What causes a puppy to have a cleft palate?

Cleft palate is a relatively common condition that results from the failure of the roof of the mouth (hard and soft palates) to close during normal embryological development, thereby leaving a “cleft” in the roof of the mouth. The result is a puppy or kitten whose oral cavity communicates with their nasal passages.

Can a puppy outgrow a cleft palate?

Puppies that have a less severe cleft palate can continue to grow, albeit slowly. However, issues with the health of your dog may be seen with the following symptoms: Stunted growth due to poor weight gain.

What to do if a puppy has a cleft palate?

A puppy born with a cleft palate should be pulled from mom immediately. If the puppy does manage to nurse just a little, they will be exposed to aspiration pneumonia. The safest way to feed a cleft palate baby is to tube-feed them.

How do you prevent cleft lip in puppies?

Since cleft palates are a birth defect, selective breeding may be the only way to try and prevent a cleft palate in a dog. If a dog was born with a cleft palate it should not be used for breeding.

Can a cleft palate repair itself?

The only way to repair a cleft palate is by surgery. The goal is to close the opening in the roof of the child’s mouth.

How common are cleft palates in puppies?

Cleft palate defects occur in dogs with an incidence rate of up to 25 percent. Though it occurs in nearly all breeds, brachycephalic breeds, have a 30 percent increased risk for developing the disease. The birth defects occur when the roof of the mouth and/or lip fail to close during gestation.

How do they fix cleft palate in dogs?

The two most common techniques for repair of a congenital midline hard palate defect are the overlapping-flap technique and the medially positioned double-flap technique, sometimes called the von Langenbeck technique. Figure 2A: Cleft of the secondary palate in a dog, beginning behind the incisive papilla.

Is there a test for cleft palate in dogs?

DNA tests are available for cleft palate in Tollers through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. The tests identify carriers as well as normal and affected dogs.

How common is cleft palate in puppies?

Can a cleft palate close on its own?

A cleft palate occurs when two halves of the palate fail to close during the early stages of pregnancy. Though the condition is similar to cleft lip, it can exist on its own.

What happens if cleft palate is not treated?

Children with cleft palate are at increased risk of ear infections since they are more prone to fluid build-up in the middle ear. If left untreated, ear infections can cause hearing loss.

What age does cleft palate repair?

Cleft palate repair: A cleft palate is commonly fixed between 9 and 14 months of age. If there is a separation in the gum line, it usually is repaired when a child is 8-10 years of age. A child’s cleft/craniofacial team will determine the best time for cleft palate surgery.

Is cleft palate hereditary?

Yes, researchers believe that genetic predispositions play a part in causing most congenital abnormalities (commonly called “birth defects”), including cleft palate. In theory, that means cleft palate is hereditary, a trait that can be passed from mothers and fathers to their babies.

Why does cleft palate happen?

A cleft palate is caused when there is a failure of the different “shelves,” which make up the palate, to fuse during development. One major cause of cleft palate is genetic mutations.

When do cleft palates form?

Cleft lip and cleft palates are formed in the first 6 to 8 weeks of pregnancy. During this phase, the bones and tissues of baby’s upper jaw and mouth come together to form the upper lip and the roof of the baby’s mouth.