Dog Laryngeal Paralysis

This article was generously donated by Robert Pregulman and the story is about his dog Dylan.  It is with great sadness that we recently learned that Dylan crossed the rainbow bridge in October, 2014.

Robert manages his own popular website called Seattle Dog spot.

In the spring of 2007, when our chocolate lab Dylan was about 6-1/2 years old, he started occasionally making a honking noise (think of what a goose honk sounds like) when he breathed heavily while playing.

We didn’t think much of it until one of the women at his day care, Dog’s Day Out, told us she noticed the noise and that it could indicate that Dylan had a breathing problem. She recommended that whenever we heard the noise we should make Dylan rest awhile and wait several minutes before playing with him again.

We did this for a couple of months, but the problem appeared to get worse, and his “honking” episodes began to occur more frequently and last longer.

We took Dylan to our vet for an examination to see if he could identify the problem, and almost immediately after we described Dylan’s symptoms, he said Dylan probably had dog laryngeal paralysis.

More Common Than You Think

Have you ever heard of it? We certainly hadn’t even though it is a somewhat common condition, especially in larger dogs.

Laryngeal paralysis (LP) occurs when the muscles on either side of the cartilage covering the opening of a dog’s trachea, or windpipe, begin to weaken.

Normally, when a dog inhales, these muscles contract and pull open the cartilage at the opening of a dog’s trachea. This allows air to flow into the trachea and travel to the dog’s lungs. The muscles relax when the dog exhales.

If a dog has LP, these muscles begin to weaken and cannot completely open the cartilage at the trachea opening when the dog inhales, so the cartilage still covering the tracheal opening gets sucked down into it. Dog laryngeal paralysis makes the dog’s breathing more difficult and eventually leads to the honking sound that we heard from Dylan.

Laryngeal Paralysis in Dogs – Cause UNCLEAR

Here’s the explanation from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons on what causes dog laryngeal paralysis:


We may have been the cause of Dylan’s LP because the woman that taught his puppy training class told us to correct our dogs when we walked them by jerking their leashes (which we know now is not a good training technique). Since the leash was attached to a collar, we put a lot of pressure on his throat.

For this reason alone, you should NEVER attach a leash to a dog’s collar. Use a harness or a gentle leader. Putting pressure on a dog’s throat could lead to LP.

Dog Laryngeal Paralysis SYMPTOMS

A dog in the initial stages of LP will most likely make wheezing noises as it begins to have more difficulty breathing. It will also begin to tire more easily and may walk or play for increasingly shorter periods of time.

Because panting is a dog’s primary way of cooling itself, a dog with LP will begin to get overheated more quickly, especially in warmer weather, because it cannot breath in enough air to cool itself.

Respiratory Distress Can Kill Your Dog

This can eventually lead to respiratory distress because, as the dog begins overheat, it will breathe more rapidly to compensate for the reduced flow of cool air into its lungs. As the dog breathes more quickly and forcefully, the weakened muscles that pull open the cartilage at the tracheal opening are unable to keep pace with the faster breathing and the tracheal opening is blocked even more quickly.

If your dog goes into respiratory distress, do not immediately try to load it in a car and take it to the vet. Dogs in respiratory distress are overheated, and because of LP they cannot get enough air into their lungs.

Symptoms of dog laryngeal paralysis include labored breathing, a bluish tint to the tongue or gums, and coughing.

Dogs in respiratory distress must be cooled quickly or else they can suffocate. The best thing to do is to get the dog to a shady area quickly and make it lie down. This could be difficult as your dog could begin to panic as breathing becomes harder. Be sure to remain calm so you don’t make the situation worse.

Once your dog is calm and its breathing returns to normal, call your vet to determine what he/she thinks you should do next.

You Think Your Dog Has LP – WHAT NEXT?

First, make an appointment with your vet for a general examination. Be sure to find out if your vet has had any experience with dog laryngeal paralysis. Some veterinarians have limited or no experience diagnosing dog laryngeal paralysis so they may miss it.

