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Male Newfoundland. 10 years. Harsh breathing at times. Diagnosed

Customer Question

Male Newfoundland. 10 years. Harsh breathing at times. Diagnosed by scope for laryngeal paralysis. Surgery recommended But soft tissue surgeon at major Univ. hosp says paralysis on one side of larynx not usually seen Doesn't same nerve control both sides of one organ? What am I missing ? Alternative treatment ? Back boundary of his yard is water ! Surgery impossible !Not a kennel dog.
Thanks, ***** ***** Newf
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
I am a bit unclear of the problem. It is absolutely possible for a dog to have unilateral (one-sided) laryngeal paralysis. The patients I have referred to the board certified surgeon for surgical consultation when it is only unilaterally paralyzed (not both sides paralyzed) usually will NOT perform the surgery unless there is serious compromise overall to the dog. The surgeons wants it to be bilateral before they recommend surgery. This is because the surgery has some significant potential complications that we must take before we do the surgery (such as risk for long term recurrent pneumonia). With unilateral laryngeal paralysis the dog can still breath, although we do have to be careful in very hot weather and with heavy exercise because heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious worries.
The time when we absolutely must consider the surgery is when a dog is admitted for being unable to breathe without a breathing tube. This is where we must either face the decision of surgery, place permanent tracheostomy tube (not great to maintain) or euthanize. These dogs usually must remain slightly sedation to keep an endotracheal tub win place or they have an emergency tracheostomy tube placed to even be able to breathe.
Some cases of unilateral laryngeal paralysis will progress to bilateral.
In your case I am unclear if surgery is not an option due to financial constraints or the patient has other medical issues that prevent this or for some reason the surgeon to who you consulted feels he is not a good candidate? IN that situation, if he able to function and not end up in the ER for inability to breathe and the scenario I mentioned above, then he can have a normal (low key, low activity) life. It means he goes only on short walks as can tolerate in cool parts of the day. We must be careful not to overheat him.
More info to read on lat par:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=2331
https://www.acvs.org/files/proceedings/2011/data/papers/188.pdf
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We live on the water. If he got out of the closet I would have to lock him in, he would drown ! He and other Newf are inseparable so it would be no life for either. I am looking for alternative, e.g. acupuncture, holistic, healing hands, something.
Expert:  Dr. Joey replied 1 year ago.
I cannot find anywhere that acupuncture will help. Nor can I find any holistic medication that will resolve this. It is a nerve paralysis problem. I will Opt Out and hope that another expert may have a non-medical approach to help. Best of luck.
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I can help you with your question.
If you are still checking this thread, I have one other suggestion for you. I have just recently started using a medication in dogs with unilateral laryngeal paralysis called doxepin which has greatly improved their ability to breathe normally. Of course, the owners must still take precautions to avoid excitement, heat, etc.
If you respond back with Walter's weight, I can help you with appropriate dosing. It is a prescription drug, so it will need to be prescribed by your local vet.