A brachycephalic dog presented for increased upper airway noise (snoring or snorting), especially with exercise. The dog was examined and then carefully sedated and evaluated for the possibility of an elongated soft palate, which is one of the conditions that may cause breathing difficulties in bracycephalic breeds.

Brachycephalic airway syndrome refers to upperairway obstruction caused by any combination of the following anatomical abnormalities: stenotic nares, an elongated soft palate, everted laryngeal saccules, and/or tracheal hypoplasia.

The soft palate was evaluated in this patient by placing the Video Otoscope Probe into the oropharynx. In normal animals, the caudal border of the soft palate is normally at, or immediately rostral to, the tip of the epiglottis. If the soft palate is longer than this, it frequently will be drawn into the rima glottidis and obstruct airflow through the larynx. The intense lighting at the tip of the Video Otoscope Probe and the lens at the end of the tip make illumination of the soft palate much easier.

Elongated Soft Palate

Elongated Soft Palate

To the right is the image of the elongated soft palate in this dog. The elongated soft palate was trimmed with a laser inserted through the working channel of the probe, and the dog recovered uneventfully.

The Video Otoscope System allowed a video of the procedure to be recorded and on display on a monitor, and allowed a picture of the elongated soft palate to taken for the owner and for the record.

If you have an interesting case that you would like to submit with pictures, please contact Dr. Jessica Melman Bhatia at jessvet3@aol.com.