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So sometimes life just doesn't seem fair, and boy have I had a year full of it. Everyone has probably read our trials and tribulations with our puppy Moe, and his feet. I can thankfully say he is doing well.
Our 9 year old, Duke, is not.

We bought Moe because Duke started showing some signs of slowing down. Duke is field trained and has been an amazing companion to my husband and son over the years in the field. He has also been my absolute heart dog since the day he came home. I was adamantly against adding him at the time we got him. It made us have a total of 3 dogs at the time, and I'm primary daily care taker. I'm also an extreme neat freak so it meant more dog hair. Against all of my advice my two sons and husband came home with a bouncing 10 week old Golden when my oldest son was 15, and my youngest son was 11. We also had our Irish Setter and another Golden that were 15, and 12 at the time. I normally do all the research on the dogs we buy, but this was a breeding of a known field Golden in our area and a friends female Golden show dog. It was a one time breeding and all puppies were spoken for before it was planned. No research really needed to be done, so my husband just jumped with both feet.

Duke was easy to train, never destroyed even one shoe, was crate trained from day 1 and house trained in two weeks. He went to our Pro Field trainer at around 7-8 months for 3 months and was just amazing. We didn't have time to test/trial him and I refused to send him away so he never earned titles. He's good enough that our trainer used him for working demos until last year when I said it was taking a toll on him. He just loves his job. He is also the best family pet we could ask for. He's traveled the US with us and our oldest son dirt track racing. He's sat patiently while our youngest played tennis tournaments waiting for them to end so he could have a used ball. He's just special.

We started noticing changes in energy levels about 18 months ago. He could still work and play, but seemed to tire more quickly. We started with all the normal tests and I was basically told I had to accept he was getting older. I bought that for a few months and then went back in with more questions. He was sedated and they called me with him still asleep to run in for a meeting. Our vet is about 10 minutes from our house. They noticed that he had reduced air movement across his vocal cords and megaesophagus. My answer was wake him up and we will work through this. We have, it's been 7 months and he's done really well.

We elevated his feeding bowls. We went to blending his food and feeding 4 times a day with medication for motility. He's lost a few pounds, but overall you wouldn't know he had an issue. The Drs have been amazed at how well he's done, and I've been secure he was living a great life still.

This summer has been awful with the heat and humidity. Just the last month or so we've had a few days that he didn't want to get up in the morning when I got out of bed. He sleeps at the foot of my bed, and doesn't get up when my husband does. He waits for me, but as soon as my feet hit the floor he is ready to go normally. It's taken him 15-20 minutes to find his way downstairs to me drinking my coffee. He still has swam and played ball, reduced amounts, but had fun. These last few weeks I've noticed a stiffness and wasting of muscle in his hind end. It seems to have come on quickly. He's always been a very fit and muscular dog, never overweight. It's been hard to watch.

Yesterday was our final chance at some form of intervention. We've done everything and I was told there is nothing left to do. Tie back surgery would probably guarantee aspiration pneumonia, after several opinions. There seems to be no way to stop the progression.

He has good days and bad, but I know our time is limited. I feel somehow cheated. I know technically he's a senior but my dogs normally live to 12 - 13 years. I know I'm going to have a horrible decision to make. I've had to do it before, but this time feels different. Neither of us is at that point yet, but when your willing to do whatever it takes with a 9 year old it just sucks to be told "their is nothing we can do". I'm hoping the change of seasons makes it a little easier on him. Yesterday we were told to stop playing bumpers/ball and swimming. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. I am more inclined to let him have his good days.

I know I'm not the only one going through stuff like this. I've had a Golden with cancer in the past. My heart goes out to everyone faced with these situations, some earlier in their pups life then this. This one is just hitting below the belt for me.

Does anyone have any experience with late stage laryngeal paralysis affecting the hind end and esophagus too? Did you do anything that you noticed a difference with at the point I am?
 

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I'm so sorry, this brings me to tears. It's so unfair. For what it's worth, I think you should let him do what makes him happy. I agree with you about the tie-back surgery, it's such a risk.

I have a friend with a senior dog that has LP. They put him on an antidepressant called doxepin (brand name Sinequan®), and she said it has improved his breathing, she doesn't hear the rasping inhalation anymore. Worth trying maybe?
 

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It is my understanding that a tie back on only one side improves things hugely without nearly the risk of aspiration. I have zero real life experience with it, but I am so sorry. You guys are wonderful owners... you know that.
 

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It is my understanding that a tie back on only one side improves things hugely without nearly the risk of aspiration. I have zero real life experience with it, but I am so sorry. You guys are wonderful owners... you know that.
Thanks Robin. That was what I was hoping for yesterday, but they said he's not a good candidate.
 

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I am so sorry to read this. The one bad thing about Goldens is how hard it is to say goodbye. I would also be more inclined to let him do whatever he enjoys every day that you can. Prayers are going up for wisdom and comfort.
 
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I have a 12.5 year old girl that also has laryngeal paralysis that started coming on about a year back. The past several months it's gotten worse and especially with the heat and humidity. I hate to curtail the things she enjoys, but I will not let her outside in the heat unless it's to relieve herself. Getting to the rear yard she must descend about 12 steps, so when she's having a rough day, we go out the front door and she'll either use the front lawn or if not too hot/humid, we'll walk around to the rear yard. We take our time and take as many breaks as she may need. This is a dog that has always, always, been at my side. My shadow. At 12.5 years I'm not about to put her thru any surgery, especially one with the associated risks.

