nose after eating, and failure to thrive due to difficulty eating. Your dog may also have continuous discharge from the nose and may sneeze more often than is normal. The symptoms that your dog displays will depend on the severity of the cleft palate, and it's important to bring your dog to the veterinarian of you suspect that your pup has a cleft palate.

How are Cleft Palates Treated?

Your veterinarian will make a treatment plan based on the severity of your dog's cleft palate.

For severe cases, a surgical correction of the palate will be required. Surgery will likely be performed if your puppy is failing to thrive, and your dog may require a number of surgeries to completely correct the issue. While waiting for the surgery to occur, your dog's veterinarian will advise you on how to feed your dog in the meantime to ensure their health and growth.

With the proper treatment, your dog can survive, and even thrive, with a cleft palate. If you suspect that your dog has a cleft palate, make an appointment with your dog's veterinarian today.

For more information, contact Edinburgh Animal Hospital or a similar location.