A specific concern in these hot months are medium to large middle to older aged dogs with possible Laryngeal Paralysis (or LP).
Laryngeal Paralysis is a condition whereby the larynx (the opening at the start of the treachea or windpipe), no longer works properly due to a partial or complete paralysis. This condition can be very subtle at first, manifesting itself as a slight increased respiratory noise on exercise. As it progresses this noise can become more obvious along with significant exercise intolerance. Often these patients will aso have a noticebale change to their bark in recent months, becoming more hoarse or husky in nature.
It is not uncommon for most veterinary clinics to receive a few calls each Summer (or during a heatwave period), from distressed pet owners informing them that their pet has been found passed away in the backyard. Sadly, this condition is often missed by inexperienced veterinarians and incorrectly put down to old age rather than the disease that it actually is. Those experienced veterinarians who correctly diagnose this condition will usually refer you to a specialist for surgery (which owners can rarely afford). Here at SAH however we include Laryngeal Paralysis corrective surgery on our vast list of advanced surgical procedures that we perform at a fraction of the cost of specialists.
Holly (the Labrador’s) story is one that echoes all that we have explained above, lucky for her and her owner she came to us just in time after her collapse. If you have a medium to large breed middle to older aged dog (especially Labrador’s or Labrador crosses), that have exercise intolerance and perhaps some increased noise to their breathing when exercising, please consult one of our veterinarians for further advice.
Be careful with your pets in this hot weather but more importantly, if you have or know a pet fitting the above concerns, contact us for further advice.