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  • Author or Editor: Kimi H. Kan-Rohrer x
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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.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To determine and identify variables associated with outcomes of surgical repair of congenital palatal defects in dogs.

DESIGN Retrospective case series with nested observational study.

ANIMALS 26 dogs that underwent surgical repair of congenital palatal defects at 2 veterinary teaching hospitals from 2007 to 2016.

PROCEDURES Data were collected from medical records regarding dog age and body weight at the time of surgical defect repair, prior surgical history, skull type (brachycephalic, mesocephalic, or dolichocephalic), surgical technique used for defect repair, and defect severity. Functional outcome as well as frequency and location of oronasal fistula (ONF) formation were recorded. These outcomes were compared among various groups.

RESULTS Surgical defect repair achieved functional success in 22 of the 26 (85%) dogs. An ONF formed after initial repair in 13 (50%) dogs, and the most common location was the hard palate. Hard palate ONF formation was more common in dogs > 8 months of age at the time of initial repair; ONF at the junction between the hard and soft palates was more common in dogs > 8 months of age at the time of initial repair and in dogs with a history of failed surgical repair. An unsuccessful functional outcome was more common in dogs weighing < 1 kg (2.2 lb) at the time of initial repair.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Patient age, patient size, and defect characteristics should be taken into consideration when planning and assessing prognoses for surgical repair of congenital palatal defects in dogs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association