DOI: 10.1002/vrc2.701 ISSN:

Standing laryngeal tie‐forward as a successful treatment of cleft palate in a 3‐month‐old foal

Natasha E. Lean, Albert Sole‐Guitart, Rosemary S. Cuming, Benjamin J. Ahern
  • General Veterinary


A 3‐month‐old Warmblood colt was referred for evaluation of coughing and dysphagia. An asymmetrical, short defect of the soft palate and secondary aspiration pneumonia was diagnosed and surgically treated with a standing laryngeal tie‐forward procedure. Intraoperative endoscopy was used to guide the procedure and confirm appropriate epiglottic positioning. By 4 days post‐operatively, the dysphagia resolved. Upper respiratory tract endoscopy performed 2 days post‐operatively confirmed maintenance of the intraoperative laryngohyoid positioning. When contacted 2 years post‐operatively, the owner reported being satisfied with the outcome of surgery. Clinical signs of dysphagia had resolved in 4 days and pneumonia within 2 months of surgery. This report demonstrates that small cleft palate defects can be treated successfully in foals using a standing laryngeal tie‐forward. When used in appropriate cases, the technique provides a valid alternative to primary closure, which mitigates the need for general anaesthesia in a potentially high‐risk population.

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