Clinical characteristics of horses and foals diagnosed with cleft palate in a referral population: 28 cases (1988-2011).
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The objective of this case series was to characterize the population, case presentations, and outcomes of 28 equids diagnosed with cleft palate over a 25-year period. The incidence of cleft palate was 0.04%. The median age at presentation was 2 mo (range: 1 d to 3 y). Fifty percent of the animals were < 2 mo old, 21% were 2 mo but < 1 y old, and 29% were 1 y of age or older. Males and females were nearly equally represented. Short-term outcomes included euthanasia in 50%, surgical repair in 11%, supportive care in 4%, and no treatment in 32% of cases; 46% of the animals survived to discharge. Defects involving both the hard and soft palate and/or aspiration pneumonia generally had less favorable outcomes. Though cleft palate is rare in horses, it should be considered as a differential diagnosis in horses of all ages with nasal discharge, a cough, a history of recurrent respiratory infections, poor growth, or chronic submandibular lymphadenopathy. Endoscopic evaluation of the pharynx may aid in earlier diagnosis and prognostication for owners.
author list (cited authors)
Shaw, S. D., Norman, T. E., Arnold, C. E., & Coleman, M. C.
complete list of authors
Shaw, Sarah D||Norman, Tracy E||Arnold, Carolyn E||Coleman, Michelle C