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Soft Palate

Duggie, Bulldog, 9 Months - After Surgery

The necessity of surgery

Soft palate resection is the removal of the distal (end) area of the soft palate and is performed to allow a dog to breathe normally or near normally. Some dogs, especially short nosed (brachycephalic) breeds, have overly long soft palates for the length of their mouth. This leads to the soft palate interfering with the epiglottis during breathing. If the soft palate extends into the epiglottis, it is essentially causing obstruction of the airflow through the epiglottis, into the trachea and lungs during the act of inspiration (breathing in).

The harder the dog then tries to breathe in the more the soft palate is pulled into the epiglottis and the more difficult breathing then becomes. In mild cases it is seen as marked snoring, in severe cases it can even be seen as collapse due to failure to be able to bring sufficient oxygen into the lungs.

Treatment method

The dog is placed into sternal recumbency (lying on its chest). The mouth is then held open so the soft palate can be viewed and grasped. The distal most portion of the soft palate is resected and then over sown to prevent any bleeding. This then keeps the end of the soft palate clear of the epiglottis during inspiration (breathing in).


Cost of surgery

The cost of soft palate resection at SEAH is approx. $600 - 700 at present. Prices are referral centres can range from $1,800 - $2,500 or more for this procedure.

Recovery and aftercare

Recovery from the anaesthetic post-surgery is generally uneventful and the dog is normally and obviously markedly improved. All or almost all snoring when the dog is resting or sleeping is observed to have disappeared as a result of surgery. The dog is usually able to tolerate higher levels of activity as they are able to get air in and out of their body more easily. Reducing and stopping the interference with the epiglottis usually means that other pharyngeal structures are also not sucked inwards at the back of the throat at all or as much either, so further pharyngeal surgery can usually be avoided.

Marley, 8 year old Pug, pre-surgery

Scot Plummer

Meet Dr. Scot Plummer


Dr. Plummer has been passionate about caring for animals since his childhood, and graduated with Honours in a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Queensland. South Eastern Animal Hospital allows him to provide your pets with the care they deserve - at a price point that is more affordable.

About Scot Pricing Philosophy

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