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Morphological evaluation of clefts of the lip, palate, or both in dogs

Santiago Peralta DVM1, Nadine Fiani BVSC2, Kimi H. Kan-Rohrer BSDH3, and Frank J. M. Verstraete Dr Med Vet, BVSc, MMedVet4
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 3 William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.
  • | 4 Department of Surgical and Radiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To systematically characterize the morphology of cleft lip, cleft palate, and cleft lip and palate in dogs.

ANIMALS 32 client-owned dogs with clefts of the lip (n = 5), palate (23), or both (4) that had undergone a CT or cone-beam CT scan of the head prior to any surgical procedures involving the oral cavity or face.

PROCEDURES Dog signalment and skull type were recorded. The anatomic form of each defect was characterized by use of a widely used human oral-cleft classification system on the basis of CT findings and clinical images. Other defect morphological features, including shape, relative size, facial symmetry, and vomer involvement, were also recorded.

RESULTS 9 anatomic forms of cleft were identified. Two anatomic forms were identified in the 23 dogs with cleft palate, in which differences in defect shape and size as well as vomer abnormalities were also evident. Seven anatomic forms were observed in 9 dogs with cleft lip or cleft lip and palate, and most of these dogs had incisive bone abnormalities and facial asymmetry.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE The morphological features of congenitally acquired cleft lip, cleft palate, and cleft lip and palate were complex and varied among dogs. The features identified here may be useful for surgical planning, developing of clinical coding schemes, or informing genetic, embryological, or clinical research into birth defects in dogs and other species.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Peralta (sp888@cornell.edu).