I am new to PugVillage and am hoping someone might have information regarding this surgery. My Emmie is 1 1/2 years old and I was told that she has a laryngeal collapse and sometime in the future it will be necessary for her to have a tracheostomy in order to breathe. I have been so upset about the thought of having to put her thru this and would love to have contact with someone who has been through this and what should I expect? I also have her sister, Hannah, who is 8 months younger and I was wondering if playing could be a problem? They look so much alike it is hard to tell them apart. They are the love of my life! Hope to hear from someone about this unhappy situation.
Welcome to Pug Village, I am so sorry to hear about your girl. Here are some links for you to read.
Dog Tracheostomy: About Heidi
Christa, Mom to Toby, Kelsey, Summer & Ellie Mae
missing Riley and Roxy, who are at the bridge
and my precious Bella 11-2-07 - 05-6-12
I am sorry it's not under better circumstances. I have no advice.
We'd love some pictures of your wonderful puggy duo :)
I'm so sorry that you're joining under this circumstance!!!!
Have you talked to her breeder???
You have been given the threads that we talked about it. I have no advice to give. Just positive thoughts that it's MUCH further down the line.....and that you are able to enjoy a lot of quality time with her being treated by meds and the proper amount of exercise.
Member of PDCA Rescue Committee
I somehow lost the threads that you sent me, I hadn't even finished reading them. When you have time please send them again. Thanks Diane.
Normally tracheal collapse and laryngeal paralysis can be managed well without surgery, which IMHO should only be performed when absolutely required to save the life.
I finally saved the protocol on an Adobe document. This was sent to a lady who's dog was given months to live due to collapsing trachea (CT) and laryngeal paralysis (LP), the advice applies to any pug with respiratory issues. I addressed both maintenance and rescue drugs and also lifestyle changes and support equipment. Obviously if the dog has or may have pneumonia, aspiration pneumonia or an upper respiratory infection, they should be on antibiotics (I like Clavamox and Baytril together or Baytril and doxycycline together)....pneumonia can be very tough to crack, so I always go for dual antibiotics. Antibiotics are not mentioned in this paper because her dog wasn't dealing with a respiratory infection:
For maintenance drugs: I swear by the following for pugs with CT/LP issues:
1. Guaifenesin - this is an over the counter, human, expectorant. Look for the 400 mg. plain tablets, not the extended release or those mixed with other ingredients. Give 1/2 tablet twice a day. Guaifenesin helps to keep the lungs clear and clean without drying out the delicate tissues.
2. Lasix - Your vet will probably fight you over this one, as it is normally used mainly for congestive heart failure, but for pugs it gives dramatic results. I use it daily and will boost the dose for rescue. Usually one 12.5 mg. tablet once or twice a day works well for most dogs for maintenance. If a dog is having a breathing emergency, give an additional 12.5 mg. wait a little and see if it helps, if still having problems you can continue to give them (along with pred) until they are breathing stable. Lasix helps help dogs with CT and LP because it reduces inflammation, edema and the tissues in the throat and bronchial passages. It has a wide margin of dosing safety as well, it would be really hard to OD a dog on it.
3. Theophylline or aminophylline - These are bronchiodialators. While the restriction may not be in the lungs themselves, these keep the passages open at their max to allow the dog to utilize as much air as she can get down to the lungs, as efficiently as possible. With her weight (14 lbs.), I would give 50 mg. twice a day ON AN EMPTY STOMACH. Many vets do not even know that theophylline is useless if given with food or other drugs. Give it at least 1 hour before or two hours after meals or other drugs. You may need to lower the dose if she ever needs to go on Baytril as the Baytril can cause the theophylline to build up to dangerous levels. You will want to dose it at about 4.5 to 6.8mg per pound every 12 hours. This dosing information is for theophylline, if using a different bronchiodialator, check for correct dosage.
4. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) – If your dog is under 15 lbs. give 12.5 mg., if over 15 lbs. and under 30 lbs. 25 mg., twice a day for life. It helps quell and prevent histamine responses which can cause swelling and edema in the throat and lungs.
These drugs should always be kept easily at hand and given if she begins to have an acute episode. You and everyone responsible in your home, should be familiar with when and how much to give, when to give more, etc. If she must go into stressful or exciting situation make sure you carry these in your purse in case you need them away from home.
1. Lasix, as mentioned above. In the event of an emergency keep giving 12.5 mg. tablets until the breathing improves. I would set the top end at 3-4 tablets in a 4-6 hour period, but really, if she's crashing and is going to die, you really don't have much to lose, so I advocate aggressive management.