If your vet thinks your pet is in the initial stages of dog laryngeal paralysis and is not in any immediate danger of having an episode of respiratory distress, he/she might give you a list of things to try that will minimize the progression of the condition such as cutting back on exercising your dog in warm weather, getting a harness instead of a collar, and cooling your dog down immediately whenever it starts to wheeze.

But if your vet diagnoses your dog with a more advanced case LP, he/she should refer you to a board certified surgeon who has extensive surgical experience with dog laryngeal paralysis.

And even if your vet diagnosed your dog with LP, the only way a board certified surgeon can confirm the diagnosis is to examine the larynx while your dog is under sedation.

If you take your dog to a surgeon to confirm that diagnosis, he should tell you, based on the information provided by you and your vet and his examination of your dog, whether or not he thinks he should examine your dog under sedation.

Our surgeon told us that Dylan’s LP symptoms had advanced to the point that he wanted to set an appointment to sedate Dylan to confirm the diagnosis. He also noted that since sedating dogs created a lot of mental and physical stress for them, he preferred to perform the surgery to correct the dog laryngeal paralysis immediately after he confirmed the condition while Dylan was still sedated instead of scheduling another appointment for the surgery.


Here’s how he said it would work. Once he sedated Dylan and confirmed he had LP, he would immediately call to let us know what he found. If he confirmed Dylan had LP that warranted surgery, he would ask us on the call to give him permission to keep Dylan sedated and perform the surgery.

Although surgeons use 3 or 4 different methods to fix LP, the most common and most effective is the Unilateral Cricoarytenoid Lateralization or “Tieback” surgery.

For a tieback, the surgeon makes an incision in the side of the dog’s neck and uses sutures to tie back the cartilage on one side of the tracheal opening far enough to allow the dog to breathe normally and prevent respiratory distress. The cartilage isn’t pulled open completely so food and fluids can’t easily enter the trachea.

The surgery lasts a couple of hours, and usually the dog is kept overnight for observation and allowed to go home the next day.

POST-SURGICAL CARE for Dogs Diagnosed with Laryngeal Paralysis

After we agreed to the procedure, the vet told us that if he ended up doing the surgery Dylan’s recovery would be about six weeks.

Here are the post-operative orders we would have to follow:

1. For the first week, Dylan could not do any walking (except to go to the bathroom outside) because it would put pressure on both the sutures on the incision and on the cartilage and possibly pull them out. They recommended keeping him in his kennel, but instead we created a small area in the basement for him to lie down in.

2. For the first 3 weeks, Dylan couldn’t do anything that could pull out the sutures. This included walking up stairs, getting up on furniture, or barking. Keeping him off stairs and furniture was easy. We just kept him in the basement and blocked access to the stairs and furniture.

Preventing him from barking was a little trickier since he barks A LOT whenever someone knocks at the door. We put a sign at the bottom of the stairs to our front door telling people to call us instead of knocking on our door, and that worked out fine.

3. For six weeks we couldn’t take Dylan on walks or allow him to take part in any physical activity.

4. Dylan could only eat and drink from bowls elevated enough to be almost on the same level as his mouth to prevent him from inhaling food and/or water into his lungs. In a normal dog, cartilage covers the to tracheal opening to keep food and water out of the lungs, but the tieback surgery created a permanent space in the tracheal opening where it could get through.

5. Dylan could only eat and drink in very small quantities to prevent vomiting or choking, which could cause food particles and/or stomach acid to get into his lungs.


The biggest post-operative danger was aspiration pneumonia, an inflammation of the lung caused when a dog inhales a foreign substance. Although the vast majority of dogs recover from tieback surgery with no complications, aspiration pneumonia is the most common reasons for postsurgical complications and/or fatalities.

According to, the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include coughing, rapid breathing and heart rate, a blue tint to mucous membranes, fever, nasal discharge, loss of appetite, depression, and unwillingness to exercise.

