Laryngeal paralysis in dogs: an update on recent knowledge

J S Afr Vet Assoc. 2013 Apr 5;84(1):E1-9. doi: 10.4102/jsava.v84i1.909.


Laryngeal paralysis is the effect of an inability to abduct the arytenoid cartilages during inspiration, resulting in respiratory signs consistent with partial airway obstruction. The aetiology of the disease can be congenital (hereditary laryngeal paralysis or congenital polyneuropathy), or acquired (trauma, neoplasia, polyneuropathy, endocrinopathy). The most common form of acquired laryngeal paralysis (LP) is typically seen in old, large breed dogs and is a clinical manifestation of a generalised peripheral polyneuropathy recently referred to as geriatric onset laryngeal paralysis polyneuropathy. Diagnosing LP based on clinical signs, breed and history has a very high sensitivity (90%) and can be confirmed bylaryngeal inspection. Prognosis after surgical correction depends on the aetiology: traumatic cases have a good prognosis, whereas tumour-induced or polyneuropathy-induced LP has a guarded prognosis. Acquired idiopathic LP is a slow progressive disease, with dogs reaching median survival times of 3-5 years after surgical correction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Larynx / pathology
  • Larynx / surgery
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / pathology
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / surgery
  • Vocal Cord Paralysis / veterinary*