Objective: To describe the signalment, history, clinical signs, surgical technique, and outcome for cats with laryngeal paralysis that had arytenoid lateralization.
Study design: Case series.
Animals: Cats with laryngeal paralysis (n=10).
Methods: Medical records (1996-2002) for cats with laryngeal paralysis that had arytenoid lateralization were reviewed for signalment, history, clinical signs, degree of paralysis, cause, concurrent medical conditions, surgical technique, and outcome. Follow-up information was obtained from owners or referring veterinarians.
Results: Of 10 cats, 9 had bilateral and 1 had unilateral laryngeal paralysis. Arytenoid lateralization were unilateral (n=7), bilateral (1), and staged bilateral procedures (2), 10 days and 3 years apart, respectively. Postoperatively, 1 cat had persistent inspiratory noise because of minimal enlargement of the rima glottidis and 2 cats required a temporary tracheostomy for management of laryngeal swelling. Three cats developed aspiration pneumonia and died 4, 7, and 150 days after surgery; all 3 had bilateral (simultaneous or staged) procedures. Of the 7 remaining cats, 4 were alive at follow-up and 3 had died of causes unrelated to arytenoid lateralization. The calculated mean survival time for all 10 cats was 406 days (median, 150 days; range, 4-1825 days).
Conclusions: Arytenoid lateralization was effective at enlarging the rima glottidis and reducing signs of airway obstruction in most cats.
Clinical relevance: Unilateral arytenoid lateralization is a feasible option for the surgical management of cats with marked clinical signs; however, bilateral procedures should be avoided or at least performed with considerable caution because of the apparent risk for aspiration pneumonia.