Aspiration pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics if caught soon enough, so early detection is critical. Some people take their dog’s temperature regularly after surgery to check for fever, but you should also watch for any of the other symptoms. Fortunately Dylan didn’t develop aspiration pneumonia after his surgery.

Another potential result of the operation is that your dog could lose its bark as the surgery can damage its vocal chords. This didn’t happen to Dylan.

Your dog could also develop a seroma, which is a collection of fluid that forms around an incision. This shouldn’t be a problem, but if it gets too large, your surgeon may want to drain it. Dylan developed one about the size of a golf ball. The surgeon told us to put a warm, wet washcloth on it for about 15 minutes 2-3 times a day, and it went away on its own.

Divergent Opinions On Post Recovery Activities for DOG’s With LARYNGEAL PARALYSIS

Other than the seroma, Dylan’s recovery went smoothly, and the surgery successfully corrected his LP. When researching LP, I read that many people said that their dogs were much more active almost immediately and behaved like they were puppies again. Dylan did the same thing, and he’s still going strong even though he’s almost 10.

After your dog recovers from surgery, you must remember that your dog’s tracheal opening will always be partially open, so you must constantly guard against the danger of aspiration pneumonia.

Opinions vary regarding the best way to do this.

Some people say that they don’t allow their dog to do anything that could cause AP post surgery, which usually means no swimming or playing in water because dogs can inhale it inadvertently into their lungs. And if the water is in a lake or the ocean, it could also have bacteria that could infect the lungs as well. Eating grass is prohibited as well because a dog could also inhale it into its lungs.

Other folks continue to feed their dog by hand and only allow them to drink small amounts of water to reduce the possibility of AP. Additionally, they stop feeding their dog kibble or dry treats because it can inhale the dust/crumbs into its lungs.

While our vet said that everyone had to decide what they felt comfortable allowing their dog to do, the chances of getting AP from swimming or eating grass was extremely low, and that as long as we soaked kibble in water, Dylan could continue to eat it. He wasn’t concerned about dry treats either.

Raised Dog Bowls And GET RID OF COLLAR

The only things he said we should do were to put Dylan’s food and water in elevated bowls and to NEVER allow him to wear a collar, even around the house, because any pressure on his neck could rip the sutures.

We got rid of the collar and bought elevated bowls, and we decided to continue feeding him kibble mixed with canned food in warm water.


We struggled with whether or not we should allow him to swim. He is a lab, so of course his favorite activity was swimming after a tennis ball. He loves it so much he won’t even take a treat when he swims.

We decided to prohibit swimming, but that rule didn’t last long once we saw the shock and horror in his face whenever we passed water without throwing his ball. First, we threw the ball in shallow water so he didn’t have to swim, but when he realized our trick he started swimming on his own. A few days after that, he was flying off the bank or dock into the water just like always.

Did we make the correct decision? So far, yes. Dylan’s surgery was over 4 years ago, and he’s never had a case of AP. We should be able to know quickly if he ever does contract AP since 2 of its major symptoms, lethargy and not eating, would be glaringly obvious.

Seek Out Information & Decide What’s Best For Your Dog

One extremely helpful resource for me after I found out Dylan had LP was a Yahoo group for owners of dogs with LP. This group of people will happily answer any of your questions/concerns, share stories of their dogs’ surgeries, and clarify what you should expect. The group also has an extensive collection of information regarding LP that you can peruse. You must join Yahoo (it’s free) to have access to the group.

The best thing the group did for me was provide the assurance and support that dog laryngeal paralysis is NOT a death sentence, and that the vast majority of LP surgeries are successful with no complications.

You will also find people who strongly recommend against surgery or say you should never allow your dog in the water again. Their points of view are legitimate, and you just have to decide what will work best for you and your dog.

Other than the Yahoo LP group, you can get more information from the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, PetMD, the American Medical Veterinary Association, or other similar website(s).

