Laryngeal paralysis (Read more about facial nerve paresis in dogs ) in labs can be a congenital disorder, but mostly it occurs in aging, larger breeds. The muscles of the larynx begin to weaken.
Symptoms of Laryngeal Paralysis in Labs
- The symptoms may go unnoticed unless the dog is generally very active. You will notice a decrease in activity. Some pet owners may attribute this to general aging.
- Get more information on prognosis of aspiration pneumonia in dogs
- A wheezing sound can be heard, and a cough is present after light exertion.
- Excessive panting occurs which can cause a total shut down of the respiratory system due to a lack of oxygen.
- There is a distinct change in the dogs voice.
- Some dogs may develop pneumonia because the cartilage is not closing during swallowing. There is a risk of aspiration when eating or drinking water.
Treatment for Laryngeal Paralysis in Labrador Retrievers
- A procedure called, “tie back,” may be done to literally tie the airway open on one side. This helps for the dog being able to tolerate more activity but again, can make pneumonia more of a risk.
- Surgery is not an option for dogs that have atrophy of the muscles, difficulty in swallowing, or any leg weakness. As a home remedy for these dogs, reducing stress, losing weight and being in air conditioning helps more.
- More information on rapid breathing in dogs at rest and its treatment.
- Use a harness instead of a collar to prevent any extra pressure on the throat area.
- Use higher sided bowls and put moderate sized rocks in the bottom so the dog can not gulp food down. It forces them to take their time eating and lessens the risk of aspiration pneumonia.
- Keep an eye on the color of the dogs tongue for signs of decreased oxygenation. The tongue is normally pink. A blue or purple tone can alert you to periods of distress.
- Know canine rescue breathing measures for possible incidents of collapse.