This condition is most often discovered as a birth defect in very young puppies who may show a round belly just as healthy puppies do, but are failing to thrive and gain weight. It is imperative to visit a veterinarian if you suspect that your puppy is becoming malnourished. A cleft palate may cause the newborn pup to have an inability to suckle the mother’s milk. It may appear that he is able to drink and gain nourishment, but he is actually taking in the air only. This is the reason for the round belly you may see. Older puppies with a mild cleft palate may show less distress, but a visit to the veterinarian to determine the extent of the cleft is crucial to your pet’s well being.
A cleft palate is an opening between the mouth (oral cavity) and nose (nasal cavity), which occurs when the tissues forming the palate do not fuse together properly. The result of this is an opening that remains which can allow for food and fluid to enter the nasal cavity during feeding, potentially leading the way to serious complications for your pet.
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