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Nasopharyngeal polyps in cats | VETgirl Veterinary Continuing Education Videos

In this VETgirl online veterinary CE video, we discuss nasopharyngeal polyps. In this video, a 13-year-old, male neutered, DSH presented with acute dyspnea. He had been treated for suspected asthma over the previous 2 weeks unsuccessfully. On presentation, the cat was treated with butorphanol and oxygen therapy; chest radiographs later reviewed a mild noncardiogenic pulmonary edema and soft tissue opacity at the level of the oronasopharynx. The cat was stabilized with sedation and oxygen, and was then anesthetized for an oral exam. Oral exam revealed a large nasopharyngeal polyp causing intermittent upper airway obstruction. A spay hook was used to retract the soft palate for better visualization.

Nasopharyngeal polyps often cause upper respiratory tract difficulty. Polyps are usually benign fleshy masses that emerge from the nose, nasopharynx, middle ear or external ear canal. Polyps typically occur in younger cats; while seen in older cats, other ruleouts would include neoplasia, granuloma, etc.  Treatment for nasopharyngeal polyps include appropriate work up, diagnosis, and removal with traction. For removal, the patient should have a secured airway under anesthesia, and while in dorsal recumbency, steady traction (with gentle twisting) should be applied (using curved hemostats) once the polyp has been grasped. The polyp usually will avulse with minimal bleeding. The entire stalk of the polyp should be removed, or re-growth can occur. Although this method is fairly simple, recurrence rate can be up to 50%, and require more invasive surgery such as a ventral bulla osteotomy or total ear canal ablation. In this patient, the non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema resolved within a day, and the patient was treated with success. Be sure to check out our other VETgirl videos for more great clinical tips!

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