Cleft palate (palatoschisis) is a congenital disease of cattle worldwide.
In cattle, this disorder is primarily hereditary in origin although nutritional deficiencies, drug or chemical exposure in utero and some viral infections have been attributed as causes.
Cleft palate results due to lack of closure of left and right embryonic premaxilla and maxilla folds. The disorder may involve the soft palate or the hard palate or both. This disease is also associated with dwarfism, congenital chondrodystrophy in Australian beef cattle and arthrogryposis multiplex in Charolais cattle. Some calves with cleft palate have other developmental abnormalities such as brachygnathia inferior and mandibular oligodontia.
Affected calves usually present with dysphagia (inability to suckle) and regurgitation of milk from the nostrils. Secondary pneumonia is commonly observed in severely affected calves.
Treatment usually involves conservative therapy such as intensive nursing care, broad-spectrum antimicrobial therapy and surgery if the defect is small. Surgical complications are common. Larger defects require synthetic implants to cover the defect
- Ireland Agriculture
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