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Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Helping dog - and owner - breathe easier

My lovely boy Max, an 11-year-old Viszla, has just been diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis. Luckily, so far it's just one side of his layrnx that is damaged, so it could be worse, but I still don't know if it is likely to progress further or how he will manage to breathe and control his temperature when we get warmer weather (if that ever happens!). I am waiting for a referral to Liverpool University.

I have read Dogs Today for years but can't remember seeing any queries about this condition in the past, and only have limited info from the internet. I know there is an operation available but I am really worried about complications and if I would be able to give him the necessary aftercare required, as I work part-time. Is it better to have surgery early, or wait till he gets a lot worse? Or, worst case scenario, if the op is not a realistic option, how will I know when to make the heartbreaking decision that enough is enough?

Reading online, it says it is a fairly common condition in older large-breed male dogs, but I don't know anyone with personal experience who can give me an idea of what might be best for my boy Max.

Any information would be gratefully received.

Carole Adshead, by email

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