There have been a few mornings I went into a semi-panic as she was laying too quiet and still. Great relief after I would give a poke and she would move.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to see her struggle, to hear the change in her bark, the excessive panting, the raspy noise along with a whistle when she gets worked up. Yet, she still enjoys life and loves her food and treats. We've just learned to take it much slower and easier with her.

I do not have any helpful information but can totally sympathize with what you're going thru. You've been a wonderful pet parent and you'll handle it the best way you can.
 

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I have a 12.5 year old girl that also has laryngeal paralysis that started coming on about a year back. The past several months it's gotten worse and especially with the heat and humidity. I hate to curtail the things she enjoys, but I will not let her outside in the heat unless it's to relieve herself. Getting to the rear yard she must descend about 12 steps, so when she's having a rough day, we go out the front door and she'll either use the front lawn or if not too hot/humid, we'll walk around to the rear yard. We take our time and take as many breaks as she may need. This is a dog that has always, always, been at my side. My shadow. At 12.5 years I'm not about to put her thru any surgery, especially one with the associated risks.

There have been a few mornings I went into a semi-panic as she was laying too quiet and still. Great relief after I would give a poke and she would move.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to see her struggle, to hear the change in her bark, the excessive panting, the raspy noise along with a whistle when she gets worked up. Yet, she still enjoys life and loves her food and treats. We've just learned to take it much slower and easier with her.

I do not have any helpful information but can totally sympathize with what you're going thru. You've been a wonderful pet parent and you'll handle it the best way you can.
We’ve had a few of those scary mornings lately. It is sad to watch them go through. I catch myself checking on him when he’s noisy during the night. More recently we’ve had drooling, and the weakness in the hind end. It’s a horrible thing to watch them go through.

Maybe cooler weather will help us all.
 

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I too hold out hope that cooler temperatures and less humidity will help them. Bless your sweet boy.
 
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https://www.goldenretrieverforum.co...489185-hogan-possible-laryngeal-issues-2.html

I made the post above when going through it and 6 weeks after that post Hogan went down hill quickly and I lost him to severe aspirated pneumonia.
I am sure you got tips by now but some that I got was feed them 3 times a day in smaller meals. Have them eat from raised bowls. Keep activity levels to moderate levels to not cause additional panting or gasping. I had to use a harness on Hogan on real bad days to help lift his hind end if he got overly tired near the end of his final days.
This disease is horrible and it take a toll on them on so many ways.
 

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https://www.goldenretrieverforum.co...489185-hogan-possible-laryngeal-issues-2.html

I made the post above when going through it and 6 weeks after that post Hogan went down hill quickly and I lost him to severe aspirated pneumonia.
I am sure you got tips by now but some that I got was feed them 3 times a day in smaller meals. Have them eat from raised bowls. Keep activity levels to moderate levels to not cause additional panting or gasping. I had to use a harness on Hogan on real bad days to help lift his hind end if he got overly tired near the end of his final days.
This disease is horrible and it take a toll on them on so many ways.
Thank you. It sounds like you went through the same thing. We've been doing 3 blended meals a day, elevated to counter level for the last 8 months. He's also on metoclopramide with each meal. It had been going really well, but lately nothing seems to be helping the breathing, We are just now seeing the hind end weakness. The muscle tone everywhere has fallen off rapidly. At first I thought maybe it was just weight, but it isn't. I tried to increase his food intake, but that causes more issues.

Thank you for providing the link. I'm so sorry you and Hogan went through this. This is a horrible thing to watch them go through. It seems to be worsening faster then I originally though it would. This morning was in the high 60's here, but it was enough for him to have a good morning. It's hotter now so we are back inside, but it gave me hope that if we can make it to cooler weather maybe we can have a couple more good months. Everything seems to be getting harder for him rapidly right now. I've made my mind up that it's about his quality of life no matter how much it kills me.

I will keep the thread updated as we go forward. Thank you everyone for the kind words and information.
 

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Just please be advised that tie-back surgery is not a sure thing. And even stricter precautions need to be taken after the surgery -- no swimming, care when bathing, raise food & water bowls etc



I lost my Rowdy due to aspiration pneumonia a few days after his tie back surgery -- he never came home following the surgery but had a horrible death, I truly wish I had waited until he was at a serious risk of going blue and then putting him to sleep peacefully without the trauma he had the last few days of his life and finally having to wave the vets and techs away rather than resuscitating him again -- he died in the comfort of my arms but the silence of the machines going silent still haunts me.


I am so very very sorry you are going through this.
 
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I just thought I would update this thread. My hope is that if anyone else gets this diagnosis they can find some comfort from our story with Duke. This picture was taken Saturday. We were working with real bird retrieves with Moe and decided to let Duke go out for a few. The weather was cool and Duke had a great time. He's not fast like he use to be, but he absolutely loved it. When you get this diagnosis you really feel hopeless so here is a picture of Duke doing exactly what he loves most. We still have good days and bad days, but I am so glad I decided to let him just be him. He won't be duck or goose hunting this year but the guys have promised to bring him home a few to retrieve from the field out back. Hope everyone has Happy Holidays!
 

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Ahhh. I am so glad to see Duke having a good day.
 
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So heartwarming to see him enjoying himself.
 
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That is a beautiful picture for all kinds of reasons. I'm so glad he is doing well and still enjoying what he loves.
 
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