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Pet Doc
Pet Doc, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7575
Experience:  Veterinarian - BVSc
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Our dog a mixed breed, 8yr, very mellow personality has had

Customer Question

Our dog a mixed breed, 8yr, very mellow personality has had intermittent breathing issues the last yr. Our vet treated him with steroid but didn't help so dc'd. He thought tracheal spasms. He will occasionally "suck air"-straining on inspiration. This frightens him and will come back to me for "help". Big sneezes, cough, gagging are other symptoms. Good appetite and drinks plenty of water.
A friend in another state has an older dog whom I have not met that has very similar symptoms. Their vet says there's a flap that suppose to change direction with inspiration and expiration and it doesn't perform correctly. Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

Thanks for your question regarding your mixed breed boy who has had breathing issues over the last year. I am currently typing up a response and will have something for you in the next 5 minutes.

Thank you for your patience.

Kind Regards,

Dr E

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Thank you for your patience. There are a few things that could be going on here, but what you have described could certainly be 'laryngeal paralysis' as your friend has described. This is more common in medium to large breed dogs, and the lack of the larynx to open and close properly, does in many ways cause these types of symptoms. Other possible causes we need to consider include a collapsing trachea (windpipe - more common in small and mini breeds), a primary mass in the airway, or an elongated soft palate. Given he has been fine otherwise up until now, the most likely possibility here is the laryngeal paralysis. There is an excellent article that gives more detail on this online here: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?A=2331 so do have a read. The best next step here is further diagnostics to try and get a clear idea of what is going on here and whether your boy could indeed have laryngeal paralysis. This will involve a mild sedation and viewing the larynx, as well as potentially bronchoscopy of the lower airways, collecting respiratory tract samples for analysis (to rule out other underlying issues), and a couple of chest xrays to check the heart size and lungs.

If laryngeal paralysis is diagnosed, then it could well be that your boy will need a surgery to fix this issue. This is done by a 'tie-back' procedure where the floppy laryngeal folds are tied back to open up the airway. This is best left to a veterinary surgical specialist and I would recommend referral if a laryngeal paralysis is confirmed.

All the best with your boy and please do follow up on the above diagnostics with your local vet this week if you can. I hope all of the above makes sense? If you have more questions or if I can help in any other way, please do not hesitate to ask! If you would like to accept my answer, please press RATE OUR CONVERSATION (I am not compensated in any other way). Bonuses are always welcome. Thanks! I hope to work with you again soon!

Kind Regards,

Dr E

PS: If you have additional questions after you rate the question, you are welcome to request me for additional conversations if I am on-line or by beginning your question "Dr. E..." or "Pet-doc..." and others will leave the questions for me.

Expert:  Pet Doc replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

Sorry - I don't know if my response came through. If you could confirm, that would be great.

Thanks,

Dr E