top of page

​Long soft palate

elongated soft palate

HOME >Department of Respiratory Medicine >

Dogs and cats do not have a uvula like humans. The soft palate sits above the pharynx in an arc because there is no pendulous uvula. With an overlong soft palate, it becomes too long and blocks the larynx, which is the entrance to the trachea. Think of snoring as a disease.

Brachycephalic breeds such as Pugs, French Bulldogs, Boston Terriers, English Bulldogs, and Shih Tzus are overwhelmingly common, and they can also be seen in Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, and even Chinchilla Scottish folds. It can also be seen in large dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.



The diagnosis of long soft palate can be made based on the clinical symptom of snoring. A definitive diagnosis requires endoscopic examination under anesthesia, which at the same time allows differentiation from constrictive respiratory diseases due to brachycephalic airway syndrome, such as laryngeal valgus and laryngeal collapse. And it has very important implications for surgical indications.

The clinical symptoms are characteristic, starting with a mild snoring sound at bedtime, followed by loud snoring, and when agitated or acutely exacerbated, the snoring sound associated with panting can be heard even outside of sleep. Since it is often congenital, it often occurs at a young age, and it is very important when you start hearing snoring.

XIf timed, a line exam will show a stretched and thickened soft palate, but it is not present in all cases.

Endoscopy allows morphological and dynamic observation of the soft palate. However, in cases of severe obstructive airway disease, simple anesthesia is dangerous, and a technical system that can respond to emergencies, including securing the airway, is necessary. In addition, in cases of abnormal excitement and even cyanosis,XIt is necessary to pay attention to the fact that breathing arrest may occur simply by forcing an unreasonable posture during the line examination, and if anesthesia is to be performed, surgical treatment should be performed at the same time as the examination.


The fundamental treatment is surgical excision because physical obstruction due to an excessively long soft palate is the main body of this disease. In particular, early resection is desirable for the purpose of suppressing the occurrence of concurrent diseases such as tracheal hypoplasia, tracheal collapse, and laryngeal collapse and alleviating symptoms (See Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome).


Sudden dyspnea may occur in summer or after excessive excitement. This is due to edema of the soft palate and laryngeal mucosa due to an acute inflammatory reaction. In this case, urgent medical treatment is required. Appropriate countermeasures will alleviate the problem, but it will be repeated many times under the same conditions, so don't worry about it. It is also important to take environmental considerations such as avoiding walking in the summer and keeping room temperature and humidity at an appropriate level. Surgical excision is required for definitive cure, but the brachycephalic panting may persist.

bottom of page