Clinical results, complications and the outcome of using either a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, diode laser or electrocautery (ELEC) for resection of the soft palate with an extended palatoplasty technique in brachycephalic dogs with upper airway obstructive syndrome were compared. Dogs were randomly allocated into three groups (n=20 in each group): ELEC, diode and CO2 groups. The palatoplasty was made at the rostral aspect of the tonsils. A respiratory clinical score, ranging from 0 (normal) to 4 (cyanosis), was attributed to each dog before surgery and at 0 hours, 24 hours, two weeks and six months after surgery. A favourable outcome was defined as a one point or greater decrease in score 24 hours after surgery. The proportion of dogs with a favourable outcome was significantly higher in the CO2 (n=15) and ELEC groups (n=15) in comparison with the diode group (n=7) (OR=5.6, 95 per cent confidence interval 1.4 to 21.9). Surgical time was significantly shorter (P<0.001; mean [sd] 510  seconds), and bleeding was less common (P<0.001; 30 per cent of cases) in the CO2 group. Complications were most frequent with the diode group (two cases of death and two cases of tracheostomy). The final outcome for all groups (n=57) was considered excellent in 79 per cent of cases and was considered good in 21 per cent.
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