Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum and unfortunately have bad news about our 12 yr. old yellow lab, Oliver. Today I found out that my "number one son" (he became part of our family before our human son), has laryngeal paralysis. I took Oliver to the vet because recently he had been breathing very heavily and even panting (and that was just when he was excited b/c it was our family's dinnertime) and also seemed to slow down a lot on our walks. I thought (hoped) it was just a sign of old age but no such luck. Anyway, we are feeling very down about this diagnosis (confirmed by anesthetizing Oliver and using a scope and camera to check his throat) and wonder if anyone out there has had any experience with this (good or bad). Oliver has been healthy all his life and has the heart and soul of a puppy still (when he's not sleeping), so we're shocked that this could mean a sad end to our boy. I don't think we would do the tie-back surgery that I've read about due to his age and the limited success rate with older dogs. Any thoughts?
my chihuahua has occasional bouts of this ... her sister is worse ..
personally I would manage stress and go for a non surgical option too
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.” H. Keller
I've been thru this w/ my very first lab, Winnie. There are a couple of yahoo groups (the Godiva site above will direct you to one that is quite pro-surgery). I didn't do surgery, rather just managed it. I have an issue w/ doing major surgery on my oldsters.
What I did w/ Winnie and her daughter Gala (2.5 yrs younger), was a 2x daily cholodin supplement for neurological health. Guess what? Though Gala's bark had changed by age 11 or so, she's almost 14 and the LP has not progressed to point of affecting her. Winnie did need to be put down, but not until 13.5. She was more severe at age 11.5 than Gala though and a change of furniture here (microfiber) really set her off. I think it was the fire retardant chems used on the furniture now in retrospect. Her "blue" moments started the day the furniture was delivered and I too had unexplained headaches for 3 wks.
If you want to contact me privately, pls feel free to email. Been there, done that! Anne
Mick was 15 1/2 when we had to have him pts, just a couple of weeks after he made his last therapy visit to school.
Feel free to PM me, too, if you want.
Thank you for the support and the advice on the supplements. Our vet and the vet who performed the exam did not mention using any kind of vitamins or supplements to make Oliver more comfortable or help him manage stress. I've read other posts where people have used valium and Benedryl also. I'll keep collecting info. and then call our vet back to get her opinion. I'd like to be proactive and try to help my poochie as much as I can with this, especially with summer approaching.
I thought I'd update this post-just in case anyone else's dog has been diagnosed with LP and was curious. Our Oliver was diagnosed a year ago and we opted not to have surgery-a difficult and hand-wringing decision. We are happy to report that he has been doing just great! I decided to take Mick's mom's advice and not treat him like an invalid--we still take Oliver for walks (he just loves to visit all of the other neighborhood dogs) but we make sure that it is during the coolest part of the day and we really slow it down sometimes. Hot summer weather made it tougher for Oliver to cool down, so we would drive him 1/2 his normal distance (which is about a mile) and then let him walk back home. Then we'd let him cool down in his baby pool. Oliver turned 13 in January and I can honestly say that I don't see a decline in his activity from pre-diagnosis and his breathing, while still loud, seems the same (and our vet agrees). The one good thing that came of this diagnosis is that we pay TONS more attention to our boy now. With kids and a busy life, the dog can get pushed to the background at times. Being suddenly confronted with Oliver's mortality and never knowing what would happen has made us cherish our "puppy" just like we did when we first brought him home 13 years ago. Every day there is time for petting and talking to him, pretending to try to get his toys from him, throwing sticks, etc. His big fat tail wags all of the time. Good luck to anyone out there who has received the same diagnosis and please know that LP doesn't have to mean the sudden collapse and end to your beloved dog. Take precautions, do the things that your dog loves to do, and enjoy every day.
That's wonderful news! Thanks for the update. Anne
prayers and healing thoughts for Oliver
Glad to hear how well Oliver is doing.
Our Tootsie will be 11/12 this year and she is still going strong too. We have done the same for her at the age of 3/4 when we adopted her, with the advice from our rescue. Weight management, keep her stress level down, keep her cool and love her have all paid off for our little girl.
Continued good thoughts for Oliver
Coleman - CGC blk lab 6/02/97-2/25/08 adopted
Tootsie - choc lab 10/19/99-8/03/13 adopted
Bailey - CGC newf/fc 7/12/00-07/15/14 rescued
Ginger - BT 11/16/05 rescued
Sarah - blk lab 6/22/06 rescued
rescued felines - AJ - 8/00 - 1/11, Merlin - 5/20/05, Tucker - 8/3/10, Penny - 7/7/13