Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Hard/soft palate: cleft

Contributor(s): Prof Jonathon Naylor

Introduction

  • Cause: congenital failure of fusion of the palatal shelf; soft and/or hard palate may be involved - more commonly the former; unknown heritability.
  • Signs: bilateral nasal discharge, dysphagia, poor growth, respiratory distress.
  • Diagnosis: endoscopy, radiography, microbiology.
  • Treatment: surgical repair.
  • Prognosis: poor or guarded - better for soft palate defects detected and treated early; wound breakdown and complications common.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Hereditary.
  • Trauma.

Timecourse

  • Some horses grow reasonably but develop nasal reflux of food at older ages (often up to 4 years for first time).

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gaughan E M et al (1993) Congenital diseases of the equine head. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 9, 93-110 (A comprehensive review of equine congenital disorders including cleft palate) PubMed.
  • Bowman K F et al (1982) Complications of cleft palate repair in large animals. JAVMA 180, 652-657 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Bowman K F, Tate L P & Robertson J T (1990) Cleft Palate. In: Current Practice of Equine Surgery. Eds: N A White & J N Moore. Lippincott, USA.


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