Hello again! You are not abusing this site, this is what the premium membership is for!
As far as your questions today:
1. If she is out for long periods of time outside, it will be difficult to breath, making it uncomfortable to her. If it is a short period of time like 5-10 minutes, she should be fine.
2. Regarding the food: the "casseroles" are fine as long as you supplement them with a good dry food. A balanced dry food will have an AAFCO (association of animal feed control officials) label saying it is nutritionally complete. This is most major brand name diets, but some "high end" diets may not have this label as they are not nutritionally complete. Look for the label!
3. Regarding the panting: you will likely notice more panting than prior to her tracheostomy. This is due to a change in the structure of her respiratory system. This will likely go on for the rest of her life. Sometimes it can indeed be due to anxiety as well. You can give her chamomile if she tolerates that well. Panting can sometimes be a sign or pain or overheating, so if this persists, it may be a good idea to check her temperature and make sure it is normal (98.5-103.0 F). If the temperature is elevated, it is a sign of either overheating, pain, or possibly even infection somewhere in the body. At that point, she will need to be checked out by your vet. I think the most likely thing here is some anxiety and increased effort to release normal body heat from her abnormal trachea.
I am glad to hear Morgan is still doing well. Please feel free to contact me back and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Have a great day!
Dr. G ~ I don't really need more information ... just want to take a moment and thank you, XXXXX XXXXX yet again for your clear and thorough responses to my questions. I wish you knew what a help they are and how much calmer we are now in caring for Morgan, because of your guidance.
The dry food Morgan now loves does have an AAFCO label, so that's great news. And she eats that for breakfast, along with a pill pocket containing her Prilosec OTC and 4 mg of Bisolvon. She gets her casserole later in the day, as well as a snack in the evening -- I put a bit of the chamomile tea mixed with a bit of a ginger decoction in the snack last night and her panting decreased substantially.
She is getting stronger. And we are keeping her indoors (despite her recollection that she has always been allowed outside at will!) and her breathing is benefitting, overall, from the rest (I think). I can't wait for autumn to set in so she can again go outdoors, in cooler weather, and also can go for the walks that might increase her stamina even further.
I wish you could see the change in her in this past week -- the week in which I've asked you my questions and received your help. She has gone from being a dog whose life appears fragile, to being a dog who is once again having a great life -- thinks of games to play and has opinions about everything and wants to be part of everything and sleeps peacefully through the night.