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Vet
Vet, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 83
Experience:  I have spent many years in mixed practice, dealing with all the major species.
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our vet has recommended surgery on my King Charles' Cavalier's

Resolved Question:

our vet has recommended surgery on my King Charles' Cavalier's elongated soft palate.
The problem is there is a lot of conflicted advice with many people saying the surgery can have complications and is not necessary. I just don't know whose advice to follow.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Vet replied 2 years ago.
Vet :

there, vet Andrew here.

Customer:

Vet :

It seems like Barney has been diagnosed with one feature of Upper Airway Disease, which is common in shorter-snouted breeds like the CKCS. Surgery is only necessary in these breeds if the problem affects their quality of life.

Customer:

i would not say it does affect his quality of life.

Customer:

it effects mine as it is near impossible to sleep now with the snoring (!) but that is my problem not his

Customer:

however the vet said it would only get worse if we don't operate and he could faint or collapse in later life.

Customer:

i thought that was a little strange as this is my 3rd CKC and i have never heard that before

Vet :

Does the problem affect his exercise?

Customer:

no

Customer:

just at night

Customer:

gagging, coughing and the snoring

Vet :

OK, there are other things to try before surgery. I would initially manage these cases with weight loss, if needed, and ensuring the sleeping area is well-ventilated and their bedding is not forcing a curled sleeping position.

Vet :

However, if the problem worsens, there could be fainting but more importantly the rest of the airway may be affected by the force of restricted breathing - the larynx could collapse, the tonsils could flop out into the airway, and the stomach may be drawn into the chest partially. These effects are mainly seen in badly-affected breeds like bulldogs, not CKCS.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

he is not over weight and the bedroom is well ventilated

Customer:

his bed does not force him to curl

bed
Full Size Image

Customer:

but he does tend to cuddle up like the above

Vet :

My approach would be the conservative one above, then surgery if the problem worsens and starts to affect exercise.

Customer:

ok

Customer:

thank-you

Vet :

The surgery on the soft palate, especially if only a little is trimmed, is less likely to lead to complications than other parts anyway.

Customer:

it is also very expensive here, around £3000

Vet :

Very drastic palate resections can lead to swallowing problems.

Vet :

Where are you?

Customer:

london

Customer:

do you think I have been over quoted?

Vet :

The surgery needs an experienced hand best results, but that would probably be the top end of what I have heard. Is Barney insured?

Customer:

no

Customer:

ok, well thank-you

Customer:

it is good to get a second opinion

Vet :

That's what I was about to suggest.

Vet :

Do you have a relative in perhaps a more rural area who could take Barney in to a local referral practice?

Customer:

no, sadly just me.

Customer:

but I dont mind travelling, I could look around

Vet :

It wouldn't hurt to ring around quote. You have no obligation to stay with your current vet if the prices are too high.

Customer:

someone suggested the animal hospital in potters bar

Customer:

i'll try that

Customer:

thank-you

Vet :

No problem. As I say, get a second opinion and quote from them and take it from there.

Customer:

ok thanks

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