Meet Percy the Cocker Spaniel and his mum Emma.

Percy presented to HVH in January suffering from respiratory distress. This had been going on for over six months. During this time Emma (Percy’s mum) had been doing a wonderful job managing his condition at home with medication and monitoring of his breathing. A few months later Percy was presented back to HVH with difficulty breathing. We scheduled Percy in with Dr. Debbie to have his throat examined under a general anaesthetic. During this examination, Dr Debbie diagnosed Percy with Laryngeal Paralysis. This means his larynx was not opening properly to allow enough air in when he was breathing, especially when panting.

In this video we are looking at Percy’s larynx. The two folds of tissue seen here, called the arytenoid cartilages should both move inwards and outwards together with each breath. In Percy’s case the right side (seen as the one on top in the video) is moving normally & the left side is not moving at all due to paralysis.”

To help this condition, Dr Debbie operated on Percy to perform a Laryngeal Tie Back. This surgery opened Percy’s larynx by permanently fixing it in a semi-open position with sutures. This surgery improves airflow to Percy’s lungs.

Percy was able to go home the very next day. He was bright, happy, eating and drinking. His mum, Emma was very pleased to have him home and reported he was doing very well.

Having the Laryngeal Tie Back surgery improved Percy’s quality of life dramatically. We are sad to tell you that several months after his surgery, Percy came back to HVH where we discovered through diagnostic imaging and surgery, he had developed cancer. This cancer was unrelated to Percy’s laryngeal problem. Percy prognosis was terminal and he needed to be euthanized to avoid any further pain. Rest peacefully sweet Percy. Emma was happy to have his story told so that others can be aware of this condition and the benefit of surgery.

This is the video of Percy’s throat.

Laryngeal Paralysis is a common condition in middle to older aged dogs. Initial symptoms are usually noisy breathing, particularly when panting. As the condition progresses dogs can fatigue easily, develop a bark change, and cough/gag when eating and drinking. If you suspect your dog might be suffering please call us to arrange a consultation.