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Old 05-09-2012, 12:48 PM
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Unhappy Laryngeal Paralysis

My sweet girl was diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis this morning. So of course I google it when I get home and read all these horror stories of dogs basically suffocating to death Does anyone have a dog with this condidtion? How do you help manage the symptoms? Did you opt for surgery?

She is a very healthy 10 year old Lab. She is in pperfect weight. I just cant stand the thought of her eventually suffering a traumatic death.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:14 AM
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Someone on this board had a lab with the same diagnosis. I believe they tried to keep him calm since excitement increased the symptoms. They didn't go for the surgery as it wasn't 100% certain. I think you need to watch her and decide for yourself & her what is best to do. Hugs.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Barb04 View Post
Someone on this board had a lab with the same diagnosis. I believe they tried to keep him calm since excitement increased the symptoms. They didn't go for the surgery as it wasn't 100% certain. I think you need to watch her and decide for yourself & her what is best to do. Hugs.
Not sure I'm who you're thinking of, but the bolded part fits. Below is something I typed up in Word about our experience with Mick and his LP. Please forgive any gender reference. The first time I posted it, it was for someone who had a male dog.


As scary as it is, it's important to stay calm when he is having trouble breathing. Stress will make the episodes worse (or bring them on). Just sitting and petting & talking to him during an episode should help.
Heat, humidity, cold and wind will bring on an episode. Not only did Mick wear a coat when it was cold out, but, in the bitter cold or wind he also wore a homemade scarf (the end of a thick hunting sock held in place with a Velcro muzzle).

Also, get him used to drinking out of a spritz bottle. Spritzing some water in his mouth will help end episodes. At first we thought it was the cold water, but eventually we realized it was actually the swallowing that stopped the episodes. You don't want to "flood" him with water, just little bits at a time. Plus it's an easy way to give him a quick drink when you're out someplace.

Avoid putting pressure on his neck. A tracking style harness is great for walking dogs with LP because of how the straps are. Premier's Sure Fit harness is the same style, and what we used. A leash can be clipped to either the ring at the front of the chest or the one on the back.

Oh- if they aren't already- raise his food and water dishes so he doesn't have to stretch his neck to eat or drink. My vet suggested feeding smaller meals more often. When I told him I fed Mick out of a huge dish so the food was spread thin, he said that would work, too. The idea is for them to eat slow.

I put Mick on ArthriSoothe about a year before he was diagnosed. I thought he was slowing down because of arthritis. Eventually I learned it actually had more to do with the LP (acquired/age onset LP causes muscle wasting from the rear forward). Anyway, we're thinking the ArthriSoothe was one of the reasons Mick's LP didn't progress as fast as the vet thought it would. Little by little, other supplements were added- MSM, Biotin, Cholodin and Vitamin B Complex. Except for the ArthriSoothe and the Biotin, all Mick's supplements were crushed. The Biotin was a capsule, so I just opened it and sprinkled it on his food. I bought the horse version of the ArthriSoothe (a powder), and adjusted the dosage (more economical that way). At 75 pounds, Mick’s maintenance dose was 1/8 tsp a day.

The biggest mistake we made with Mick was treating him like an invalid after he was diagnosed. He lost a good amount of muscle from lack of exercise in that period. And, with LP, once it's lost, it's gone.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:18 AM
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Just be very careful. My Malinois, Harry, did die of an acute attack of laryngeal paralysis. In retrospect, he had some vague symptoms, but they were ones easily brushed aside due to Harry's intensity. Then during a game of fetch he collapsed.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post

She is a very healthy 10 year old Lab. She is in pperfect weight. I just cant stand the thought of her eventually suffering a traumatic death.
I'm having the very same problem. My boy is going on 11. After tons of testing, blood tests, cancer screens, x-rays, EKG and ultrasounds, and a tracheoscopy, it has been diagnosed as laryngeal paralysis.

I'm fighting with the option of surgery. Everything that I have read says that there is a high probability of complications developing from the surgery. He also also has a mass in his trachea just above the larnyx.

