Dog: Laryngeal paralysis

Dysfunction of the larynx.

Due to paralysis, the laryngeal muscles fail to open during inhalation which leads to airflow impairment or restriction or airflow through the larynx. This paralysis can be due to a malfunction in the muscles or a malfunction of the nerves that control the muscles. It is thought to be hereditary in some breeds and can also be caused by injury to the nerves of the larynx. This condition is more commonly seen in older, large breed dogs.

Voice change, gagging or coughing during eating and drinking, exercise intolerance, panting, noisy breathing, difficulty breathing, cyanosis and fainting are clinical signs. Clinical signs are worse when the dog is anxious, during exercise and hot, humid weather.

Mild cases can be managed with weight loss, reducing exercise and avoiding stressful situations. Severely affected dogs that are having difficulty breathing may need supplemental oxygen. Surgical treatment by removing part of the larynx obstructing airflow or suturing (stitching) the larynx in an open position may be required for dogs that are severely affected.

Update version: 4/24/2014, © Copyright by
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