Litters with Cleft Palates
Information presented in the "Living With..." sections of the SCARF website represent the personal viewpoint of the individual who made the journal entry and do not represent the opinions, positions, or viewpoints of SCARF or the veterinary community. [see complete disclaimer at bottom of page]
I experienced cleft palates in some of my first litters of Samoyeds. My first litter looked to be seven healthy puppies. One pup started tiring easily and falling off the teat. He grew tired and even when he managed to hold on to the teat, I saw milk running down his nose. An experienced Boxer friend of mine visited and was horrified to see this puppy. Firstly, she immediately recognized the problem; secondly she had not expected to see the condition in a Spitz breed. The puppy on examination had a cleft in the back half of the hard palate. It could never be reared normally. I took it to the vet to be euthanized. Other Samoyed breeders at the time expressed surprise and declared it was not a hereditary condition.
I blithely continued with my plans and the next year did another mating, uncle to niece. Not particularly close, I was told. Firstly, the bitch went into primary inertia, so the vet did a very prompt caesarian section resulting in 5 puppies sent home to me. After 24 hours, three of the puppies were lethargic which supposed was anesthesia effects. I then called the vet out and examined the puppies with him. Three were cleft palates. They were all given peace. The vet was embarrassed as he hadn’t expected to see this in a Samoyed.
I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth concerning the knowledge and advice I had been given by other breeders. Over the years I have found breeders who admit to having clefts. Many, like me, had no warning it might happen. Equally, their respective vets were surprised to find it in a breed where the shape of the muzzle would not suggest a predisposition towards it.
I have had one cleft palate in the last 15 or so years and that was in a litter where I had supplemented the bitch with folic acid as the latest research had suggested.
Information presented in the "Living With..." sections of the SCARF website represent the personal viewpoint of the individual who made the journal entry and do not represent the opinions, positions, or viewpoints of SCARF or the veterinary community. There may be discussions of drugs, devices, additives, foods, vitamins, herbs or biologicals that have not been approved by the FDA/CVM for the particular use being discussed. SCARF assumes no liability for the accuracy or outcomes of any suggestions, advice or other information provided by the "Living With..." postings on the SCARF website. All treatment decisions should only be made after discussion with your pet's veterinary health professional, and no changes in your pet's treatments or diet should be made based on any information found on the SCARF website.