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Dr. Alleyne
Dr. Alleyne, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1171
Experience:  Veterinary Associate at Acres Mill Veterinary Clinic
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39;My 10 month old bulk do puppy had her soft palette

Customer Question

39;My 10 month old bulk do puppy had her soft palette trimmed due to breathing problems in July, since then her breathing got worse & she was just diagnosed with larygenal paralysis & the surgeon wants to do surgery on her immediately due to this condition
being serious, could the first surgery in July have caused this condition?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 2 years ago.

Hello my name is***** and I am a licensed veterinarian with over 9 years of experience. I am hoping to help you with your pet Lola today. I just have a few questions to ask to gather some more information if you don’t mind? Was the surgery performed by a veterinary surgery specialist? How was he diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis? The reason why I am asking is because many Bulldogs who have problems with their soft palate usually have a list of other problems which include a narrower windpipe which could lead to a build up of negative pressure which leading to laryngeal collapse. Which is different from laryngeal paralysis which is due to damage or malfunction of a nerve in the throat called the cranial laryngeal nerve.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes, the surgery was done by a tissue specialist ( soft palette ) surgeon. After the surgery , we didn't see any improvement with Lola & in fact her bark was hoarse. I took her back to the initial follow up, the doctor said she needed to lose weight & that might help. For the next month I put her on a low cal diet & she still wasn't breathing great, & her bark remained muffled & hoarse. I took her back to the surgeon for a follow up & she was concerned as well. She recommended putting her under to look at the soft palette & possibly seeing if more can be trimmed. Once she did this, she also did the test which diagnosed Lola with the laryegenal paralysis . So I an confused how we got to this serious condition, did the surgery cause swelling & trauma to her throat causing this? Or was she misdiagnosed from the beginning?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 2 years ago.

Though I would expect some swelling from the soft palate surgery I would be surprised it would be enough to cause the paralysis. Especially considering the anatomy, the nerve that is typically involved to cause laryngeal paralysis is not very close to the soft palate. In fact it is deep in the throat area. My suspicion would be that she already had an issue with the larynx. What I would recommend is that you ask the surgeon is there a difference between laryngeal paralysis and laryngeal collapse and is it possible that she could have had the issue prior to the first surgery

Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 2 years ago.

Usually dogs with elongated soft palates have other issues as well that make up a condition called the brachycephalic syndrome. This includes an elongated soft palate, narrowed trachea, everted saccules of the larynx, collapsed larynx, and narrowed nostril openings or nares. Not all dogs will have all the problems at once but as they get older more problems may be discovered that may need surgical correction

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I asked the surgeon if she thinks Lola had this condition prior to the first surgery & she thinks she might have but she said that bc it's not common in bulldogs & Lola was a puppy the condition wasn't considered. With the seriousness & cost of another expensive surgery, whst are your thoughts about the surgery & all the risks? Also, fo you feel this is genetic?
Expert:  Dr. Alleyne replied 2 years ago.

It is a risky surgery but weighing the costs vs the benefits I would recommend having it done. The larynx is very important is not only important in dogs for its function in respiration, it also contributes to regulating temperature in dogs. So dogs with a laryngeal malfunction often suffer from overheating in extreme weather conditions because of a decrease ability to pant. Also you have to worry about respiratory issues with the larynx not closing and opening correctly.

As far as it being genetic, in a way most brachycephalic breeds such as english bull dogs, and boston terriers can be prone to this condition because of their design. So it is not uncommon for a few in the litter to show up with differing degrees of these problems. The ones with the most severe condition are encouraged not to breed because their offspring will have a higher chance of the same issues.