How Much Does Elongated Soft Palate Surgery Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

Shorter nose dog breeds, such as the English Bulldogs, Pugs and Shih-Tzus, have an elongated soft palate to some extent — a common breathing disorder.

This soft palate is the flap of the skin at the back of the throat, and if it is too long or even too thick, it can block the airway, making it difficult for the dog to breathe.  The end of this soft palate, to picture it, can get sucked in and even stuck in the windpipe, leading to a paritial obstruction.  This situation, if left untreated, can cause distress and difficulty for your dog while breathing.

A surgical procedure, commonly referred to as a soft-palate resection, can help a short-nosed dog breathe easier while traveling or living life in general.

sad pug by hannahkrajewski, on Flickr
sad pug” (CC BY 2.0) by hannahkrajewski

How much does elongated soft palate surgery for a dog cost?

The cost of an elongated soft palate surgical procedure will depend on a few factors, including where you live, the surgeon you hire, how long your dog may be in the hospital and how many surgical procedures need to be done overall to resolve the problem.  The costs, without any insurance, can cost anywhere from $900 to $2,900 from what we researched.  What you’re going to find out is that the prices are going to greatly vary from one location to another.

According to a post on The Miami-Dade French Bulldog Meetup Group via MeetUp.com, the costs of this common laser procedure ranged anywhere from $500 to as much as $2,500.

Dr. Gary on JustAnswer.com stated the surgery will depend on how many surgical procedures need to be done.  If you needed the soft palate, laryngeal saccules and nares all corrected, then the costs could be as high as $2,500, but if you need just one of the three procedures, then the average will be within the $1,000 to $1,500 range.

Elongated soft palate surgery for a dog

The surgical procedure first begins by trimming the excess tissue from the soft palate to help the air move from the mouth to the nose into the trachea, according to Patrick Mahaney, VMD CV.  This procedure can also be paired with a rhinoplasty (nose job) to help increase the size of the nostrils and air capacity traveling through the nose.  The entire procedure, depending on the surgeon’s experience and the method they use, will take about 60 minutes.

Today, laser surgery will be the most common method as it can help cut down the bleeding, swelling and the recovery time, but additional methods may include scissors or scalpel, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.  To see the surgery in pictures, the Hunt Valley Animal Hospital has a simple infographic with helpful information.

In most cases, a dog, after the surgery, will be required to stay at the hospital for at least 24 hours so the staff can monitor his/her progress.  The doctor will want to be certain the dog is able to breathe without complications.  Even when home, most vets recommend 14 days to see adequate healing and progress.

What are the extra costs?

As mentioned, additional surgical procedures, aside from the palate clip, may be required such as removing the laryngeal saccules or tonsils.  For every procedure, plan on multiplying each by $1,000; however, if you were to do all three together, the cost average could drop.

In some cases, the vet hospital may charge an additional fee for the anesthesia used during the procedure.

Tips to know:

All brachycephalic (brachy=short and cephalic= in) dog breeds are considered to be good candidates for the procedure.  Examples include the Shih Tzu, Boston Terrier, Mastiff, Boxer, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Pug and Pekingese.  All brachycephalic dogs are born with a combination of defects collectively termed Bracycephalic Respiratory Syndrome, which can affect these breeds depending on their body condition, genetics and the environment they live in.

The risks, as with any surgery, can include post-operative hemorrhaging, an infection at the surgical site, a decreased appetite, pain or in extreme cases, death.

While surgery may be recommended in some cases, many vets may suggest waiting until the dog is at least one year old as the palate may still grow until this time.

How can I save money?

The prices at a general practice vet will often be half the cost of a surgeon.  While you do not want to focus just on the price, it doesn’t hurt to get three to five quotes from vets in the area to see what they would charge for the procedure.  Be sure to ask about their expeirence, how many procedures they have done and what they would recommend for your particular situation.


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Average Reported Cost: $1500

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How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Jane Doe (Indianapolis,  Indiana) paid $1500 and said:

    $1,500 for elongated soft palate that was not successful. Now in the process of perhaps another surgery to help my pug breathe better.

    Was it worth it? Yes

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