2. Prednisone - Prednisone is a godsend and a horrible drug all in one. Taken long term it can cause many more problems than it solves, including Iatrogenic Cushings which would be deadly for a CT/LP dog. But given for a short period, a dose or two no more than a few days to a week or so, it can really dramatically turn around a bad episode. In general, give 5 mg. at first sign of distress, if not improved in half an hour, give another 5. If really crashing - give another 5. More than that can be dangerous, even short term. I have given 10 mg. and 37.5 mg. lasix before and saved a pug that was crashing from a CT. I have never had to do more than 10 mg. though, thankfully.
3. Hydrocodone or other cough supressant – Coughing clears the lungs, but in dogs with a tendency to collapsing trachea it can cause a vicious circle of swelling and irritation in the breathing passages which causes more coughing and then more swelling, etc. This can become a fatal cascade of inflammation, edema and swelling. At the first sign of a bad coughing spell or intermittent coughing lasting more than a couple hours, administer the recommended dose.
Lifestyle: Dogs with CT/LP should be kept thin. Not just fit and in good shape, but actually underweight a bit. Every ounce of unnecessary fat is a burden to their respiratory system. When viewed from the top you want to see the outline of the end of the ribcage fairly dramatically, from the side, the loin area should tuck up well and you should be able to very easily feel the ribs, but not quite see them easily. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being emaciated and 10 obese, 5 ideal, your dog should stay at a 3. Pugs tend to carry their weight in their necks, dewlap and chests and that is exactly where you don't want it with a CT/LP dog.
I want my CT/LP and my allergy dogs on a raw diet if at all possible. If you (or your vet) have concerns about contamination, you can feed a brand that is high pressure pasteurized, like Nature's Variety Instinct or others. I still flood the food with water (1/2 cup per meal) as getting as much water into them as possible is good for them all around. If raw is just not do-able, then go with a really high quality canned, like Ziwipeak, Weruva Kobe or similar.
Walks should be discontinued. :( Exercise, pulling on the leash (even when using a harness), stress and excitement can all bring on an attack. She should always be kept away from extremes of temperature, ESPECIALLY heat! They cannot handle even mild overheating. Trips in the car should be kept to a minimum unless she is very calm for the rides and is in front of an AC vent. Her life should be that of a homebody for the most part. Avoid getting a puppy or a young and playful dog that might encourage her to get riled up. Try to keep her routine as calm and predictable as possible.
Also, is she left alone during the day while her family works or goes to school? If so, is it possible for you to bring her with you to work and have a safe, cool and quiet spot she can sleep during your shift....maybe a bed under your desk? If a CT/LP dog gets into a breathing crisis while the family is away, there is a chance they will be dead or too far gone to save when someone returns, so you want to avoid leaving her unattended for long periods.
You will DEFINITELY want to start haunting CraigsList for a used human oxygen concentrator. I got mine for $150. You should be able to get a used one in decent shape, for under $250 all day. If you can afford it, also get an ICU cage like this one JorVet™ ICU Cage | Revival Animal Health they are used when there is a breathing crisis and can be lifesavers and avoid costly trips to the overnight ER vet for the same treatment. Basically it allows you to give supplemental oxygen. If you can't afford the ICU cage, you can also use an oxygen cone, or a modified Elizabethan cone, a tarped crate, or even a modified Rubbermaid type container. I have also wound the canula through the dog's collar and turned the machine up all the way so it blows the oxygen in their face when other options did not work or were not available. It seems excessive and crazy, but I guarantee you WILL use it more than once and save yourself a lot on hospitalization costs and save a life when you don't have travel time (and stress to the dog) to get to an ER vet. I can help you figure out how to use it and hook it up and so can your vet. Never use one without using the bubble humidifier (usually a disposable device that fits somewhere on the O2 machine) as you can severely damage and dry the lungs with dry air.
Also for supplements, I would suggest getting her on fish oil (1 human capsule once a day or every other day) and Vitamin E (200 IU daily), CoQ-10 (50-200 mg. daily), Quercetin and bromelain (one human capsule every other day), selenium (25 mcg. every other day) and oil of oregano (one lower dose human capsule daily), B-Complex (one low dose human tablet every other day) and ginger (550 mg. daily to every other day). the Omega 3's help reduce inflammation and the rest just boost the immune function and make them basically healthier. Oil of oregano has antibacterial properties and helps prevent URI's and other infections that could be disastrous for her.
I'm sure I forgot something and I'm sure you will have questions. You can also print this out and bring it to your vet to discuss. Some things are not traditionally used for CT/LP, especially the lasix, but in pugs, with the redundant and often stenotic tissues, it really helps.
In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
- Mohandas Gandhi
That should be a sticky on it's own. Wow, what a wealth of info.
Good Morning..someone sent me a posted letter from a woman in Australia. It was 2 pages long but I can't remember her dog's name . I can't find it again, was that sent from you?