While I hope this information is helpful regarding dog laryngeal paralysis, I prefer that your dog has a happy and healthy life with no LP.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at [email protected]


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Showing 40 comments
  • Darrin Huang

    my dog is 13 years old lab, he just had LP surgery yesterday, we will take him home this afternoon, usually he likes to EAT very much, but now I am so worry about his eating habit, I read many articles, it seems every meal just like have an unexplosion bomb, you never know when the food drop in his trachea and have AP.
    I believe QBone(his name) must give up the cookies, fruits, meat jerky and so on, it will be very sad, he always follows us when we are eating.
    Would you please tell us the right way to feed him, must be meat ball every meal?
    some people said 13 years old Lab why bother? it is very expensive too,but my son and I never regret it. please tell us how to feed QBone.

    • Linda

      Curious to know how your dog is doing? I have a 13 year old golden retriever and we have a working theory that she has LP.

  • Lori

    I have a almost 14 year old Maltese with lar par. She seems to be getting worse and not sure what to do. She had liver cancer and had surgery on that last Sept. Did well with that but I am nervous about putting her under anesthesia again. She still walks and plays but seems to be doing the gagging more often especially when she gets excited. When she was diagnoised with lar par they said it wasn’t bad enough for the tie back but that has been about 1 1/2 years ago. I am trying to contact the dr who diagnosed her but am nervous about the surgery. For a little dog she has sure been thru alot. Any advice would be appreciated.

    • janie

      Hi Lori:

      Whatever you do, don’t vaccinate or use ANY chemical flea, tick and heart products. STAY NATURAL!

      Feed her a very good diet consisting of whole foods. Use colloidal silver and spray it directly into her throat once daily should do. Have acupuncture done weekly at first until you reach the point where once a month is good. This can help tremendously.


  • Zeus

    Our 13-year-old Staffie Mix just has the Tie Back surgery and is so happy and puppy like again. We are so thankful we followed through with the surgery and gave him his bouncy life back. All the things you stated in your story is what our surgeon told us, the only difference was the water bowl, he said to have it lowered, we had it elevated.
    I’m currently searching for a vest that I can attached patches that say “Do Not Feed” Medical Condition LP Tie Back…something to that affect. If anyone has an ideas on this, I’m open to hear them…Thanks

    • janie

      Hi Zeus:

      I’m glad to hear that the tie back surgery went well for your pup. Keep us posted okay!


  • Heather H.

    My 12 y/o pitbull had this LP surgery 2 days ago. They said his soft palate was elongated and his larynx was collapsed. He made it through the tie-back surgery, but when I picked him up from the vet they told me they also pulled 4 teeth and removed abscesses to prevent infection of the tie-back. I did not consent or know about the teeth extraction and cleaning they performed until I picked him up. My boy died yesterday after I brought him home. I don’t know what happened or why. I brought him back to the vet but it was too late and she performed an autopsy but said there are no definitive answers for me as to why he passed one day after this procedure. I was wondering if all that action in his mouth could have caused him to aspirate? I am devastated, confused and angry.

    • janie

      Oh Heather, I am so very, very sorry to hear about your loss.

      This has to be devastating for you. I wish I could answer your question with certainty, but unfortunately, I can’t. I will say though that in my opinion the procedure seemed to be the cause of the loss of your old boy.

      I will be thinking of you Heather.

      With my deepest sympathy,

  • shirly ben dov

    hi all , it is 2017 now and i am in the same sad situation , my boston terrier is 6.5 years and got LP , surgery is next sunday and i need to prepare for it . pls let me know how do i make those meet balls ?how do i feed her ?

  • Darlene Handley

    My dog Sunny had LarPar when he was 10-11 and underwent the tie-back procedure. 4 years later and he’s doing good but now the nerve degeneration is becoming more apparent with his back legs weakening and fecal and urinary incontinence. It’s sad to watch him go through. I too used to use the choke collars but never thought I jerked his leash enough to cause this. Besides, if it’s a general nerve degeneration problem seems like it goes beyond a leash/collar issue and more towards just that dog’s disease process.

