Effectively acting to obstruct the airways it becomes clear
why Ben was having great difficulty trying to exercise.
This problem tends to be at it's worst during the hot summer
months when dogs pant to control their temperature and find
themselves struggling to breathe properly.
There is no medication available which can help this "mechanical
disability". Surgery is the only viable option. Unfortunately,
the larynx has a dual function. That is, to open up fully
when the patient needs oxygen during exercise and to close
tightly shut when the patient eats and drinks to avoid contaminating
the lungs with food.
The problem with surgery is that we can only sew the larynx
fixed in one position, that is, wide open, a "tie-back"
procedure. Consequently only one side of the larynx is repaired
in this manner. This means the airway is at least half open
to facilitate better breathing and half closed to reduce
the possibility of inhaling food into the lungs (aspiration
Fortunately, for "Ben" he and his owners have
noticed a dramatic improvment in his ability to exercise
and he is now much better equipped to cope with the current
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS
to "Interesting Cases"
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