What is an elongated soft palate?
The soft palate is the back of the roof of your mouth. In short headed (brachycephalic) dogs their lower jaw is in proportion with their body, but the upper portion has been shortened. Because their face is squished, in some dogs the soft palate extends too far into the back of the throat and partially obstructs the airway when breathing in.
Signs and symptoms:
- History of noisy breathing
- Retching or gagging especially while swallowing
- Exercise intolerance
- Blue gums/cyanosis (lack of oxygen)
- Occasional collapse especially after activity/excitement/excessive heat
Dogs with brachycephalic syndrome are at greatest risk for heat stroke because they can not pant properly to cool down. To fix an elongated soft palate, the surgeon will remove the excess portion and place dissolvable sutures.