Transpalatal reconstruction and stenting for treatment of choanal atresia and nasopharyngeal stenosis in a dog

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2021 Jul 15;259(2):190-196. doi: 10.2460/javma.259.2.190.


Case description: A 3-year-old 17.5-kg (38.5-lb) mixed-breed dog was referred for evaluation because of nasal discharge, sneezing, and signs of nasal congestion of approximately 9 months' duration. A diagnosis of nasopharyngeal stenosis (NPS) was made prior to referral.

Clinical findings: Sneezing, bilateral mucopurulent nasal discharge, reduced nasal airflow, stertor, and increased inspiratory effort were noted on physical examination. Results of serum biochemical analysis were within respective reference ranges. Review of CT images of the skull revealed findings consistent with severe bilateral partial osseous choanal atresia and NPS. Retrograde rhinoscopy confirmed membranous NPS.

Treatment and outcome: A ventral rhinotomy was performed; communication between the pharynx and nasal passageway was reestablished by surgical debridement of the caudal border of the palatine bone and vomerine crest and groove, followed by dissection of the membranous NPS and reconstruction of the caudal part of the nasopharynx. A covered nasopharyngeal stent was placed in the newly established nasopharynx. The dog recovered uneventfully but was presented 3 weeks later with recurrent signs; diagnostic findings were consistent with stenosis rostral to the stent. The stenosis was treated with balloon dilation, and a second covered stent was placed rostral to and overlapping the first stent, spanning the stenotic region. Eleven months after this procedure, the dog was doing well.

Clinical relevance: Results for this patient suggested that ventral rhinotomy and covered nasopharyngeal stent placement can be used successfully for the management of osseous choanal atresia in dogs; however, careful attention to preoperative planning and potential complications is necessary.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Choanal Atresia* / surgery
  • Choanal Atresia* / veterinary
  • Constriction, Pathologic / surgery
  • Constriction, Pathologic / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases* / surgery
  • Dogs
  • Endoscopy / veterinary
  • Nasopharyngeal Diseases* / surgery
  • Nasopharyngeal Diseases* / veterinary
  • Stents