Hi Y'all,
The dog that has been diagnosed with LP is a 10 year old Lab. He is being treated for thyroid. I am not sure exactly what kind of problem or with what meds. He is other wise healthy and active or has been up to this point.
BTW his name is Larsen.
I have read up on LP. I must admit I had never heard of it before. He obviously has the kind that comes on as an adult (not genetic). He appears to be the classic case.
He coughs, chokes, and gasps for air. He drools excessively. He has been seen by two Vets, neither of them specialist in his ailment. I understand the disease. I understand that their is a favored surgery, but also alternative surgeries.
I would like to inquire of anyone that may have a dog or know of a dog that has experienced LP.
His owner has been quoted 600.00 by one Dr. and 3,000.00 by another Dr. I believe one of them claims to have done the surgery before. This is a long distance thing, so I am not sure what the Dr's are proposing as to type of surgery.
I just know that from what I have read about LP and what I have heard about Larsen it seems to me a decision should be made either to proceed with surgery or risk an awful end. Larsen's owner is at work all day and if he had an attack even if the Vet could temporarily revive him and give him oxygen, she may not be at home to rescue him. His play is restricted, he cannot go for walks, he cannot become overheated. He lives in Fl.
I would appreciate any experience anyone has had with a dog with this disease. I understand the surgery is not a sure thing and that if he survives and things do not go right, he could end up with a Trach permanently or worse.
Please share your information and opinions. I appreciate it. Larsen is a really great dog and I love him a lot.
Be Free..Judy
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The dog that has been diagnosed with LP is a 10 year old Lab.

Not surprising.
He appears to be the classic case.

Yep.
He coughs, chokes, and gasps for air. He drools excessively. He has been seen by two Vets, neither of them ... would like to inquire of anyone that may have a dog or know of a dog that has experienced LP.

Been through it with 2 "related" dogs. One was my first foster (but of course, in his adoptive home, at an advanced age). He developed aspiration pneumonia (common) at some point after surgery, and died. He was 13. The other dog was my "nephew" lab. He had it at ~10 and lived to 15.5 with exceptional care.
Please share your information and opinions. I appreciate it. Larsen is a really great dog and I love him a lot.

I would do the surgery, understanding post-surgical risks. Careful feeding practices can help a lot. Not doing anything is going to be a death sentence and painful for the dog, which is grossly unfair. If afraid/unsure of surgery, euthanasia would be kinder.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
I would do the surgery, understanding post-surgical risks. Careful feeding practices can help a lot. Not doing anything is going ... painful for the dog, which is grossly unfair. If afraid/unsure of surgery, euthanasia would be kinder. Janet Boss www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com

Didn't one of Mustang Sally's dogs have the tie back? I'm thinking Anna, but I certainly don't trust my memory.
Beth
Didn't one of Mustang Sally's dogs have the tie back? I'm thinking Anna, but I certainly don't trust my memory.

I think you;re right. It's always going to be a risk, but quality of life is really important. I know neither of my relatives would have chosen to do anything but the surgery, and I wouldn't hesitate.

Janet Boss
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Hi Y'all, The dog that has been diagnosed with LP is a 10 year old Lab. He is being treated ... meds. He is other wise healthy and active or has been up to this point. BTW his name is Larsen.

I'd never heard of LP until Oppie was diagnosed with it last fall. It's more common than I would have thought, and Labs seem to be particularly susceptible. Was Larson's trachea examined with an endoscope? I understand that this is the "definitive" way of making a diagnosis.
There is a yahoo LP support group that provides a lot of information and personal experiences about LP. They were extremely helpful before and after Oppie had LP surgery; you can gain access to some of the information and subscribe to the mailing list here:
http://www.geocities.com/lplist/
Oppie is an 11 year old yellow Lab, diagnosed 10/06, had unilateral tieback surgery 3/21/07. He also had low thyroid (common accompaniment of LP). He had not had a breathing crisis when we decided to go ahead with the surgery, but he was getting worse - noisier breathing, out of breath easily, overheating easily.
We decided to go ahead based on the reasoning that he would be more likely to have a smooth recovery if he wasn't debilitated by the condition - and LP does produce changes in the lungs and heart that attempt to compensate for the lower oxygen. And that the alternative of not doing the surgery was ultimately suffocation or euthanasia. It was a difficult decision, but we reasoned that we'd rather have him pass as a result of attempting to give him a chance at a better quality of life than to die of slow suffocation, which IS pretty much a given with LP, unless something else kills the dog first.
Yes, there are surgical risks, particularly because the dogs are typically seniors, and there is a risk of aspiration pneumonia, because a vocal cord is permanently open. However, without the surgery there is a risk of AP, too, or he could end up with a trach because his vocal cords are paralyzed shut.
Most folks on the LP list advise finding a board-certified surgeon with extensive experience in the surgery. The LP list maintains a database of surgeons, which makes it easier to find one near you. It's also important to have 24 hour care for the dog for the first day after surgery. Most dogs seem to stay over one or two nights; Oppie stayed two.
Oppie's surgery cost about $2000; there were tests that the surgeon required because of another unrelated condition that drove up the cost.
A unilateral tieback is not a complete panacea; it's a compromise between providing a sufficient airway and keeping the hole small enough that food or vomit isn't easily inhaled. So you will still have restrictions: walks are ok, but they need to be kept short; cooling can be an issue, because there is less air available for evaporation; you need to be careful about feeding, particularly anything crumbly that could be inhaled easily - inhaling vomit is more likely to cause AP, I understand.