I worry about coming home to him having passed because of this disease. I'm not sure that surgery is an option right now because of the mass in in trachea.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:25 PM
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Her bloodwork and xrays all look good. My vet is sending in a referrel to have her scoped. I really want to know the degree of the LP. If its a minor case or already severe. I know it will get worse and regardless she can have a crisis anytime. I still want to do things that she loves like walks and going to see my horses with me, but obviously I wont be able to just let her run all day. Have any of you tried a cooling vest? I wonder if that would be beneficial on a walk? Looks like I need to get a harness as well. I just hope I can manage it well without making her life boring

Stafinois, I'm so sorry about Harry
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post
Her bloodwork and xrays all look good. My vet is sending in a referrel to have her scoped. I really want to know the degree of the LP. If its a minor case or already severe. I know it will get worse and regardless she can have a crisis anytime. I still want to do things that she loves like walks and going to see my horses with me, but obviously I wont be able to just let her run all day. Have any of you tried a cooling vest? I wonder if that would be beneficial on a walk? Looks like I need to get a harness as well. I just hope I can manage it well without making her life boring

Stafinois, I'm so sorry about Harry
I got back from NC State internal medicine with my boy a few hours ago. I spoke to my vet about LP and the tie back surgery that is done to help with this. They said that it's a pretty easy surgery and most healthy dogs recover really well afterwards. Most returning to their normal activity levels within a few weeks. Like all surgeries there are possibilities of complications. Aspiration pneumonia is a possibility even after the surgery, however this is a possiblity even if the surgery isn't performed. They said that there would be minor life modifications like elevated food and water bowls, and making sure your dog takes his/her time eating. They said feeding smaller meals more frequently or even hand feeding works well.

We also have gone out and bought a harness to keep any kind of pressure off his throat area. I've heard the cooling vests work well, but was told that even short walks could pose a danger to dogs with LP.

We've opted to have the surgery for our boy if he is a good candidate. The vet wants to see if the mass in his trachea is growing before we do surgery. We will monitor for 4 wks have the mass meassured again and go from there.

Sending vibes to your pup. Hope this helps a little bit.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:07 PM
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Shaz, please keep me posted about your pup! I would love to hear your experience if you do go through with the sugery. I am taking my girl for a consultation on Tuesday to discuss options. I really want to do the scope to see the degree that her airway is or isnt functioning before I decide on surgery. She is a giant walking, slobering Hoover when it comes to food, so I am very worried about aspiration pneumonia! I just hope I would be able to manage her!

Sending your doggie lots of hugs and prayers!
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Kodiak View Post
. She is a giant walking, slobering Hoover when it comes to food, so I am very worried about aspiration pneumonia! I just hope I would be able to manage her!

Sending your doggie lots of hugs and prayers!
My boy is exactly the same. In fact I'm pretty sure he doesn't even taste his food. Even with that, I know that I can modify how he eats and drinks. One of my other dogs uses a bowl designed to slow his eating down, so I'd just get another one of those. The aspiration pneumonia is a possibility even though surgery isn't preformed, so, for me at least it's not something that would keep me from having surgery done, if caught early enough it is treatable with antibiotics. I've talked to a few people who have had this done with their dogs and they say that they wouldn't hesitate to do it again if another one of their dogs had LP.

His LP is in the beginning stages, the only reason he hasn't had the surgery yet is because of the mass that is near his larnyx. If it weren't for the mass he would've already gone in. Because of the way the mass is, there isn't any way that it can be removed safely, without removing part of the trachea. So, we're waiting to see if it's still growing, if it is how fast is it growing. I couldn't bare the possibility of coming home to him having gone into respiratory distress alone, so any surgery that could prevent that I'm all for.

It has been a heart wrenching last few weeks for me, I've gone back and forth on what to do for him. Not knowing what's going on and then add a mass in the trachea on top of all that. I know it's hard and scarey at first, but it's not a death sentence and can be managed.

If he goes in for surgery I will let you know how it goes and how he recovers.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:05 PM
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Laryngeal Paralysis was confirmed yesterday. I even left the clinic with a video of her throat movement, or lack of. It is bilateral and showing paradoxical movement, however surgery was not recomended at this time. The surgeon really felt that at this moment for my dog surgery was more risky than the paralysis. So I am to manage her activity and stress level. Of course if she worsens she will go under the knife.
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