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Dyspnea caused by epiglottic retroversion in two dogs

James A. Flanders DVM, DACVS1 and Margret S. Thompson DVM, DACVR2
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Abstract

Case Description—An 8-year-old castrated male Boxer and a 10-year-old spayed female Yorkshire Terrier were evaluated because of dyspnea. In both dogs, the dyspnea persisted after elongated soft palate resection.

Clinical Findings—Laryngoscopic examination revealed caudal displacement of the epiglottis into the rima glottidis in both dogs. Excessive mobility of the epiglottis during respiration with episodic obstruction of the rima glottidis by the epiglottis was observed during fluoroscopic examination.

Treatment and Outcome—The epiglottis of both dogs was fixed in a horizontal plane by resection of a band of oral mucosa at the base of the epiglottis and closure of the mucosal defect with sutures. Fixation of the epiglottis resolved the dyspnea in both dogs.

Clinical Relevance—Excessive mobility of the epiglottis can predispose to glottic obstruction and cause dyspnea in dogs. Fixation of the epiglottis in a horizontal plane may resolve dyspnea caused by epiglottic retroversion in dogs.

Abstract

Case Description—An 8-year-old castrated male Boxer and a 10-year-old spayed female Yorkshire Terrier were evaluated because of dyspnea. In both dogs, the dyspnea persisted after elongated soft palate resection.

Clinical Findings—Laryngoscopic examination revealed caudal displacement of the epiglottis into the rima glottidis in both dogs. Excessive mobility of the epiglottis during respiration with episodic obstruction of the rima glottidis by the epiglottis was observed during fluoroscopic examination.

Treatment and Outcome—The epiglottis of both dogs was fixed in a horizontal plane by resection of a band of oral mucosa at the base of the epiglottis and closure of the mucosal defect with sutures. Fixation of the epiglottis resolved the dyspnea in both dogs.

Clinical Relevance—Excessive mobility of the epiglottis can predispose to glottic obstruction and cause dyspnea in dogs. Fixation of the epiglottis in a horizontal plane may resolve dyspnea caused by epiglottic retroversion in dogs.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Flanders (jaf7@cornell.edu).