Advancing the health and well-being of animals and people

Fellow: Lauren Bookbinder
Mentor: Jon Cheetham

Department of Clinical Sciences
Sponsor: Morris Animal Foundation
Grant Number: D14CA-603
Title: Investigating Canine Laryngeal Paralysis as Part of a Diffuse Polyneuropathy in Older Dogs
Annual Direct Cost: $4,000
Project Period: 6/1/2013- 8/31/2013

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Idiopathic laryngeal paralysis can be a devastating disease that often affects older, large breed dogs. The disease produces difficulty breathing and exercising, and can lead to collapse from oxygen starvation. It has recently been suggested that this disease is actually part of a more diffuse disease affecting the nervous system, with paralysis of the larynx being the most obvious sign. Other neurological problems associated with laryngeal paralysis can produce hindlimb weakness or problems with swallowing. This research project will investigate the relationship between laryngeal paralysis and these other conditions affecting the nervous system, and the consequences of these other conditions on the long-term health of the patient, including patient survival, and complication rate following surgery. The proposed project will be a multicenter study including all dogs diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis between January 2007 and June 2013 at Cornell University Hospital for Animals and Upstate Veterinary Surgical Center. Preliminary data have already been gathered on 84 animals, with 200 animals anticipated by the conclusion of this study. This study is necessary to support or refute the idea that idiopathic laryngeal paralysis is part of a diffuse neurologic condition, affecting several parts of the nervous system. This is clinically relevant information that could help clinicians treat their canine patients more effectively. Results of this study will help clinicians and clients be aware of potential neurologic signs in patients with laryngeal paralysis, and therefore, will contribute to a more accurate, informed assessment and treatment of these patients. If clinicians are aware of new indicators for long-term health in their patients with laryngeal paralysis, they can more accurately advise their clients and treat their patients effectively.