    One thing I wanted to mention was that the surgeon I went to was adamant about not using raised food/water bowls. This makes perfect sense after he explained that if you place the bowls directly on the ground – or slightly up on a surface maybe 2-3 inches from the ground that the substance is then pulled forward toward the front of their throat by gravity – keeping it away from the back of the throat where the larynx resides. If you elevate the bowls you are almost making the food even with the throat and then it has a potential straight shot into the larynx. There seems to be two schools of thought on this topic and i don’t see how that can be. Either raised food bowls are bad for LarPar dogs or not. Sunny has never aspirated so I guess the proof is in the pudding.

    Sunny has never been fond of water so I never had that to contend with.

    It’s not as scary as you might think so I suggest going forward with surgery if recommended by your vet.

  • Linhzy

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m sure Dylan is smiling down from Doggy Heaven at his parents with a tennis ball in mouth.

    I’m in a unique situation because per my Vet, LP isn’t a common disease in smaller breeds like my 13lb shihtzu/llhasa mix. Although, it can happen, it isn’t as commonly seen as it is in labs. I’ve used a harness leash all his life so this is just something that just “happened” and they suspect it’s some sort of nerve damage. He is going on 14 and just had surgery last Wed. All is well, he’s home recovering but I’m stuck with the feeling of anxiety because he’s my world. I’ve been hyper viligent about taking his temperature and trying my hardest to avoid AP. Sharing your tips and lifestyle adjustments have helped because I am hesitant to feed him dry kibble and dry treats again. We have a follow up visit next week. All is looking good at the incision site but I do notice a fluid like lump. Thanks again for sharing the warm compresses as I will try that with him.

    Again, reading this has been extremely helpful and gives me ease to know life can be OK post op.

    • janie

      Hi Linhzy:

      I’m so glad to hear that the article has helped you. We wish you the very best with regards to your old pup’s LP.

      Some other things that have helped our chocolate lab “Boo” include colloidal silver sprays to the throat. This has helped a great deal with the hacking, etc. She also receives acupuncture and Chinese herbs which has also helped tremendously. NO surgery ever.

      I hope this helps as well. Best of luck.


  • Jane

    I have a 2.5 year recently diagnosed with LP possibly by trauma. We left her under the care of a house/sitter and went on vacation. When we returned she had no voice and breathed heavy (also July hot weather). Because she had spent about 18 hours at the dog shelter (long story) I thought she had kennel cough….any way. We now have her diagnosis and I am wondering do we give her time to heal? f possible or do we do surgery. She is very young vibrant, aggressive eater, needs to run…We also would like for her to have puppies? Any thoughts based on your experience. She has been on Steroids for 14 days and sedatives (which have little effect. She also contracted aspiration pneumonia during the diagnosis process so she has had a very strong antibiotic. The pneumonia is gone, her amylase levels were elevated for her last CBC. I believe it to be due to the increase of Fat in her diet (Eats a raw diet but has been getting lots of Bacon wrapped meds, and coconut oil, and tripe are heavy in her raw diet. (her favorites). She will be going back for mild surgery on Sep 1. to see how she is doing.

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Jane:

      I’m sorry to hear this about your young girl. Just curious, did the house sitter have any clue as to what happened? Urrrrggg!

      Typically large, older dogs are prime candidates for LP, with labs being the number one breed for being diagnosed with LP. This scares the daylights out of me because my yellow lab “Maggie” is a 125 pound girl. Anyway, there’s a few things I recommend.

      First, I urge you to seek out an integrative veterinarian in your area, if you can’t find one, then look to a holistic vet Jane.In this comment, Dr. Chambreau explains how these types of vets can do wonders. There’s also a lot of excellent information for you.

      Accupuncture and Chiropractic care also proves to help.

      I would of course keep her free of a collar and only use a harness when you walk her.

      Keep her cool too during the summer months. Don’t allow her to get too hot. If you live in a hot, humid state, make sure you have a fan or air conditioner running for her.

