Surgery for congenital defects of the secondary hard palate in puppies


Surgical repair of congenital defect in secondary hard palate in a puppy

Congenital clefts of the secondary palate occur as a result of the failure to fuse of the embryonic palatine processes of the developing maxilla. Genetic, environmental and mechanical factors are thought to be involved.

Cleft of secondary palate in 13 week old puppy

Cleft of the secondary palate in a 13 week old Cocker Spaniel puppy

The optimal age for repair of congenital palatal clefts is between three and four months of age. The major complication associated with surgery is dehiscence resulting from tension on the surgical site and the first attempt at repair holds the best chance of success.

In this case, a cleft of the secondary palate in a 13 week old Cocker Spaniel puppy, a pharyngostomy intubation was performed and the hard palate cleft repaired using an overlapping flap technique. This has advantages over the more commonly used Von Langenbeck procedure as the resultant suture line overlies bone and there is greater postoperative mucosal contact for healing. The soft palate was repaired using a double layer appositional technique.

repair of soft palate

Repair of the palatal cleft using an overlapping flap technique for the hard palate and a double layer appositional technique for the soft palate

The puppy was fed via an oesophagostomy tube for seven days post operatively and on a soft diet for a total of six weeks. Toys and chews should also be withheld for this time.

7 days post cleft palate repair

Seven days post op demonstrating early signs of granulation tissue formation over the exposed palatal bone and healing of the palatal repair

When the relevant surgical principles are followed the prognosis following cleft palate repair is good. We appreciate that the cost of referral of puppies for this condition may be prohibitive and are therefore happy to offer the surgery to your clients at cost price.

Surgery was performed by Peter Southerden

Both Andrew Perry and Peter Southerden are happy to discuss or give advice on all matters relating to small animal veterinary dentistry or oral surgery. Please phone 01793 528341 or email Eastcott Referrals

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Edison Business Park
Hindle Way, Off Dorcan Way

Telephone: 01793 528341 - select option 2