Sunday, January 15, 2017


The other day I scheduled a meeting for my boarding staff.
We've never had a meeting with all the boarding staff and to make it possible for everyone to attend, it had to be scheduled for the end of the day.
That would make for a very long day and it would be really pushing it to expect all my dogs to "hold it".
Most of them are elderly and it's harder for them and I always leave down potty pads just in case they can't wait.
They are used to this but the only one who would refuse to use a potty pad is Blue.
That's a good thing I guess because I don't really want him going in the house!
So since I would be gone so long, I decided to take him to work with me.

I used to take him and Nora and Jimmy all the time but the last year or more, I haven't.
They seem to enjoy just sleeping the day away at home.

The last time Blue was at the clinic was when he had swallowed the sock and needed surgery.

Blue hates to have me trim his nails so I just don't.
Instead either Lily will stop by the house and do it or I take him to the clinic.
When other people do it, he gets excited and loves the attention.
With me, he'll "hide" under the kitchen table and grumble.

So I asked the girls to trim his nails and Lily and one of the other techs came back to boarding to do so.
He was so excited as he came out of the run and then he started to make a noise I have never heard before.
It was hoarse and gasping and his lower chest/tummy were sucking in and out in big extreme movements.

We rushed him up front and one of the vets hurried over to him and watched him and then put his hands on him. Finally the vet said it was his throat area.
We got Blue to calm down and his breathing got better.
The vet said to wait with the nail trim and let him calm down.
I took him back to my office area and laid a blanket out and he finally slept.

I went up front and the vet said that he thought it was Larnygeal Paralysis

If you click on that link it will detail it for you
and also here is more info - HERE
The vet said to Google it and I could find info on it about the causes and see video's of the operation that could be done to correct it.
He said to be 100% positive that Blue had this, he'd need to be heavily sedated and....
if he had it, he'd need an exceptional surgeon to do the surgery.

While this was going on, Doc was attending to his appointments.
I tend to go to Doc but he was busy.
Doc prides himself as exceptional but I don't remember him ever doing such a surgery.

And... Blue is a 11 year and 2 month old Great Dane.

So later, they girls came back and very calmly trimmed Blue's nails and everything was fine.

I moved Blue back to a run and then later, we had our meeting and he just slept.
After the meeting, everyone except my worker that I call "Mini-Me" was left and the clinic was closed and the rest of the staff was gone too.
I went back to get him and he got up and saw the leash and then he saw Mini-Me and got really excited and started gasping for air like crazy.
I thought his tongue was turning a bit blue but no one was there and also I know they'd just tell me to calm him down.
I loaded him up in my car and by the time we were a block away, he seemed fine again.

This got me to thinking, how in the mornings he'll come inside from his morning potty and make gagging noises.
I'm always annoyed because I assumed he ate a piece of poop.
I've caught some of the  dogs trying to each others poop and unless I stand at the door, someone will try. But with it being so cold and dark in the mornings, I can't always see what's going on while they are out there doing their business.

Now I'm thinking it was just his throat.
His excitement of waking up and rushing outside with the others.

So I Googled the Hell out of this condition
and read everything and then the next day at work as the vet was leaving to go to lunch
I stopped him and gave him an update.
He said there's a drug that might help with the inflammation and so I said I'd ask the techs to get me some and then he walked out the door.

Doc was also standing in the lunchroom. I felt kinda odd because I usually go to him but the other vet was there when it all happened so... I went to him.
I looked at Doc and said - "I read that if he doesn't get the operation, it could kill him"
and Doc, who is always game for surgery rubbed his face for a moment.
Then he said "And the operation could kill him too."

I said that "I'll just keep him calm and he'll be fine."
Doc pursed he lips and said nothing and I walked away to get the medication.

My friend the vet tech looked up Blue's account and I told her I already had Blue on Metacam and Dasuquin.
A few weeks back he had fallen down 3 times in a week.
It was always as he came to the bottom of the stairs or when he hurried around the corner.
The Dasuquin is a supplement and the Metacam is for pain and inflammation.
Since he's been taking these, he hasn't fallen again.
But Doc said if he was on Metacam, we didn't want to put him on the other drug.

Then this Saturday, the woman vet worked.
She asked about Blue and we talked a bit and she's going to do some more research.
She stopped by boarding as she was leaving and asked me to record what he does and what he sounds like on my phone, if he does it again at home.

So far this weekend, he's been pretty good.
Just random gagging noises.
But Saturday night he wouldn't eat his supper and just came over to my chair and laid his face on my lap.
I just stroked his face and tried not to cry.
I guess it's a blessing he can't hear, that his deafness could help keep him calm.
When the other dogs hear something and start barking, most of the time he's oblivious to the commotion.

