Epiglottic retroversion (ER) is the displacement of the epiglottis into the lumen of the larynx resulting in inspiratory airflow limitation and/or distress. It is unclear how often ER is a primary disease in dogs versus a condition that develops secondarily to other upper airway obstructive diseases. The goal of this study was to describe the concurrent diseases, management, and outcome in dogs with ER.
The electronic medical records system was searched for “epiglottic retroversion,” “epiglottic entrapment” and “epiglotto-pexy.” Diagnosis was made upon sedated oral examination and tracheoscopy, with or without doxapram administration. The records were reviewed and data was collected for descriptive analysis.
Thirteen dogs met the inclusion criteria. The following breeds were represented: Yorkshire terrier (n=5), and one each of chihuahua, havanese, miniature schnauzer, Parson Russell terrier, pomeranian, pug, shih tzu, and toy poodle. Seven dogs were males (6 neutered) and six were females (5 spayed). The mean age was 9.3 ± 2.4 years, and the mean weight was 4.6 ± 2.8 kg.
Two dogs had ER with no evidence of concurrent upper airway disease. The remaining eleven dogs had a combination of concurrent tracheal collapse, elongated soft palate, and laryngeal paralysis with concurrent elongated soft palate being the most common (n=6).
Treatment included an epiglotto-pexy performed in 12 of 13 dogs, and a epiglottectomy was performed in one dog. Four dogs had a staphylectomy, and one dog underwent an arytenoid lateralization procedure. All dogs recovered and were discharged.
Epiglottic retroversion may contribute to respiratory distress and is commonly is associated with other airway diseases. Additionally, epiglotto-pexy in dogs with ER may help reduce clinical signs attributable to ER.
Friday, June 15
9:15 AM – 9:30 AM
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