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Dr. Marie
Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience:  Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
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My dog has labored breathing, excessive drool and gagging.

Customer Question

My dog has labored breathing, excessive drool and gagging. She has been doing this for 4 weeks. She has been to thre vet twice and they cant figure it out.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 6 years ago.

Hi there...sorry to hear that your dog is not well. This sounds like a very frustrating problem! It sounds like your vet is doing all of the right things. It looks like we are trying to find whether there is something stuck in her throat.

Has she had a thorough oral exam under anesthetic? That would be my next step. I would want to examine each of her teeth and all of her mouth and as far back into her throat as possible. Ideally, an endoscopic exam of the esophagus would be great, but not all vets have the equipment to do that.

Another thought is that she may have a condition called laryngeal paralysis. When this happens, the larynx doesn't open all of the way and it becomes difficult to breath. The way to diagnose this is by administering a light anesthetic and watching her larynx open and close. There is a surgery to fix this, but it is often expensive and can have side effects.

If you have financial constraints you could ask your vet to prescribe some antibiotics (in case there is a foreign object causing an infection) along with some bronchodilators to help with the breathing.

I hope this information helps! If you have more concerns, then hit reply. Or, if my answer is sufficient please hit accept. I'm in appointments this afternoon so I may not be able to respond immediately. Thanks!
Dr. Marie

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Marie's Post: Does the laryngeal observation need to be done under a light anesthetic or can it be under heavy anesthsia? She will be having an endoscopic exam tomorrow and I am wondering if they need to do these seperately or if they can be done at the same time. Will the larynx open and close sufficiently to diagnose laryngeal paralyis when she is knocked out completely?

Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 6 years ago.

Oh..this is good that she is having the endoscopic exam. When you go in it would be great to ask the doctors if they think this could be laryngeal paralysis. (It doesn't totally fit because there shouldn't be drooling with this, but it is still possible.)

When they do the deep anesthetic, they initially administer an IV medication called an induction agent. Then, they place an endotracheal tube. All they need to do is monitor the larynx for a few breaths before the tube goes into place to see if both sides of the arytenoids (larynx cartilage) are moving like they should. It is usually quite obvious.

It sounds like your dog is under great care though and I think your vets are right on track!

I hope you get an answer!

Dr. Marie.

Dr. Marie, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 3938
Experience: Compassionate licensed veterinarian with >20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets
Dr. Marie and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Marie's Post: Thank you Marie!
Expert:  Dr. Marie replied 6 years ago.

You're very welcome! I hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.

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Dr. Marie
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Compassionate licensed veterinarian with -->20 years experience with cats, dogs and pocket pets