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Soft Palate

An elongated soft palate is most often seen in short faced breeds. The soft palate is the flap of skin at the back of the throat. If the palate is too long, it blocks the airway making it difficult for the dog to breathe. It causes nasal discharge and noisy breathing because the air passages are obstructed. It is also possible for the dog to choke or spit up pieces of dog food and/or pass out from lack of oxygen especially after a great deal of stress or exercise.

These dogs typically breathe through the mouth, produce snorting noises, and snore while sleeping. Signs are more excessive with hot weather, physical exertion, or other stressful conditions. In most cases, surgery corrects the problem by shortening of the soft palate. Laser surgery is the most common way to do the surgery. This cuts down on the recovery time, and complications as well. After the surgery, it is not recommended to feed dry dog food during the healing time. Hard food will slow the healing time, so you should plan to feed rice, ground beef/chicken, or soft (canned or semi-moist) dog food.