Vet In McKinney, TX: Overlong Soft Palate by Dr. Ed Mapes, Stonebridge Animal Hospital

Vet In McKinney, TX: Overlong Soft Palate by Dr. Ed Mapes, Stonebridge Animal Hospital

The soft palate is located just behind the hard palate on the bridge of the mouth and is the floppy tissue where our uvula is located.  Your vet in McKinney, TX will tell you that, in dogs, this tissue sometimes protrudes too far toward the throat and interferes with breathing.  Dogs will gurgle, snort, cough, and wheeze sometimes because of this “overlong soft palate”.

Vet McKinney TX

The suture is extending the abnormal tissue for resection with the laser.  You can understand how this flap of tissue obstructs breathing.

The condition is most commonly seen in brachycephalic breeds, which are also prone to very narrow nostrils and problems within the larynx that also obstruct breathing; this is called Brachycephalic Respiratory Syndrome.  Dogs usually do not suffer abnormalities in all three areas, and one important component of this syndrome is the overlong soft palate.

Affected dogs never have comfortable breathing, but the difficulty is often worse after excitement or exercise.  Decreased oxygenation of the blood can lead to cyanosis (membranes turn blue), gasping for breath, and even loss of consciousness.

There is no medical cure for this condition, although exercise restriction, preventing obesity, and rapid treatment of any oral infections can be helpful.  Your vet in McKinney, TX may strongly recommend a surgical procedure that resects (cuts out) the abnormal tissue so that it no longer protrudes into the throat – a procedure that normalizes breathing for these patients and can actually change their lives when they no longer have to struggle to breathe.

I had performed this operation before using standard surgical implements, but now the procedure is much easier, safer, and takes less time using the laser surgical unit.  The tissue has rather large blood vessels on each side, and cutting these vessels before meant a difficult time in stopping the hemorrhage.  Today, bleeding no  longer occurs because the laser cauterizes the vessels while they’re being incised.

Dogs with this condition should not be made to struggle for each breath; not when a vet in McKinney, TX has the technology to alleviate the condition and allow them to breathe normally – usually for the first time in their lives.  For help with this or any other pet help problem, call the best vet in McKinney, TX, Stonebridge Animal Hospital, at (469) 507-2433 or visit

Vet McKinney TX
Stonebridge Animal Hospital
5913 Virginia Parkway
McKinney, Texas 75071

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