      I would continue to feed her soft food in the form of raw and/or dehydrated raw. Make her last meal late afternoon around 4:00pm. The digestion of food causes heat through out the body. By doing this, holistic vets feel that this can help to reduce breathing problems at night.

      Give her food and water in a raised feeder and not from the floor. It’s CRITICAL that you some how slow down her eating since she’s an aggressive eater. Consider a bowl like this (no plastic, stick with stainless). If the bowl doesn’t fit in your feeder, you can always set the bowl in a bucket.

      No tug of war games

      There is a product called System Saver that is supposed to be good for any upper airway issues and I recommend that you look into it Jane. Another product that is good for inflammation is Zyflamend. It’s made with a line up of great WHOLE foods. You can purchase it on Amazon.

      Antihistamine’s such as Benedryl seem to help dogs with this problem. Not sure why. But, this forum also discusses the use of Doxepin which is a anti anxiety/depressant drug and it’s main active ingredient is an antihistamine. So, there must be a connection as to why antihistamine’s help.

      See this article on Magnesium Citramate and recommended dosage. See where he recommends and activated form of Vitamin B6 (PSP) as well.

      Liver detox is also recommended every 6 months for dogs with LP. I like this one.

      I also recommend that you avoid chemical flea and tick products and stick to natural. I would also stick to a natural remedy for heart worm which I only give during the warm months when mosquitoes are around. If you live in an area that’s hot all year, then give it all year.

      I really hope that the ideas help Jane. I’m sure this is a pretty stressful time for you. It would be nice to hear back from you with updates. Your story WILL indeed help others in your situation.


  • Ruthann Labracco

    Hi, I’m so glad to hear your dog is doing well . About the rawhide that’s a no, no . After Reno had surgury ,I asked the vet what would be a good treat or what kind of chew is best for a LP dog .he stated a nylon bone would be the best , I’m so nervous now about doing something Wrong to jeopardize his health ……The vet also mention biscuit would be a good treat. I also talked to the vet on recheck visit and that sound reno made after surgery was normal there was some swelling due from the surgery. Its been weeks since his surgery and he’ sounds a lot better. Thank GOD …..and one more thing, I also use nzymes . I think they’re Great !

  • Jane M

    Hello all fellow dog lovers, my best pal, BW, a 12 year old Brittany Spaniel, had the LP tie back procedure in early December 2012. He did very well during and after the surgery. I am so glad he is breathing so much better. He did lose his beautiful bark, however,as a result of the surgery. We miss that, but are glad anyway, because he is so much better.

    He loves the meatballs he now gets everyday and I don’t mind in the least preparing them for him. My question is re: are there any kinds of rawhide or other “chew” type treats that are better for him now that we have the daily fear of him inhaling some tidbit or another into his lungs. I’d like to give him something he can chew on that will help to keep his teeth clean, too, but am not sure if there is anything out there that would be recommended.

    Also, he seems to love to chew on grass, which worries me because that too could be inhaled and cause problems. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated, too. By the way, we had the surgery done at the Virginia Tech Veterinary teaching hospital – it was a great experience – BW was treated like royalty and the cost was 1/3of what it would have cost us to have it at our local vet specialist surgeon.

    We needed the referral of his regular vet to go there, but she didn’t mind giving us that at all (it was her alma mater).

    • janie knetzer

      Hi Jane:
      It’s good to hear that your old boy came through the surgery just fine. Jane too left a message here yesterday that her baby pulled through and is doing fine.

      Regarding rawhide – first I want to make sure that you know to avoid all jerky treats and rawhide coming from China. Many, many dogs are getting sick and even dying from the Jerky. I personally don’t recommend rawhide to anyone simply because of the dangers and all the horrific rawhide stories we receive on our website. But, what I do often recommend in place of rawhide is “bully sticks”. They are stinky, but long long lasting and dogs love em. I haven’t had much time; but I did want to check into the deer antler to see what they are all about.

