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Laryngeal paralysis and vomiting.

Species: Dog
Breed: Basset hound
Age: 5-8 years
my dog gags and coughs when he eats and also eats mulch and grass and subsequently vomits. He had xrays and transtreacheal wash which showed nothing caught in his throat but clouding in his lungs whcih we are waiting results back on. Vet said he has LP which while he has lost weight and is more tired - he does not pant nor has his bark changed at all. he does drool alot more though.
Even if he has LP how would that be related to his eating grass vomitting routine. This has been going on about 2 weeks.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hmmm...interesting. Laryngeal Paralysis can certainly cause coughing and gagging, but I can't directly tie it into eating grass and vomiting. If I had to make up a connection, here's a possibility: It's possible that the laryngeal paralysis has caused him to gulp at air (because he has to put so much extra effort into getting air into his lungs.) Dogs that gulp air can get a belly full of air and that can feel quite uncomfortable. As a result of the belly discomfort, they can want to vomit. Most dogs know that if they eat grass (or stuff like grass) then they may vomit and subsequently feel better.

Laryngeal paralysis is a tough condition to treat. The symptoms get very gradually worse and worse. We have some medicines that may help temporarily, but unfortunately don't cure the problem.

There is a surgery that can often fix laryngeal paralysis, but usually it needs to be done by a specialist and can be very expensive and have some risks as well.

Hopefully this answers your question. But, let me know if you have more concerns.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

Isn't one of the major signs of LP panting - which he does not do


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Yes, I would say that the majority of dogs that I have seen with laryngeal paralysis did have panting. But, it's possible that early in the disease, panting is not an issue. I have had some dogs with LP that are panting like crazy in my office, but the owners say that they don't pant at home. Or, some of these dogs only pant when they get very excited.

Did your vet do an exam where they give your dog a light anesthetic and then look at the larynx to see how well it is moving? It is usually relatively easy to diagnose laryngeal paralysis when this is done.

We usually can't diagnose LP by looking at xrays. However, if the vet feels that the xrays look unusual, another option you have is to ask your vet to send them to a radiologist to read. Chest xrays are often very difficult to accurately interpret.



Customer reply:

Yes she did an LP exam and gave him a shot to make him breath deeply and the valve didn't move


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

This definitely sounds like laryngeal paralysis. Again, it may be in early stages at this point. If it is LP, then the symptoms will likely eventually get worse. It can be very gradual though. I have some patients who had LP for 1-2 years before it became very serious.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.