I encourage you to contact the LP list. They were very helpful to me, and I have seen how they help others going through the decision and aftercare process.
If you have more questions and want to email me privately, just delete the dog from my email address.
FurPaw

The Bush legacy - no child left a dime.
To reply, unleash the dog.
Janet,
I am ever grateful for your reply to my question about Larsen a 10 year old Lab suffering from LP.
I have read everything I can find about it and understand the risk of surgery and the importance and risk of aftercare.
I totally agree with what you said but I have no first hand knowledge of LP.
I appreciate you confirming my opinion. I would rather see Larsen die in surgery rather than gasping for air to try to stay alive or choke to death while my daughter his owner is at work.
I have one more question for you if you don't mind. Do you know if the dogs you mentioned surgeries were done by a specialist or a regular Vet? I guess it would be better to go with the specalist. My poor child has lost 2 dogs and 2 cats in the last year all of them in their teens. Larsen is her heart dog.
I just remembered another question. I read something about atrophy or some kind of pain in the rear legs sometimes being thouht to be connected to LP. Did the dogs you mentioned have any problems along that line? Larsen does not seem to have any problems like that now. Thanks again,
Be Free..Judy
I would do the surgery, understanding post-surgical risks. Careful feeding ... of surgery, euthanasia would be kinder. Janet Boss www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com

Didn't one of Mustang Sally's dogs have the tie back? I'm thinking Anna, but I certainly don't trust my memory.

You should trust your memory; it was my Borzoi Anna. She did fine with the surgery itself, did not develop aspiration pneumonia in the immediate postop period as many dogs do, and learned to eat and drink very quickly with her 'new throat'. We elevated all the water bowls and changed her food, and not feeding her dry food wouldn't have been a big deal. Unfortunately, her surgeon suspected preoperatively that she might have megaesophagus but didn't do any tests to confirm/rule out. Although she had no signs/symptoms at the time of surgery, she did in fact have megaesophagus, and suffered through several bouts of aspiration pneumonia before we let her go 11 months after the surgery.

If I had/have another dog with LP, I'd do the surgery again, but I'd make sure megaesophagus was ruled out before proceeding. As far as I know, there is one other surgery that can help with LP. Bronchodilators help some dogs, but for the most part medical treatments aren't effective. Some people successfully manage the condition without surgery, but that's not possible with every dog. With most dogs, it's a question of quality of life, and unilateral tieback usually improves that. It did for Anna, except of course for the aspiration pneumonia.
Mustang Sally
Beth,
Thanks for mentioning that Mustang Sally's dog Anna may have had the procedure. Hopefully she will come along and share her story.
Be Free..Judy
Unfortunately, her surgeon suspected preoperatively that she might have megaesophagus but didn't do any tests to confirm/rule out. Although she ... was ruled out before proceeding. As far as I know, there is one other surgery that can help with LP.

I understand from reading the LP list that this is debarking surgery, but while cheaper, it has a lower success rate.

I forgot to mention in my post that we had Oppie checked for megaesophagus (as you recommended) and the surgeon said that she would not go ahead with the surgery if he had that condition.

And that Oppie has been doing very well since the surgery 3/21, with no complications or AP, so far.
FurPaw

The Bush legacy - no child left a dime.
To reply, unleash the dog.
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