      Regarding your boy eating grass, I highly recommend that you start including a good form of chlorphyll in his diet. Outside of the belief that dogs only eat grass because they have an upset belly; it’s also believed that they eat grass because they are searching for chlorphyll. Here’s an article that I wrote on why dogs eat grass that includes a link to the product that I recommend and use on my own dogs daily.

      Hope this helps.

  • ruthann

    Hi, its Ruthann:
    Reno has had his LP surgery on Feb 4,2012 so far Reno is doing amazingly well . It is almost two weeks since Reno has had surgery. Reno seems like a young dog again . his energy , his look on his face spells relief ! However when he get excited he makes this gagging like cough. I can’t wait to see the vet to confirm this noise is normal and will he have this gagging chocking for the rest of his life ?

    Trust me I’m not complaining ……. I’m so happy to have my little boy home and breathing well.

    • janie knetzer

      Hey Ruthann:
      That’s wonderful news! I’m so glad to hear that Reno pulled through the surgery wonderfully…

      Let us know what the doctor says the noise is from. You just made my day. Give Reno a hug.


  • ruthann

    Hi its Ruthann , just want to let you know that Reno has no yet had the surgery.The date was changed do to the passing of my mom on 1/17/2013 . Monday feb 4th Reno will have surgery…… larngeal “tie back ” I’m very scared ,I hope all goes well. as for, as the two large tmors that sit like saddle bags on either side of his upper body. the Dr. said to leave them alone that’s not what could him .because their just fatty tumors .so leave them alone !what happens when they grow larger? will the weight from these very large tumors effect his walking and getting up ? they are already 5 pounds each !

    • admin

      Hi Ruthann:
      I’m sorry that times are so tough for you right now with the loss of your mom and Reno’s problems as well. Fatty tumors aren’t dangerous, but you’re right that they can continue to grow and interfere with other parts of the body. This happened with my dogs years ago.

      If it were me and my own dog was going under anesthesia anyway, I would probably push to have the doctor remove the fatty tumors (which I’m sure are very uncomfortable for Reno at this point at 5 lbs each) because “yes” they can continue to grow and then you might find yourself looking to have them removed later on. It doesn’t make sense unless there’s a really good reason that he doesn’t want to remove them.

      Personally, I would tell him that I want them removed since my dog is going under anesthesia anyway. Just because they don’t “hurt him” isn’t a good enough reason not to remove them.

      Site Admin

  • ninahearts

    Ohhh…..I’m so sorry! I know how you feel. I decided to have acl surgery on my older dog (11), but wouldn’t have the money until after Jan.1. On Jan 4th she blew out the other knee, too. She couldn’t even walk. It would have been a long hard recovery for her, so I put her down. Perhaps if she were younger….I don’t know. I miss her!


    • ruthann

      so sorry for your loss 🙁

  • Lindsay

    Hi Ruthann, please let me know how your surgery goes. I lost maid Marian on December 4th. It was her third lp attack in a month and second in a week. The vet said since I opted not for the surgery I should put her down. I could not bare to wake her up from the oxygen knowing she had another attack. It is unbearable but I feel her with me everyday. Maids was in a lot of pain otherwise with her hips and her vision and hearing so I could not justify the surgery. I am sure your guy will do great. They are special pals. Much love to you guys!

    • ruthann

      Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers.

  • ruthann

    I have a 13 year old Sheltie with lp. He also has two large tomors that are crushing his lungs. I had to make a decision as to whether or not put him down or try the surgery which may also kill him.

    Tomorrow he will go for the surgery. All I can do is pray he makes it through. I love Reno; he is my baby. The vets tells me that because of his age, lp and the tumors, that the surgery is very risky.

    • admin

      Hi Ruthann:
      I will be thinking and praying for you and your sweet Reno. Please let us know how he does o.k. My Jenna and Maggie will also be keeping their paws crossed for your old boy.

      Janie 😮

      • ruthann

        Thank you ……God Bless you !

    • ninahearts

      Hi-will they be able to do anything about the tumors during surgery? I hope so. He will look like frankendog (stitches) for a while and won’t bark loudly ever again, but he should be ok. Good luck!

