Cleft palate in dogs is a congenital birth defect that occurs when the roof of the mouth, which is formed by two palatal shelves, fails to fuse properly during fetal development. This can be caused by a number of factors, including genetic predisposition, exposure to toxins or infections during pregnancy, or a lack of nutrients necessary for proper development.
Cleft palate can affect a dog's ability to eat, drink, and breathe properly, and can also make them more susceptible to respiratory infections and other health problems. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the defect and improve the dog's quality of life. It is important to have any suspected cleft palate in a dog evaluated by a veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment.