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 ' Midline Failures & Cleft Palates '

Lets start at the beginning,

When the dogs sperm joins with the bitches ovum, this makes the ovum undergo certain changes.  The cells in the egg start multiplying until it has the correct number of chromosomes.  After a while these cells segregate, and certain sections will later become the intestines, heart tissues, reproductive organs etc. 

Once it has done a few divisions, it is then classed as an embryo. Sometimes things go wrong during this embryonic development before completion.  It can become halted or damaged. In CLEFT PALATE & MIDLINE FAILURE it is the development of the central dorsal line of the body. 

As an example : Pretend the part of the future puppies body at this stage is like a bean slit open, as the 2 sides of the bean become one it closes over.  In Midline Failure, the central dorsal line does not completely close and leaves the intestines on the outside of the stomach. Midline defects can show up as incomplete closure to the midline of the scalp, incompletely formed tails, skull defects, spina bifida and cleft palates (all these are along the middle of the dogs body).  A harelip (cleft palate) is probably caused at a different time during gestation than the above disorders.

Above: Cat with Cleft Palate.

Cleft Palate is a condition which could be genetic or environmental.  It occurs when the hard surface of the roof of the mouth and the softer palate behind it fail to close completely  This is can be quite noticeable when checking the pups at birth, but in some cases it can be down the back of the throat and can be undetected. One of the first signs that all is not right is usually milk bubbling out from the nose when the puppy is nursing. These puppies are either euthanased or die soon after from aspiration pneumonia due to the milk going through the nasal passages directly to the lungs.

Harelip is a split in the front portion of the palate, which extends up to the centre of the front lip where the middle incisors would later come in.  It is caused by a disruption in the embryonic development at a different time than cleft palate. Occasionally you can find both harelip and cleft palate in the one puppy.

Above: Puppy With Cleft Palate/Harelip

The red markings are showing where the mouth started on this puppy (either sides of his nose). The blue markings are where it should have been.  This puppy was euthanased a few days after birth.

Music:
My Heart Will Go On - Celine Dion



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