Authors: ADOLFO MARIA TAMBELLA, CECILIA VULLO, FABRIZIO DINI, ANGELA PALUMBO PICCIONELLO, ANNA RITA ATTILI
Abstract: Elongated soft palate is a common upper airway anomaly in brachycephalic dogs. The scientific literature considering this pathology in nonbrachycephalic dogs is limited. The aim of this study was to estimate the importance of the elongated soft palate in nonbrachycephalic dogs (n = 10), carrying out, at the same time, a comparison with selected brachycephalic dogs (n = 19), on the effect of carbon dioxide laser staphylectomy. The selected population had only elongated soft palates and no other disorders. The surgery was rapid and uncomplicated; no suture material was used. The comprehensive recovery was significant (P < 0.0001): 68.4% of brachycephalic dogs and 100% of nonbrachycephalic dogs had complete recovery. The incomplete recovery in older brachycephalic dogs matched a more advanced pathologic phase. This study suggests that, in the case of high respiratory tract alteration and poor exercise tolerance, it is imperative to consider in differential diagnosis the elongated soft palate in nonbrachycephalic breeds, too; their clinical signs are less severe and frequently underestimated. The surgical treatment has a favorable prognosis when the only alteration is elongated soft palate. The carbon dioxide laser has been confirmed as an useful option for staphylectomy in dogs.
Keywords: Elongated soft palate, laser surgery, brachycephalic, nonbrachycephalic, dog
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