What it is: A cleft palate is an abnormal opening in the roof of a dog’s mouth. It usually occurs when the two sides of the roof don’t come together properly during embryotic development.
- Runny nose
- Aspiration pneumonia, caused by food and milk entering the lungs through the opening
- Difficulty breathing, suckling and nursing
- Lack of appetite, weight loss
- Slow growth
Treatment:Surgery is the recommended treatment to correct the condition as soon as possible. Because cleft palate is considered a congenital condition, or one that puppies are born with, choosing a dog insurance policy that covers congenital conditions is important for this and similar conditions. If your puppy shows obvious signs of any condition before enrolled in pet insurance, however, those conditions are considered pre-existing and excluded from coverage.
Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.