Luckily he ate his breakfast like normal this morning
and now he sleeps.

I thought about how he always did that ROAR of a bark
and how that could have been a symptom of what was coming.
The research said that most people don't realize what's going on until it's progressed.

I oddly thought about my Dad.
I thought about how so many years ago he stopped by my house
and we were sitting there chatting when he suddenly pulled at his shirt and said
"Oh! Look what I got!"
I saw a patch on his chest and he said it was a nitroglycerin patch.
I started to cry and he said "No! It's a good thing" but I remember thinking how it wasn't.
How that patch told me he wouldn't be around forever.
Some people might think it's wrong to think of my dad while thinking of my dog.
But, I don't care.
My relationship with my Dad and animals is very intertwined and complicated.
So to me, it makes perfect sense.

On Monday, Dr. H, the woman vet will tell me what she thinks and what ideas she has for medication.
I will treasure every day and hopefully it is something that can be managed for a long time.

I wish I didn't love Blue so much.


CheerfulMonk said...

Sammy had the paralysis and the operation:

It's scary stuff, but that was almost two years ago and he's still with us.

CheerfulMonk said...

My heart goes out to you --- Sammy is 14 now and falls down a lot more. It's heartbreaking, especially when they come to you for help.

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you for the link.
I will go and read that.
My concern is that for a Dane, Blue is very old.
I hate to even admit it but I know that it's true.
People are always surprised at his age.
So... I don't know if he could survive surgery and if Doc is concerned, that worries me.
Also, the surgery tacks one side of his windpipe open and for a dog who is always swiping things, I'd worry about it. He's forever grabbing a paper towel or whatever. I had a dust mitt on the counter and he grabbed that and I had to chase him down and if his windpipe was open...
and of course, the expense. I hate that it even comes into equation but ... it does.
And yes, his falling down is another worry. If he were to fall down and break something, I'm not able to lift him. He's the thinnest he's ever been in his adult life. He's only 141 lbs but I can't lift him.
Yes, this is all heartbreaking.
I just hope if I keep him calm that he'll be ok for a while.
Thanks again.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

It's hard when we face these times with our pups. Of course, I've had 3 dogs that have had this condition, and I know you aren't asking for advice... But our pups that had it were seniors when it was diagnosed. I've never done the surgery, because of their age. What helped was to give them benedryl daily. That cuts down on the inflammation and helps to keep the airway open. A fan blowing on their face during an episode, helps to get the air into their system. Also during a really "bad" event, grab & pull their tongue out as far as you can, that helps to clear/open the airway. You are right about keeping them calm, limiting excercise - And when the hot weather returns, keeping them cooled helps too, and of course the elevated bowls at mealtime.

Cindi Myers said...

Oh Thank you! Thank you! Kim!
I will do all of the above.
(In the summer I have him in an air-conditioned room with a fan on him too so i'll continue that of course) And I'll being talked with the vet tomorrow and find out what dosage to give him of the Benedryl !
Thank you! I don't know why I didn't think of you right away.
Of course you had to have been through this with your senior dogs.
and that benedryl will be a mild sedative too! and help keep him calm.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

My gut is saying to listen to Doc on this one. Blue has been thru a lot, and he always comes out fighting. He will get thru this one too. But when the day comes that you have to say goodbye, don't ever wish you didn't love him so much. Your love is the unique gift you bring to your babies, and it's what makes you YOU.

Anonymous said...

Dear Cindi, I will keep you and Blue in my prayers. Lots of love, Ildiko

Cindi Myers said...

Yes, I talked with Doc this morning.
I told him how Blue makes the gagging noise, especially in the morning but so far, no other incidents where he's gasping for breath.
He said to just continue on as is for now and if it gets worse, then we will deal with it and figure things out.
So... that's what I'm doing now.

Thank you for your kind words.

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you IIdiko,
We'll take all the love and prayers we can get!

tammy j said...

oh cindi.
you already know my words.
loving you and blue from afar.
it's pointless to say don't worry.
but i'm strengthening all your positive thoughts about him right along with you.
the benedryl sounds like a great help!

Cindi Myers said...

Yes, calm positive thoughts.
Thank you.
I've decided to deal with this like most health issues, including my own, with complete denial.
I'm going to focus on TODAY.
Today, is a good day.

leslie said...

insert heavy sigh here.

much love.

Cindi Myers said...

Thank you.

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

Scary to have to face all the issues by yourself at home. I imagine it must be hard to wait for answers. Thankfully you have all the crew at work to share your animal problems with. That's one thing great about working where you do. Good luck.

Cindi Myers said...

Yeah, sometimes it is scary.
But you're right! I'm fortunate to be working at the clinic and have the ability to bring my Blue in at a moments notice.
Thanks for your kind words!