      • ruthann


  • Lindsay

    Hi Jane,

    I opted to not have the surgery. Interestingly she improved. She has been on a Natural Balance grain free diet and it has really helped. Also, we live in Los Angeles and the weather cooled down for a little bit. This week it has gotten hot again and the LP is back. I am hoping to control it by keeping her cool and walks short until it’s winter. I did talk to a family friend who is a vet in Kansas and he said that the LP surgery is very minor and life saving. He said it’s not traumatizing and they are out on the same day. Being that my dog is also deaf and blind I’m just not going to do it, the cost also being a consideration. It’s a hard decision, Maid Marian (my dog) will be thinking of yours.

    • nina

      If whitey had been blind and deaf, I don’t think I would have had the surgery, either, because the daily routine changes so radically. Every three days I would make dog food meatballs, yuck! Aspiration pneumonia is an ongoing concern after surgery, so you can no longer feed her the kibble. 4-5 times a day Whitey was hand-fed 4-5 meatballs that were too big to go into his lungs. An old blind/ deaf dog would hunt for her bowl and wonder why you were starving her. Heat does make it worse. Keep her out of the sun on a hot day and don’t make her run around. Occasionally rub down with a wet towel. She won’t pant as much and will seem to be more comfortable. she’s not in pain. good luck!!

      When whitey was young, his buddy was a cattle dog mix, Cassie. She tore her acl, had surgery, then movement restrained for a month, cost about $500. Must have been 1988 or so. My 11 yr. old mutt tore acl last week. Today the surgery will cost $2500 to $7500. unbelievable! If she were younger, I would find the money somewhere. I’m confining her; it may heal in a couple months. Wow! I just retired and the vet bills are killing me!

      Take care!

  • Lindsay

    How old was your dog when he had the surgery? My dog has lp and in the last week it has gotten worse but she is 13. I would love to know your dogs age. Thanks!

    • admin

      Hi Lindsay:

      This wonderful article was shared with us by the great folks over at Feel free to email them at [email protected] for more information. Tell them that we sent you….


    • Jane

      Hi Lindsay, I saw your blog post and was interested, because my dog is also 13 and has been diagnosed with LP. I am so reluctant to get the surgery, not really because of the money, but more because I don’t want to put him through the pain of surgery. I would be interested in knowing what you decide to do and how it goes for you. I wish you luck. This is a very difficult situation/decision. Jane

    • nina

      Hi, he was 12+ when he had surgery, but died at 13 1/2 from bloat, which was unrelated to the LP. I missed the response alert, sorry. Did your dog have the surgery?

  • admin

    Hey Nina:
    You’re a very good dog mom! What did the vet have to say after he discovered that it wasn’t a side effect of the Pred and indeed something a little more serious!

    Another great post – thank you! 😮

    • nina

      Whitey was referred for a scope after his breathing made a loud raspy sound every time he inhaled or exhaled-can’t remember which one. Definitely not the pred! I found another vet a few miles further after these 2 dogs were gone and i got 2 pups. one of them passed away 3 yrs ago :<( Then i got a new puppy friend for the dog left alone. Would you believe this dog gets car sick and pukes EVERY 1/2 mile so i had no other choice but to return to the first vet, as he's only 3/4 mi. from my house! lol :<)

  • Nina

    A few years before Whitey died, his breathing became labored, his nose was always hot and dry and he choked when he drank. I’d take him to the vet, they insisted it was a side effect of the pred he was on for his hips. He wasn’t in distress, but it got worse.

    Finally they did a scope and discovered that he had laryngeal paralysis. The only treatment is to tie back one side of the larynx so more air can get to the lungs. He made it and was hand-fed balls of wet food-so his food wouldn’t go in the lungs-and spoiled until he died.

    I spent over $3000-probably $10K now. But you know-the minute he came out of surgery his nose was cold and wet again. Best money i ever spent-I’d do it again in a heartbeat!! :<)

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