My Cheyenne has a little problem. Actually, it's a big problem but she and I have adjusted to it over the past year. I took her to the vet and we kept our eyes on it but recently her problem has gotten worse. In a nutshell, she's struggling to get a good breath of air. In medical terms, it's called Laryngeal Paralysis. For Cheyenne, its onset stayed stagnant for a while. Just a bit of heavy breathing when she was excited or nervous.
But, Laryngeal Paralysis is a problem that will eventuall progress. Cheyenne's breathing worsened around Thanksgiving.
I can tell you that Laryngeal Paralysis is scary, very scary. After diagnosis, the options are treatment, which in Cheyenne's case has run its course, and surgery. There are risks with corrective surgery but there are definite conclusions to forgoing surgery. Surgery is a life-extending solution.
If you were here, I could show you with my hands what the issue is and what the correction is. It's difficult to do so in words, but I'll try. Imagine French doors that must open to breathe and close to eat. The hinges (nerves) on her French doors are a bit rusty and not working very well. In fact, her doors rattle back and forth, out of her control. She can't get a good breath, nor can she get food to go down the proper tube. These are things that we normally do without considering. There's been a lot of choking and vomiting during meals the past several weeks. Surgery takes one of those doors and sews it to the wall of her throat so that the door is always open, leaving a constant area for breath to enter into her lungs. The other door can flap open and shut but no longer will her ability to breathe be based on a tiny slit of an opening. The drawback is that with a fixed opening, there is a risk of food bits or water going into her lungs. To address this, her diet will change to soft food and, sadly, swimming will no longer be an activity for her. (Though, her wading pool most certainly will be.) I can live with these changes. So too can Cheyenne.
I've chosen surgery for Cheyenne. That surgery is tomorrow morning. Please, would you keep her in your thoughts and maybe a prayer?