In the Spotlight: Laryngeal Paralysis

In the Spotlight: Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal Paralysis Part One

“Doc, my dog can’t breathe!”

Do you know the signs of Laryngeal Paralysis?

The typical laryngeal paralysis patient is an 8-12 year old retriever breed in the mid-south.

Symptoms include:

  • – exercise intolerance,
  • – noisy breathing (stridor), and
  • – blue-ish coloration of the tongue and gums (cyanosis).

The cause of this condition is a progressive neuromuscular disease that affects a single muscle on each side of the larynx and is often seen in conjunction with hypothyroidism.

Emergency treatment of this condition includes:

  • – steroids to reduce airway swelling,
  • – sedatives to decrease the respiratory efforts and
  • – inserting an endotracheal tube or an emergency tracheotomy (in extreme emergency cases).

The recommended surgical procedure to correct laryngeal paralysis is unilateral arytenoid tie-back.  The procedure has a high success rate with 90-95% of dogs regaining adequate respiratory abilities.


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