Friday, 8 February 2013

Homer and Laryngeal Paralysis

Hello Everyone.

Last fall I indicated that Homer had some breathing issues.  Even while resting he was not only excessively panting but seemed out of breath.  Walks were gradually reduced to light strolls around the yard and swimming became just too taxing.

After a couple of vet visits and doing my own research, Homer was diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis.  In a nut shell, his larynx would not open to let air through causing his body to forcefully move air in and out in order to breathe.  So, our vacation to San Francisco turned into surgery to fix the problem.  Homer’s vet team and the surgeon did a fantastic job.  When Homer came home that evening, his breathing was 1000% better already.

·         His breathing is normal.
·         To slow his eating and prevent hacking, we now add a bit of water to the bowl.  All treats must be placed on the floor to force him to chew instead of swallowing them whole.
·         Our walks are back to the normal distance although the pace is often slower than we remember.  Prior to the surgery he did not stop and sniff very much because he would lose his breath.  Now he stops and smells every last yellow patch of snow!
·         He still barks but there is no sound.  All you hear is air escaping when he barks.  It’s kind of sad until you realize that he still ‘barks’ as much as he used to and it’s a lot quieter.
·         No more swimming.  Yes you read it correctly.  I got several professional opinions and they were all the same – no more swimming.  With his larynx permanently opened, he cannot close off the opening to prevent water from going into his lungs.  This is going to be a tough-sell considering that the only thing he likes more than swimming is eating.  But by my definition, wading in shallow water is not swimming.  The boat rides could be tough though.

Today he is as normal and bad as a 12-year old lab can be.  The trip to San Fran was a good trade.

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