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What Is Laryngeal Paralysis?

One disease found in dogs that results in breathing difficulties is known as laryngeal paralysis. Depending on what point your dog is diagnosed, the disease can be mild at first but may slowly progress in time. Laryngeal paralysis can become a medical emergency in older, large-breed dogs.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at laryngeal paralysis by addressing some of the disease's causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Causes of Laryngeal Paralysis

The voice box, or larynx, is controlled by a nerve. When a dog is diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, they have lost the function of this nerve, causing its airways to narrow.

Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (GOLPP)

Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy (GOLPP) is a generalized nerve and muscle weakening syndrome of which laryngeal paralysis often plays a role. Genetics are thought to contribute to GOLPP, although the underlying cause is not entirely known.

Other Causes

Tumors or trauma in the neck can also result in laryngeal paralysis. Dogs as young as three months may also develop laryngeal paralysis as a congenital condition.

Symptoms of Laryngeal Paralysis

While the symptoms of laryngeal paralysis will vary depending on the severity of the disease, here are a few of the common clinical signs to look for in your pet:

  • Collapsing

  • Gums or tongue turning blue

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Changes in bark sounds

  • Heat and exercise intolerance

  • Regurgitating

  • Gagging

  • Coughing

  • Excess panting

  • Raspy or otherwise noisy breathing

Treating Laryngeal Paralysis

Sadly, there are no cures for laryngeal paralysis once your pet has been diagnosed. Thankfully, especially in mild cases, symptoms can be managed effectively through the following treatments:

  • Physical therapy

  • Weight loss

  • Using a harness instead of a neck collar

  • Limiting exposure to high heat and humidity

  • Limiting exercise

  • Anti-anxiety medication

  • Stress reduction

  • Acupuncture

In more severe cases, some veterinarians may recommend the surgical procedure commonly known as a “tie-back.” In these circumstances, the larynx is opened to help with breathing improvement, improving quality of life, and avoiding respiratory emergencies.

Veterinary Acupuncture and Laryngeal Paralysis

Because veterinary acupuncture is known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety in pets, it can be an effective treatment of symptoms of laryngeal paralysis. Additionally, veterinary acupuncture can help promote normal nerve communication in the larynx.

Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Can Help Treat Laryngeal Paralysis in Your Pet

Here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, our primary focus is on helping your pets live the healthy lives they deserve. That’s why we want to ensure all pet owners understand their options when it comes to enhancing their pets’ quality of life.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture can help your pet, take a look at the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. Dr. Kho is happy to discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture and electroacupuncture.

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