Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal Paralysis

Laryngeal paralysis is a condition that occurs mainly in dogs. However, it can occur in horses as well. It rarely develops in cats. While it is typically an inherited pet health condition, it can also develop due to aging, hypothyroidism or damage to the nerves that control movement of your pet's larynx. 

How Laryngeal Paralysis Affects Your Pet

In the beginning stages of laryngeal paralysis, your pet will emit a sort of roaring noise when it breathes, which will typically worsen during and after play or exercise. Over some time though, this noise will occur all the time, even when your dog is resting. If left untreated, it will become difficult to impossible for your pet to bark. During later stages of laryngeal paralysis, your dog will have a hard time breathing and may experience fainting spells. Finally, laryngeal edema may develop, which can block the airway resulting in respiratory collapse and death.

Common Symptoms of Laryngeal Paralysis

The symptoms that your pet will display if it has laryngeal paralysis depend on the severity of its condition. It also depends on whether or not airflow has been restricted. Additionally, it is essential to note these symptoms will intensify on pets during and after exertion. Common Symptoms of Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs: Excessive Panting, Noisy Breathing, Especially After Exertion, Difficulty Breathing, Hoarse Bark/Unable to Bark, Coughing, Exercise Intolerance, Elevated Temperature, Fainting Spells and Laryngeal Edema.

Treatments for Laryngeal Paralysis

If pets are in extreme distress and is unable to breathe, a tracheotomy and IV therapy will be necessary. Otherwise, treatments such as oxygen therapy, sedatives and/or steroids can help your dog breathe easier. In most cases of laryngeal paralysis, surgery is the preferred treatment method. Typically, this type of surgery involves the removal of your pet's vocal cords and supporting cartilage. While surgery will eliminate obstructions of the airway, your pet will not be able to bark. If it has been determined that a tumor is causing the obstruction, your veterinarian will remove it during surgery and radiation therapy may be required.

Breeds Affected

As stated above, laryngeal paralysis is more commonly seen in canines than in felines, and it occasionally occurs in horses as well. This condition can be either inherited or acquired, and the following breeds are some of the dogs that are most commonly affected. Further, the conditions listed below can leave your pet vulnerable to the problem. Animals most vulnerable to Laryngeal Paralysis: Dalmatians, German Shepherds, Bouvier des Flandres, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands, Irish Setters, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, Great Pyrenees, Siberian Huskies and Bull Terriers.

Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Get a Free Pet Insurance Quote