Q. We have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is an absolute joy except for sleeping. He snores louder than any human, and believe me, my husband snores loudly. Is there anything that can be done about this? Our vet’s assistant mentioned an elongated throat.
A. Certain breeds of dogs with short, squashed-up noses – known as brachycephalic – are notorious for their anatomical abnormalities which can result in very noisy breathing and louder-than-husband snoring. Think Bulldogs.
An elongated soft palate, the flap of tissue extending back from the roof of the mouth, is sometimes long enough that it can cause very noisy breathing as it flaps around. If it is too long (as it is in brachycephalic breeds), it may actually interfere with normal respiration. Surgical shortening with a laser is the treatment of choice. There is other tissue in the back of the mouth and airway which is sometimes referred to as redundant (unneeded). It can cause noisy breathing, and it also can be surgically modified.
Your veterinarian can do an exam of your dog’s throat to see if there is a problem that might cause snoring (light sedation may be required), or you can take the easier route taken by many spouses: separate bedrooms.