Laryngeal paralysis is a potentially serious condition affecting pets, particularly seen in older dogs and certain breeds. When the nerves controlling the larynx lose function, it can lead to breathing difficulties, often requiring immediate attention. Among the various treatment options, oxygen therapy has emerged as a critical intervention. In this context, Pawprint Oxygen has established itself as a leading provider of pet oxygen products, offering a reliable solution for pet owners and veterinarians alike.

Understanding Laryngeal Paralysis in Pets

Laryngeal paralysis occurs when the muscles that open and close the larynx become weakened or paralyzed. This can lead to a partial blockage of the airway, making breathing difficult. Symptoms include a change in bark tone, loud breathing, coughing, and in severe cases, cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin due to lack of oxygen). Breeds like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards are more prone to this condition, especially in their senior years.

Diagnosing Laryngeal Paralysis

Early diagnosis is crucial in effectively managing laryngeal paralysis. The condition can gradually progress, so being vigilant about early symptoms can make a significant difference in your pet’s quality of life. Pet parents should watch for several signs that could indicate the onset or presence of laryngeal paralysis:

Change in Bark or Meow: One of the earliest signs may be a noticeable change in your pet’s bark or meow. It might sound hoarser, weaker, or different in tone.

Noisy Breathing: Listen for any changes in your pet’s breathing. A raspy, loud, or strained breathing sound, especially when inhaling, can be a telltale sign. This is often more pronounced during exercise or in hot weather.

Coughing or Gagging: Frequent coughing or gagging, which seems out of the ordinary, can indicate that your pet is struggling with airflow.

Exercise Intolerance: If your previously active pet suddenly seems to avoid exercise or gets tired quickly, it could be due to breathing difficulties associated with laryngeal paralysis.

Eating and Drinking Changes: Difficulty swallowing, frequent choking while eating, or coughing when drinking water can also be symptoms.

Panic During Respiratory Distress: In severe cases, pets might exhibit signs of panic or anxiety due to the inability to breathe comfortably. This might include pacing, restlessness, or even collapsing in extreme cases.

During a veterinary visit, the vet will conduct a thorough physical examination, focusing on the respiratory system. This includes checking for any abnormal sounds in the lungs or throat and observing breathing patterns. Based on the initial examination, the vet may recommend further diagnostics:

  • Laryngoscopy: This procedure involves sedating the pet and using a scope to visually inspect the larynx. It’s the definitive way to diagnose laryngeal paralysis as it allows the vet to see if the vocal cords are moving correctly.

  • Blood Tests and X-rays: These are often performed to rule out other conditions that can cause similar symptoms, such as heart disease, lung disease, or infections.

Understanding these symptoms and seeking prompt veterinary care if they are observed can greatly aid in the timely and effective management of laryngeal paralysis in pets.


dog in pet oxygen chamber

1. Oxygen Chamber

Our Oxygen Chambers are cost effective, mobile (not built into a wall) and durable. Pet Owners can set these up with ease in their own home and administer multiple times a day. 

When is Oxygen Therapy Necessary?

Oxygen therapy becomes crucial in instances where pets exhibit severe breathing difficulties, as it can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation. Signs that your pet may require oxygen include persistent coughing, rapid breathing, and evident struggle to inhale. In these scenarios, oxygen therapy can provide immediate relief and stabilize your pet’s condition.


Benefits of Oxygen Therapy for Pets with Laryngeal Paralysis

Oxygen therapy offers several benefits:

  • Enhances oxygen delivery to the lungs.
  • Alleviates symptoms of respiratory distress.
  • Supports overall organ function and healing. Administering oxygen can significantly improve the quality of life for pets suffering from laryngeal paralysis.


How to Administer Oxygen Therapy at Home

Using Pawprint’s Oxygen Rescue Kit at home involves simple steps:


  1. Twist the regulator into place on a canister
  2. Connect your tubing to the regulator and to your Pet’s Oxygen Mask
  3. Hold the mask close to your Pet’s face and administer Oxygen!

Recognizing the signs of laryngeal paralysis and understanding the benefits of oxygen therapy are crucial in managing this condition. Oxygen therapy, especially when using reputable products like Pawprint Oxygen, can be a game-changer in ensuring your pet’s comfort and health.


      The Pet Oxygen Shop